Most Hated MetsBy: JKurp
In my last post, I wrote about optimism, or lack there of. Since then, basically all the bad things I said about the team (bad starting position, poor team batting average, etc.) have gotten much better. So, you’re welcome? There are a lot of good feelings in Citi Field right now, and the Mets look very good. But let’s not forget our roots. As fans of the Nye Mets, we’re all about what will go wrong, and when it inevitably does, we’ll be the first to say, “I told you this guy sucked!”
But, if you’ll pardon the phrasing, who sucked the worse over the past 20 years? Who are the guys worth booing, even if you don’t normally boo (I’m looking at you, Cerrone)? That is, who is the most hated Met over the past two decades?
Gary Matthews Jr., Present
Why? There were rumors (“…he was into field hockey players“) of Matthews having a negative attitude for the Angels in the Outfield (of which he was not one of them), so even before coming to Queens, there was one strike against him. The other strikes: His current OBP is below .300 and he’s struck out nearly half the times he’s been to the plate. So, yeah, three strikes on Matthews.
Why Not? He hasn’t been on the team long enough for it to be true hatred; it’s more annoyance and “why is he getting at-bats?” than anything else. Plus, Angels fans hate him more, as they’re paying $21 million for him not to be on the team. – Hatred Level: 3/5
Luis Castillo, 2007-Present
Why? Hit .245 in 2008, has no pop (five HRs since joining the team), limited range in the field.
Why Not? I’ve never understood why people dislike Castillo so much. He works hard and although he can’t hit anything more than a single, he gets on base—a lot. His OBP is always fantastic and last year’s total of .387 was the third best of his career. Maybe people get mad when they Google his name and the San Diego Charger comes up instead? - Hatred Level: 1/5
Oliver Perez, 2006-Present
Why? When Ollie’s on, he’s one of the best pitchers in the league (yup, I just said that). Thing is, he’s rarely on (6.82 ERA / 6.40 FIP last year). It’s like when a musician clearly has tons of talent, but can never succeed to their past glory. Basically, Ollie in 2004 with the Pirates is Definitely Maybe/(What’s the Story) Morning Glory; Ollie now is every album since. Especially his last start.
Why Not? ‘Cause there’s always hope the Gallaghe—I mean Ollie will get his shit together. – Hatred Level: 4/5
Why Not? There were times that Heilman was basically unhittable, like in 2005. – Hatred Level: 4/5
Victor Zambrano, 2004-2006
Why? When I remembered him while writing this, I literally sighed. Normally, I want to scream, so I guess we’re far enough from The Trade that anger has changed to depression (sorry Yoda).
Why Not? Scott Kazmir hasn’t been the great prospect people thought he’d be. Sure, he’s been good and has lead the league in strikeouts, but his career ERA is 3.88. Not bad, but not great. But still… – Hatred Level: 5/5
Kaz Matsui, 2004-2006
Why? Came to the Mets from Japan with lots of hype, and hit a HR in his first at-bat of the season (something he’d repeat in 2005 and 2006), but he also had 23 errors—as a shortstop, meaning Jose Reyes had to play 2B. And nobody puts Reyes in the, um, second base.
Why Not? He’s still in the league, but whenever the Mets play his team (currently, the Astros), I think, “Oh yeah, I remember him,” rather than, “Eff you.” – Hatred Level: 2/5
Mo Vaughn, 2002-2003
Why? More than any player, Vaughn defined the post-Subway Series, pre-Willie Randolph Mets. That is, loads of money, but little result. He also weighed nearly 300 pounds.
Why Not? His HR that hit halfway up the Budweiser sign at Shea Stadium was a thing of beauty. Plus, how could you hate someone who looked like this? – Hatred Level: 1/5
Armando Benitez, 1999-2003
Why? Doesn’t it seem like he was on the Mets for more than four-and-a-half seasons? His numbers look good, but stats were never his problem; it was the important games. Being successful in, let’s say, game one of the 2000 World Series is a little more important than a 1-2-3 effort in April against the Marlins. Benitez was great at the latter, awful at the former.
Why Not? I got nothing. You can’t find a Mets fan out there who has a nice thing to say about Armando. – Hatred Level: 5/5
Bobby Bonilla, 1992-1995
Why? You knew it was coming. He signed a 5-year, $29 million contract with the Mets in 1992, which was the biggest contract in baseball history at the time. He responded by hitting .249 with 19 HRs. Bobby Bo also was surly to the media and never seemed to enjoy his time in Flushing. The Mets traded him to the Orioles in 1995, but signed him again in 1999. And then came the infamous card game with Rickey.
Why Not? Again, I got nothing. The Mets are still paying for this guy, and will be until 2035. – Hatred: 5/5
Carlos Baerga, 1996-1998
Why? The Mets traded Jeff Kent to get a guy who didn’t get over 53 RBIs in his two+ seasons.
Why Not? During this time period, fans expected the team to suck. Baerga was just another link in the chain. – Hatred: 3/5
Generation K, 1995-2000
Why? If things had worked out, the trio might still be pitching for the Mets. They were that good. But they ironically became more famous by being big-time busts. Is that irony? Either way, remember this?
Why Not? It’s easy to hate someone when they suck; you just pity them when they’re hurt. – Hatred: 1/5
Why Not? His numbers were pretty decent. – Hatred: 2/5
Vince Coleman, 1991-1993
Why? “I don’t know nothin’ about him. Why are you asking me about Jackie Robinson?” Between saying that while on the Cardinals and the dynamite incident with the Mets, he wasn’t exactly the world’s nicest (or smartest) guy.
Why Not? Um, he was fast? – Hatred: 4/5
So, congratulations to Victor Zambrano, Armando Benitez and Bobby Bonilla. You three are the most hated Mets over the past 20 years. At least John Rocker was fun to hate…