Losing a World Series is obviously a tough pill to swallow for any team. The future is uncertain after coming so close to baseball immortality and watching a team celebrate something just out of your grasp, can’t be easy. Moving past that and using it as motivation like the Kansas City Royals did this year is a great example of a team being able to rebound the following season.
No team since the 1989 Oakland A’s has come back and won a World Series after losing it the prior year until this season and the Royals. It isn’t easy, but it can obviously be done.
In other sports, you don’t see it that often. In the NFL, the Buffalo Bills were in four straight Super Bowls in the early 1990s and lost them all, in the NBA, the Miami Heat lost in 2011, but then came back to win the next two, and finally in the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost in 2008 and came back to win in 2009.
So, it is possible to come back the next year, but to be able to do so, being able to put last year behind you and use that as motivation, is important. That is what the Royals did this season and look where they are now; they are World Champions.
The Mets seem to be lovable losers because something always seems to go wrong for them. Maybe in the coming years, they can reverse the script and put together some winning seasons. They have good young pieces in place to make some noise with Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud, and will have great veteran leadership from guys like David Wright and Curtis Granderson.
But getting back isn’t the easiest thing in the world. So, what is next for the Mets?
If this team has anything going for them, it’s that they have one of the best young nucleus of pitching in baseball with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz, plus Zack Wheeler who was out for the season. This bodes well for the Mets because arguably, pitching is the most important part of playoff baseball and it is what got them to where they ended in 2015.
Another thing that helps this team a lot is the cost of their starting rotation. They are all under team control still which means they are cheap and that helps them spend elsewhere to improve at other spots.
But, unfortunately for the Mets, pitchers usually don’t score runs on offense, and this team is potentially losing its number three and four hitters.
Daniel Murphy, Michael Cuddyer and Yoenis Cespedes are a few impending free agents that aren’t likely to return to the team as they will cost a good amount. Sandy Alderson and the Mets still could decide to keep at least one, but they will come at a high price tag.
The bullpen is another place where they will have some patchwork to do. Jeurys Familia will be back, but Tyler Clippard injury-prone and Bobby Parnell are impending free agents that could move elsewhere. Jenrry Mejia could be given another chance after another drug ban, but that is uncertain as well.
With a few value free agent signings, this team could be back next year ready to compete which is probably expected. Led by the starting rotation that they have, there is no reason that they shouldn’t be competing for another NL East title and potentially an NL Pennant as well.
It will be an interesting offseason in Flushing and if the Mets somehow forgot about what happened in the World Series, they will be reminded right off of the bat on Opening Day as the Mets will travel to Kansas City to face the Royals to open the season.