Oh, how the times have changed!
For the New York Mets’ Wilmer Flores, his professional and personal lives have been on a roller coaster ride these last couple of days. We’ve seen him go from a piece in the Carlos Gomez trade, to crying on the field after learning he allegedly had been traded, to getting standing ovations and hitting the walk-off home run in Friday’s 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals. The Carlos Gomez trade did fall through, however, and, frankly, Mets fans couldn’t be happier.
Flores was reportedly in a trade that would’ve sent the SS/2B and coveted starting pitcher Zack Wheeler to the Milwaukee Brewers for All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez. However, the deal fell apart when the Brewers asked the Mets to kick in some cash towards Gomez’s salary. The Mets balked at this request then brought up Gomez’s recent hip issues.
So, the Mets walked away without their impact bat that the fan base was desperately calling for. Though they did get that middle-of-the-order bat when they traded for Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Yoenis Cespedes just minutes before the deadline ended on Friday. The Mets gave up Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa for Cespedes. Fulmer, a 2011 1st round pick of the Mets, wasn’t as coveted as Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, or Wheeler, but he still could develop into a solid 2 starter for the Tigers.
Flashback to 2007, on August 6th, the Mets signed Wilmer Flores on his 16th birthday to play professional baseball. As he progressed through the minors, Mets fans were getting excited with what type of player Flores was developing into. Fast-forward to August 6th, 2013. On his 22nd birthday, Flores made his Major League debut for the Mets. Fast-forward again to the offseason after the 2014 season. Nearly everyone in the media wrote off Wilmer, saying he couldn’t play shortstop, he’s a liability on defense. And somehow, Flores tuned out all of it. He never believed for a second that he couldn’t play shortstop at a Major League level. And now on July 31st, 2015, Wilmer Flores has proven to Mets fans that he belongs.
Everyone has seen the photo of Wilmer crying on the field Wednesday night as there was speculation of the trade. No one could really blame him either. He’s been with this organization since he was 16 years old. He turned into a formidable hitting prospect that Met fans got excited for. Yes, he’s not the best fielder, and yes, his OBP is not where the Mets are hoping it would be, but in a span of three days, Flores has brought the famous expression Amazin’ back to life.
Flores has captured not only the hearts of New York, but the hearts around the country. His fate was sealed when he hit the walk-off home run on Friday night. And as he rounded third, pounding the Mets logo almost symbolizing that he’s proud to wear the Orange and Blue, he proved to everyone that his place is in Flushing, NY.