Everybody Loves an Underdog

Brian ElbergCorrespondent IJune 25, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies turns a double play as Alex Cora #3 of The New York Mets slides in during their game on June 10, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

As an avid fan of March Madness,  I always root for the 16 seed over the number 1 seed, the mid major over the ACC powerhouse.  As a Met fan my whole life I have always tried to shape the Mets as a different kind of team, in 2006 and 2007 they were the team who had the most fun,  they would high five, ON THE FIELD, after a solo home run in a 10-0 rout.  In 1999 and 2000 they were a blue collar bunch of guys who most baseball fans had never heard of but always found a way to get the job done.  But in 2008 and 2009 the Mets have seemed at times to be the exact opposite of those two teams, very soft, very reluctant to give up their bodies to make a play and almost refusing to play the game the right way.   And then all of a sudden the Mets received a visit from the injury fairy, losing Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, J.J Putz, Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran John Maine, and Oliver Perez. At first, like all fans, I was pessimistic but then I noticed that the Mets had seemed to adopt a different style of play.  Led mostly by Alex Cora and Gary Sheffield.  Who have both stepped up in big ways, adding toughness and an attitude that the team has not had in years.  Cora with his "Average Joe" mentality playing like a high-schooler willing to anything to get the last spot on the team.  Not to mention Gary Sheffield playing like Jake Taylor in Major League, just an old vet with one last shot at a winner.

    All of a sudden the Mets became something that they hadn't been in age, an underdog. And what do you know this new style as seemed to work for them.  No, they aren't running away and hiding with the division, and know they don't do everything right (Castillo) but they seem to have an attitude that says, "no we're not the most talented bunch of guys" but we are a team that likes to win ball games.  There was never a better example of this then the Saturday game after Luis Castillo dropped the pop up that cost the Mets the game.  The 2008 Mets would have came out the next day and looked sluggish and felt sorry for themselves.  But not this new group of blue collar chip on our shoulder type of team that the Mets have.  Usually I would be predicting that the Mets would win the division by 20 games but this year I won't do that, I'll just say that whatever happens its going to be a fun ride.