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UltiMET of the Millennium Madness: 2000-2004

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Our first region is mostly made up of the key contributors from the 2000 NL champions

BBN-ASTROS-METS-ALFONZO Photo credit should read PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images

We just spent the better part of three weeks reliving some horrific memories from our New York Mets fandom as we voted on the biggest villain in franchise history (congratulations again to Fred and Jeff Wilpon. It was a truly well-deserved win.) We got tired of dwelling on the bad, so we thought it was time to turn our attention to better memories. As a result, we brainstormed some ideas over at Amazin’ Avenue HQ on how to participate in something far more pleasant. The idea of doing a bracket for all-time Mets seemed pretty obvious but also a little bit played out, so we instead turned our sights to focusing on recent players.

Introducing the UltiMET of the Millennium Madness tournament! Over the next three weeks, we will see who really was the best player to don the orange and blue since the year 2000 began. We came up with 68 players who have left a mark (big and small) on the team, and we’ll have the Amazin’ Avenue community vote to see who moves on each time.

For simplicity and for neatness, we broke down the brackets into four five-year spans: 2000-2004, 2005-2009, 2010-2014, and 2015-2019. Conveniently, this translated roughly to the Mike Piazza era, the early David Wright era, the later David Wright/early Citi Field era, and the Jacob deGrom/2015 NL Champions era. As a general rule, we tried to focus on players whose impact was felt within those years, so if a player made their mark mostly in 1997-1999, you may not see them in the 2000 bracket. We tried to stick players within the time frame where they made the most impact, but took some liberties in places in order to ensure we didn’t leave off players we wanted to see in the tournament.

The 2000-2004 era in Mets history brought us the franchise’s fourth National League Pennant, along with one of the most iconic and transcendent home runs in New York sports history. Beyond that, there wasn’t a whole lot to root for these years. Unsurprisingly, a majority of the players in this region made their mark during the 2000 season. Overall, the Mets won 94, 82, 75, 66, and 71 games during these five years, though we did see the debuts of David Wright and Jose Reyes (more on them in the next region).

It should shock nobody to see Mike Piazza, only the second player to have his number retired by the franchise, coming in as the number one seed. The Hall of Famer hit the aforementioned home run in 2001, not to mention a three-run homer that capped off a memorable 10-run inning against the Braves in 2004, and a home run against the Giants in 2004 that put him ahead of Carlon Fisk for the most ever hit by a catcher. In just about every conceivable way, Piazza defined Mets baseball in the early part of the millennium. He will take on Jay Payton, a personal favorite of mine, who recently came off his win against Timo Perez in the vote-in round.

Edgardo Alfonzo, who was slated to enter the Mets Hall of Fame in May, nabbed the number two spot. Fonzie, while a beloved Met, is often overlooked as one of the cornerstones of those teams, and the Pippen to Piazza’s Jordan, to use a basketball analogy. Alfonzo enjoyed the best season of his career in 2000, with a .324/.425/.542 slash line, a 150 wRC+, and a 6.4 fWAR (career marks across the board). Alfonzo will square off against Benny Agbayni, a beloved figure in his own right who hit perhaps the biggest home run during that 2000 World Series run in Game Three of the NLDS against the Giants.

Al Leiter, who enjoyed his biggest Met moment in the 1999 Wild Card game, made his lone All Star appearance as a Met in 2000 and was around for the entirety of this five-year run, which helped him grabbed the third spot. Robin Ventura and John Franco, two Mets staples, came in at four and five. Despite leaving after one year, Mike Hampton winning the NLCS MVP honors in 2000, along with his departure eventually leading to the Mets drafting Wright, was enough to get him the sixth spot.

First round voting will remain open until Thursday, April 16!

Poll

1 vs. 16: Mike Piazza vs. Jay Payton

This poll is closed

  • 99%
    Mike Piazza
    (312 votes)
  • 0%
    Jay Payton
    (1 vote)
313 votes total Vote Now

Poll

8 vs. 9: Todd Zeile vs. Joe McEwing

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Todd Zeile
    (189 votes)
  • 39%
    Joe McEwing
    (122 votes)
311 votes total Vote Now

Poll

5 vs. 12: John Franco vs. Rick Reed

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    John Franco
    (234 votes)
  • 24%
    Rick Reed
    (74 votes)
308 votes total Vote Now

Poll

4 vs. 13: Robin Ventura vs. Ty Wigginton

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Robin Ventura
    (290 votes)
  • 5%
    Ty Wigginton
    (17 votes)
307 votes total Vote Now

Poll

6 vs. 11: Mike Hampton vs. Tom Glavine

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Mike Hampton
    (201 votes)
  • 34%
    Tom Glavine
    (108 votes)
309 votes total Vote Now

Poll

3 vs. 14: Al Leiter vs. Steve Trachsel

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Al Leiter
    (296 votes)
  • 4%
    Steve Trachsel
    (13 votes)
309 votes total Vote Now

Poll

7 vs. 10: Armando Benitez vs. Turk Wendell

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Armando Benitez
    (142 votes)
  • 54%
    Turk Wendell
    (168 votes)
310 votes total Vote Now

Poll

2 vs. 15: Edgardo Alfonzo vs. Benny Agbayani

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Edgardo Alfonzo
    (300 votes)
  • 4%
    Benny Agbayani
    (14 votes)
314 votes total Vote Now