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UltiMET of the Millennium Madness: 2010-2014

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There wasn’t a whole lot to cheer about during these lean years, but there were still plenty of great players

San Diego Padres v New York Mets

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.

There wasn’t a lot to cheer about during the dark days of the early Citi Field years. Following the first year at Citi Field, attendance plummeted as the team lulled itself into a five-year period of mediocrity. The team won 79, 77, 74, 74, and 79 games over the course of these seasons. Despite not making a single playoff appearance, fans were treated to some terrific individual accomplishments, including a no-hitter, a Cy Young Award, a gold glove, and Wright becoming the all-time franchise hits leader.

Even though his best years for the team came in 2008 and 2009, giving Johan Santana the top spot in this bracket was an easy decision to make. On June 1, 2012, the left-hander forever became No-han in the minds of Mets fans when he became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter with the club. It came in one of the last starts of his professional career. He will face off with Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who bested 2014 Opening Day starter Dillon Gee in the vote-in game.

R.A. Dickey, whose 20-win 2012 campaign earned him a well-deserved Cy Young Award and was another fun moment in an otherwise bleak period. The knuckleballer pitched a career-high 233.2 innings with a career-best 4.7 fWAR to go along with a 2.73 ERA and a 3.27 FIP. The season immediately resulted in the team dealing with away to the Blue Jays in a trade that netted Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud. Coincidentally, the former Mets catcher faces off against Dickey in the first round here.

Matt Harvey picked up the third spot to round out the starting pitching triumvirate that dominated this period in Mets history. People who only recall post-Tommy John surgery Harvery might forget that Harvey got everybody talking about the Mets again in a way that hadn’t been seen since the early Wright days. Harvey was a larger-than-life superstar, and his Dark Knight persona made him the talk of the town. After a terrific rookie campaign in 2012, he dominated in 2013 with a 2.27 ERA, a league-best 2.01 FIP, a 0.93 WHIP, and a career-best 5.3 bWAR in 178.1 innings. The highlight of the season was Harvey starting the All Star game at Citi Field in front of the home crowns and tossing two scoreless frames. He will face Scott Hariston in the first round.

First round voting will remain open until Thursday, April 16! Voting is also open for 2000-2004 and 2005-2009 until Thursday!

Poll

1 vs. 16: Johan Santana vs. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    Johan Santana
    (272 votes)
  • 1%
    Kirk Nieuwenhuis
    (3 votes)
275 votes total Vote Now

Poll

8 vs. 9: Jonathon Niese vs. Juan Lagares

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Jonathon Niese
    (107 votes)
  • 60%
    Juan Lagares
    (166 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now

Poll

5 vs. 12: Zack Wheeler vs. Bobby Parnell

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Zack Wheeler
    (246 votes)
  • 10%
    Bobby Parnell
    (28 votes)
274 votes total Vote Now

Poll

4 vs. 13: Lucas Duda vs. Ike Davis

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Lucas Duda
    (247 votes)
  • 10%
    Ike Davis
    (30 votes)
277 votes total Vote Now

Poll

6 vs. 11: Bartolo Colon vs. Francisco Rodriguez

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Bartolo Colon
    (263 votes)
  • 3%
    Francisco Rodriguez
    (10 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now

Poll

3 vs. 14: Matt Harvey vs. Scott Hairston

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Matt Harvey
    (266 votes)
  • 3%
    Scott Hairston
    (10 votes)
276 votes total Vote Now

Poll

7 vs. 10: Daniel Murphy vs. Ruben Tejada

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Daniel Murphy
    (259 votes)
  • 6%
    Ruben Tejada
    (17 votes)
276 votes total Vote Now

Poll

2 vs. 15: R.A. Dickey vs. Travis d’Arnaud

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    R.A. Dickey
    (268 votes)
  • 3%
    Travis d’Arnaud
    (10 votes)
278 votes total Vote Now