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UltiMET of the Millennium Madness: The Finals

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It all comes down to David Wright and Jacob deGrom.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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.

After weeks of voting, we’ve arrived at the finish line. After an intense tournament, we’ve reached The Finals, and it promises to be a difficult decision for Mets fans.

Fresh off his hilarious and must-watch appearance on Episode 6 of The Cookie Club, David Wright celebrated with a resounding victory over Mike Piazza. In the win, Wright accumulated 66% of the vote (248 to 126). While Piazza is regarded as perhaps the best offensive catcher in MLB history, has been enshrined in Cooperstown, and has seen his number 31 retired by the Mets, Wright left no doubt that he is the most beloved position player, not just of the current millennium, but in the franchise’s 58-year history.

During his career, The Captain rose to the top of the Mets’ all-time leaderboard in hits (1777), runs (949), doubles (390), RBI (970), and walks (762), while coming in second in home runs (242). Anyone who attended or watched his emotional last game in 2018 knows exactly how much he means to the team and to the fans, and Wright jerseys will be seen around Citi Field for years to come. Eventually, his number 5 will rightfully be retired by the club.

On the opposite side of the bracket, Jacob deGrom cruised to the finals with a startling 94% of the vote (350 to 24). In the battle of Cy Young winners, deGrom left no doubt that he is the franchise’s best pitcher of the millennium. Along with his back-to-back awards, he also took home Rookie of the Year in 2014 and has made three All Star game appearances. His 2018 season, which saw him finish with a ridiculous 1.70 ERA and a 1.98 FIP, not only ranks among the best seasons for a starting pitcher in club history, but among the best seasons for any starting pitcher in the modern era. He led the National League in strikeouts with 255 in 2019 after finishing with 269 in 2018. He is signed with the Mets through 2023, with an option for 2024, and has the opportunity to cement his legacy as the second-best pitcher in Mets history behind Tom Seaver.

With the finals set, we will also continue running our consolation bracket to generate the complete rankings of the top eight players in franchise history. After falling short in their respective Final Four games, our third place match will feature Piazza facing off against Dickey. Meanwhile, Edgardo Alfonzo narrowly pulled out a victory against Carlos Beltran, escaping his match with 51% of the vote (177 to 171). He will advance to take on Pete Alonso in the fifth place game, after the first baseman barely topped Johan Santana with 52% of the vote (181 to 167). Our seventh place game will feature Beltran against Santana.

Voting for the finals, and the remaining games, will be open until Monday, May 4! Let us know in the comments why you voted the way you did!

THE FINALS

Poll

1 vs. 1: David Wright vs. Jacob deGrom

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    David Wright
    (248 votes)
  • 30%
    Jacob deGrom
    (110 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now

THIRD PLACE GAME

Poll

1 vs. 2: Mike Piazza vs. R.A. Dickey

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Mike Piazza
    (313 votes)
  • 12%
    R.A. Dickey
    (45 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now

FIFTH PLACE GAME

Poll

2 vs. 2: Edgardo Alfonzo vs. Pete Alonso

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Edgardo Alfonzo
    (220 votes)
  • 36%
    Pete Alonso
    (124 votes)
344 votes total Vote Now

SEVENTH PLACE GAME

Poll

1 vs. 2: Johan Santana vs. Carlos Beltran

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Johan Santana
    (120 votes)
  • 65%
    Carlos Beltran
    (224 votes)
344 votes total Vote Now