Typically, March is one of the best sports months of the year. The NHL and NBA seasons are reaching their conclusion with teams battling for their postseason lives, NFL free agency is beginning, MLB Opening Day is right around the corner, and March Madness is in full swing!
With the coronavirus pandemic, March has been rendered a quiet month in the sports world, as all major leagues have needed to cancel or suspend their events in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. To help pass the time, a few of us at Amazin’ Avenue HQ have brainstormed ways to entertain our incredible audience while we wait for baseball to return.
I’d like to introduce you to March Bad-ness! In order to fill the void left by both the absence of baseball and March Madness, we’ve devised an NCAA tournament-style bracket of the worst villains in Mets history. We’ve scoured the depths of our memories, digging up names we’d long since buried deep down in an effort to forget so many painful moments, and put together 64 names that cause Mets fans feelings ranging from mild annoyance to intense loathing.
Our competition kicked off three weeks ago with a bracket comprised of the players, coaches, and figureheads who Mets fans have come to hate over the years, broken down into four region: Mets Killers, Bad Guys, Playoff Villains, and Self-loathing. We had a lot of fun analyzing everyone’s votes, and enjoyed some upsets (seriously, I’m still trying to wrap my head around Anthony Rendon taking down Brian Jordan), some epic performances (Chipper Jones crushed his way through the first four rounds), and some nail biters (Jason Bay edging out Oliver Perez by four votes and Orel Hershiser topping Mike Scott by six votes come to mind).
After a total of 24,785 votes, the Wilpons have taken their place atop the mountain as the most vilified figures in franchise history. In dominating fashion, they were able to crush Chase Utley in the finals with 74% of the vote (230 to 80). In the end, Mets fans overwhelmingly decided that one dastardly leg-breaking slide in 2015 and a solid career stat line against the Mets was no match for a generation of Wilpons mismanagement, which have inflicted a lifetime of suffering on Mets fans and has failed to bring a championship to Queens.
Fred and Jeff didn’t break a sweat all tournament. They coasted in the first round with 98% of the vote over recently-fired manager Mickey Callaway, bested volatile closer Armando Benitez in the second round with 95% of the vote, paid back Bobby Bonilla with a beat down in the Sour 16 by picking up 94% of the vote, took the battle of hated owners by toppling M. Donald Grant with 81% of the vote in the Hated Eight, and slugged their way past Yadier Molina in the Foul Four with 92% of the vote before emerging victorious in the final contest.
Thank you to everyone for casting your vote in the March Badness tournament! We will be breaking out a new bracket later today that we hope brings about better memories than this one and keep you occupied as we patiently await the return of baseball. Stay tuned!