New York Mets' 2015 World Series Run Began In Port St. Lucie, And Now They Look To Capture The Championship
The New York Mets stunned all of baseball with an improbable run to the World Series in 2015. That journey began on the quiet backfields of the team’s winter complex in Port St. Lucie in February and March.
After breaking camp, the Mets stayed under the radar and meandered through most of the regular season. The team’s fortunes changed when a few shrewd moves by the front office in late July brought in key players who transformed the Mets from the worst offense in the National League to the best. Behind dominant starting pitching, a solid bullpen and a newly dangerous offense, the Mets won the National League East, ousted the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series and swept the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. They made it to their first World Series in 15 years.
Unfortunately the Mets couldn’t seal the deal. They ran into the Kansas City Royals, a buzzsaw of a team that was bent on taking the crown after falling one game short against the Giants in the 2014 World Series.
Now, as the Mets return to Port St. Lucie, they hope to do what the Royals did last year: return to the World Series and win it.
Heading into the offseason the Mets were already in good shape since the strength of their team—the young starting pitching —would be returning intact. But the Mets didn’t stand pat. They added infield depth (trading for second baseman Neil Walker and signing free agent short stop Asdrubal Cabrera) and bolstered the bullpen (re-signing lefty Jerry Blevins and adding free agent setup man Antonio Bastardo).
Those were important moves, but as General Manager Sandy Alderson later said, they lacked sizzle. That changed when Alderson and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon pulled the coup of the offseason by signing free agent slugger Yoenis Cespedes to a new deal in January.
Cespedes, more than any other player, transformed the Mets into a contender when the team traded for him in 2015. It didn’t appear Cespedes was part of the plans going forward, but a fortunate series of events led to Alderson and Wilpon being able to sign Cespedes on their terms.
The momentum of winning the National League and bringing back Cespedes makes the Mets the favorites to win the National League East in 2016. It also puts them right back in the mix as contenders for the National League title and the World Series.
The first steps toward that glory begins right here in Port St. Lucie where the players report to camp. For the best chance to get up close and personal with the players, fans can attend one of the open practices free of charge, where players are willing to talk with visitors and sign autographs in the more relaxed environment.
This spring, the Mets will play a full slate of games around the state, including 14 contests at Tradition Field. Several of those games are against contending teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Astros and Cardinals.
When their time in Port St. Lucie concludes, the games become real. The regular season starts off with a bang, as the Mets play at Kansas City on baseball’s opening night, Sunday, April 3. The game will be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN. The Royals are expected to unfurl their World Series banner and receive their championship rings while the Mets look on from their dugout. It’ll be the motivation the team needs for an exciting and successful 2016 season.