New York Mets Team Guide: 2016 Season

Jonathan Zeller

New York Mets
Home field: Citi Field, Queens (tickets)

Who they are: New York City's National League team, historically plucky underdogs, favorites of comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock.

What's going on: A couple of key July acquisitions unexpectedly transformed last year's Mets into contenders. Thus began a wild, exhilarating late-season ride that ended with a trip to the World Series; these days, New York's National League team is not about to take anyone by surprise. It's the 30th anniversary of 1986, the last time the Mets swaggered their way to a title, and the 2016 roster may have more personality than any since that year. If you squint on Sundays when they wear vintage racing stripes, you might think you're looking at Keith Hernandez and company. Yoenis Cespedes, the $75 million man, seems to have bought every car in the world and galloped into the Spring Training parking lot on a horse. Fellow cowboy Noah Syndergaard is throwing heat on Twitter. Matt Harvey is soaking up all the fun the big City has to offer a single, 20-something millionaire. Bartolo Colon is laughing his way around the basepaths. Even folk hero Wilmer Flores—who cried on the field when he thought he wouldn't be a Met anymore—is back. And these guys aren't just entertaining personalities: they're really good at baseball, returning one of the game's best pitching staffs and a lineup that led the National League in runs the last two months of 2015. Will they make it back to the World Series and avenge last year's loss? No one knows. Guys slump. Pitchers get injured. But there doesn't seem to be a conceivable way this season could be boring.

Why you should go: The second half of last season awakened the Mets' sleeping-giant fan base, and Citi Field became a boisterous party. If they keep winning, the good vibes will only get stronger.

How to get there: Take the 7 train or Long Island Rail Road to Mets–Willets Point. Walk toward the gigantic baseball stadium right outside the station.

What to eat: Shake Shack is the most popular option and is perpetually crowded. Other good NYC-based stands include Two Boots Pizza and El Verano Taqueria.

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