As of next month, for the first time in my life, I will be living outside of the city where I grew up. Not just a few minutes away, but across the country in Los Angeles. Aside from the difficulties of leaving friends and family behind, I will of course be leaving behind my beloved New York Mets. In the past four years I’ve lived just a half hour train ride from Citi Field. If I went to my roof at night and the Mets had a home game, I could see the faint stadium lights in the distance while listening to the game on the radio. Citi Field has always been one of the places that has felt like a second home to me, and leaving it behind is going to be like saying goodbye to one of my best friends.
LA. My new home on the west coast is a 10 minute drive from Dodger Stadium. A beautiful ballpark in it’s own right. Home to the team that I probably would have grown up loving if they hadn’t done exactly what I’m doing now, trading New York for sunnier skies and the hope of better things. My great Uncle Nick was a huge Dodgers fan back in the day, and once they left for California, he was one of many who jumped on board to love this new team they called the Mets. And so started one half of the line of Mets fans in my family.
I love baseball, I’ll still be able to watch Mets games on MLB.tv, and I have no doubt that living so close to Dodger Stadium I’ll attend plenty of games. Especially on those days where LA feels a little lonely. And yet, I’m oh so hesitant to say that I’ll be a Dodgers fan. It all goes back to the 2015 NLDS. Mets/Dodgers and of course the Chase Utley slide that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg.
As a die hard Mets fan, it’s difficult to not have this still leave a bad taste in your mouth. Though the truth is this dislike is more for Utley than the team as a whole. It’s hard to say whether or not these teams have a real “rivalry” going since they only met the one time in that very intense post season series.
There are things I enjoy about the Dodgers though, one of them being Justin Turner. Forever the Met that got away. I adored him and at the time felt as though I was the only one who saw his potential to be a great player. But of course those were the days when David Wright could still stand and we thought we wouldn’t need Turner. He’s fun to watch and a class act both on and off the field.
I suppose if I look at what I like about the team, and hope that I don’t have to see Chase Utley’s face after this season. There could be potential there to say that the Dodgers could grow into my second favorite team. A home away from home. Something I would probably say about any other team, in any other city (EXCEPT THE NATS) until the Mets come to town. Then, I’ll be decked out in orange and blue, screaming for New York.
The Dodgers left New York in 1957, and 60 years later, I’m doing the same.