Yesterday on twitter someone pointed out to me that as a sports fan I tend to like individual players more than teams. I hadn't realized it (or really thought about it) but it's really true. I became a Mets fan because David Wright was my favorite baseball player. And when the Mets traded Xavier Nady I followed the Pirates, Yankees (ugh), Cubs, and Diamondbacks for periods of time. I like the Indians because of Grady Sizemore, Joe Smith, Lou Marson, and enough others to get me to follow the team as a whole. The Mets are really the one team I will always love, no matter who is on the team.
Now a lot of "Mets" fans are facing a reality that they may not have faced before. They are finding out if they really are Mets fans or if they are Jose Reyes fans. Rooting for the Mets means rooting for the team year-in and year-out no matter who is on the roster. The personnel will change each year and for fans of the team it means fresh faces to get to know and spend the season rooting for. Rooting for individual players will take the fan from team to team, experiencing different organizations whenever the player does. If the player is exceptionally good, there won't be many new teams to learn. But if they're a right-handed bench bat it could mean 4 teams in 5 seasons.
The Mets fans will come back next year and root for Jon Niese, Ike Davis, and whoever else is on the team. The Jose Reyes fans will root for the Mets if he's back and will root for him wherever he goes. And some fans will root for the Mets but follow his career wherever it takes him. Even if it means Miami or somewhere else within the division. It will be interesting to see how the fanbase separates when Spring Training rolls around.
I know where I'll be.
Let's go Mets!