Read: John Harper on Mets Fans and Vibe in Citi Field

In a column for the Daily News, John Harper points out that the Mets have one less win compared to this date last season, “yet, fans actually seem to like this team, as opposed to the clubs of the past couple of years, and it’s not hard to see why.”

Harper and I talked yesterday at Citi Field, and he quoted me in his report saying:

“Fans enjoy rooting for these guys… I haven’t really seen that since ’06.  The players on this team play hard, they hustle, and those are things Mets fans connect with, so I think this team connects better with the fans than the teams of the last couple of years… If there was a Q rating, a likability factor for a ballclub, you would find these guys rate significantly higher.  There’s a new feel to this team.”

also, i kept stressing to harper the idea of new and change and how the young players on the team provide a sense of hope, which is so necessary given how burned most of us feel from the last three seasons… plus, when a guy like Ike Davis hits a walk-off home run and says, ‘Oh, God, that was awesome,’ i dig it, because that’s exactly how i would react… whereas a seasoned veteran might give a generic quote about playing one game at a time, blah blah blah… instead, ike is on cloud nine, just like i was watching the game

Harper also talked to WFAN’s Joe Benigno, as well as Jeff Francoeur, who also also see a difference, saying of fans in the ballpark, “Compared to last year, there’s a world of difference.”