(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
The Mets have returned home. They are sitting back and waiting to see who they will be play in the World Series.
Will it be Kansas City or Toronto?
Well, let’s ask Mets resident American League expert Kelly Johnson.
“No preference,” Johnson said. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I have seen a lot of the Blue Jays. I played there and know a lot of those guys. I can see what that offense can do. They are a tough team to pitch to. Kansas City has a lot of confidence. They think they are going to win. They have done it two years in a row. That lineup has a lot of power. They also don’ give in. They fight off a lot of pitches.
“Neither one is easy. I personally don’t see a preference. We will be ready to play either one.”
Game 6 of the ALCS is tonight with Kansas City needing one win to go meet the Mets on Tuesday. They clearly have the advantage since both games are played at home and they have a margin for error.
The Mets, though, still have the advantage in the starting staff, since their Big 4 match up very well against either team.
And Johnson, who played in Toronto in 2011 and 2012 and seen Kansas City in the playoffs last year with Baltimore, knows that both teams have a distinct home field advantage.
“Toronto is awfully similar to here. New York is completely unique and special and is easily No. 1,” he said. “Toronto does have being the only team in Canada. They fly that flag. The place is huge and there’s a lot of seats and they will fill every one of them. There were a few games where I was there as a Blue Jay. They filled the place and it was pretty fun.
“Kansas City they swept us last year when I played for Baltimore in the ALDS. Those fans in the Midwest are really good baseball fans. They know how the game is supposed to be played. It’s another giant venue. It’s not as intimidating because it’s more open.”
City Field might have been loud, but so are the Rogers Center and Kauffmann Stadium.
“Both places have some great fans that are loud and you can’t ask for better places to make a run for this like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and now either Kansas City or Toronto,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. It shows why our League Championship Series was highest rated. It didn’t surprise me at all.
Game 6 is tonight and if the Blue Jays win, Game 7 will be tomorrow. The Mets will wait and watch like any other fan and then it’s back to work for the World Series on Tuesday.
“This is why we play, dreaming about this moment, and that’s why it’s so special,” Johnson said.
Spoken like a champion.