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Bad blood still clearly exists between Travis d’Arnaud and the New York Mets.
“Which team makes you the most angry whenever you play against them?” a young fan asked d’Arnaud at a recent event.
D’Arnaud scanned the room and smirked.
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Travis d’Arnaud of the Atlanta Braves in the dugout before Game 4 of a Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park Oct. 12, 2023 in Philadelphia. (Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
Then, he turned to the young fan and answered.
“New York Mets,” he said sternly.
D’Arnaud is a World Series champion and 2022 All-Star with the Braves, and the 34-year-old knows some of his best baseball has come in Atlanta. But he spent his first seven seasons in the majors with the Mets before the relationship turned sour.
In 2019, the Mets tendered a contract to d’Arnaud after his Tommy John surgery rehab the season before.
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But just 10 games into the season, the Mets cut him after he had a 2-for-23 slump at the plate. There were also rumors the team didn’t like d’Arnaud’s work behind the plate.
It’s worth noting the former first-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies was acquired by the Mets in a trade that involved R.A. Dickey heading to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mets expected more from d’Arnaud than his .242/.303/.401 line over his 407 games. He also struggled to stay healthy over his seven seasons with the club.
Travis d’Arnaud of the Atlanta Braves runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning in Game 2 of a Division Series at Truist Park Oct. 9, 2023, in Atlanta. (Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
D’Arnaud also commented on a post of the clip on SportsNet New York’s Instagram page (SNY is the broadcast home of the Mets), saying he is “mad at myself for not playing well … and mad at myself for not finishing 2015 with a WS title.”
D’Arnaud ended up playing a single game with the Los Angeles Dodgers before landing in Tampa Bay with the Rays. D’Arnaud played 92 games there with a .263/.323/.459 slash line with 16 homers and 67 RBIs over 92 games.
Then Atlanta picked him up before the shortened 2020 season, and he’s been there since. The Braves and Mets are NL East rivals.
But d’Arnaud clearly has another motivation to remind his former team what it’s missing every time they play each other. D’Arnaud had a down year in 2023 after his 2022 All-Star campaign. He had a .225 average with a .288 on-base percentage in 74 games.
However, he has done well against the Mets, hitting .326 with a .398 on-base percentage in 103 plate appearances over 26 career games.
Travis d’Arnaud of the Atlanta Braves before Game 4 of a Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park Oct. 12, 2023, in Philadelphia. (Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
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D’Arnaud is expected to split catching duties with Sean Murphy in 2024.