The player who cried on the field when he thought he'd been traded has become the Mets' biggest cult hero

Two days before the MLB trade deadline, a bizarre scene unfolded at Citi Field when infielder Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets heard that he had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers during a game in which he was playing. Flores, who had been with the Mets organisation since he was 16, began to cry on the field during the game.

There was one small problem: While the Mets had agreed to a trade, the deal had not been finalised and eventually fell through, reportedly because the Mets balked at the medical condition of the player they were to receive, center fielder Carlos Gomez.

Five days later, Flores has become a folk hero to Mets fans and the face of a team that just swept the Washington Nationals to move into a tie for first place in the National League East.

The love for Flores actually began on the same night he thought he had been traded. Buster Olney of ESPN recounted on his “Baseball Tonight” podcast the story of how Flores found out about the erroneous trade report.

“When Flores was going up to bat in the middle of that game, a fan from the stands, loud enough so that everybody in the Mets’ dugout could hear it, yelled to Wilmer Flores, ‘HEY, GOOD LUCK IN MILWAUKEE, WE’RE GETTING GOMEZ, YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!’,” Olney explained. “And that’s when Wilmer Flores first heard about the possible trade.”

The feeling was that Flores “was a guy Mets fans were glad to get rid of,” as Olney put it.

However, after seeing Flores get emotional in the field an inning earlier, he received a standing ovation from many of the fans who stuck around to see his at bat late in the blowout loss to the San Diego Padres thinking this would be his last appearance with the team.

Instead, Flores remained with the Mets and two nights later, after the trade deadline had passed, that new-found love affair reached new heights.

It started on the second batter in the first inning of an important series against the Nationals when Flores made a nice diving stop while playing second base. The crowd gave him another standing ovation, one described by Mets announcers “as rousing an ovation from this crowd as a Met has received all season.”

But Flores wasn’t done. The game went into extra innings and Flores led off the bottom of the 12th inning with a walk-off home run as fans chanted his name.

Now, every time Flores comes to the plate, Mets fans give him a standing ovation, an amazing turn around for a player who was as good as gone just days earlier.

It certainly helps that the Mets just swept the Nationals and fans are in a good mood. But as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN explained on the podcast, it also says something about the mentality of the fans when they can see a player “cares that much and he doesn’t want to be traded and feels that much a part of the organisation.”

Not only is Flores still a part of the Mets organisation, he is now a hero to the fans.

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