This year, Fred Wilpon has defined his expectations. The Mets should go “deep into the playoffs.”
That’s fair enough, although I can already hear what you would expect to hear from some fans: that we should expect to win the World Series.
I want to say this again, even though I say it all the time and even though it is perfectly obvious: One should never expect to win the World Series.
Here’s a quiz. We all know that the Mets have won only two World Series. Since the Mets came into existence in 1962, how many National League teams have won more than three World Series?
The answer is none. The Dodgers, the Reds, and the Cardinals have each won three World Series since 1962. If we win it all this year, the Mets, for all of their sorry history, will be tied for first among National League teams in number of World Series won since 1962. It may not seem to you as if the Mets win anything very often. But they win things about as often as anybody has any actual right to expect.
Contrary to what you might think if you consider the history of the other team in town, winning the World Series is a two or three times in a lifetime event. Not just for most baseball fans. For all baseball fans other than Yankee fans.
Only a fool would expect it, even with the best team imaginable. Deep Into the Playoffs would be fine. I agree with Fred. Let’s not get into the mind-set of those other ones. It is already making them unhappy. They’ve made it to the playoffs every year so far, and yet they think they are having a bad century.
If baseball were about winning the World Series, it would not be worth following. Baseball is not about winning the World Series. It is about hoping. And you can’t possibly hope for what you expect.
P.S. In case you missed it, in last Sunday’s Newsday, Mark Herrmann quoted my observation, on this blog, that Karl Ehrhardt, the Sign Man, was the first Mets “blogger.”