It Could Be Worse

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Ever since the Mets’ 2006 postseason run came to a heartbreaking end, things have been far from ideal for Mets fans in October. There’s no need to rehash everything that went wrong for the Mets in their five failed attempts to make the playoffs since 2006. We’re all plenty familiar with them already.

Aside from the fact that it didn’t involve the Mets, the 2007 World Series was perfectly acceptable. Sure, it might have been nice to see the underdog Rockies defeat the Red Sox, especially since Boston had won only three years earlier, but it certainly wasn’t a nightmare scenario for Mets fans. It was definitely a much better way to end the baseball season than what happened the following two years.

In 2008, the Rays made it to the World Series to take on the hated Phillies but managed to win only one game, and somehow it got even worse in 2009. With the Yankees and Phillies playing each other to end the season, the odds of a good outcome for Mets fans were precisely zero.

Last year, the Phillies were supposedly destined for the World Series, but they failed to make it, and watching the Giants and Rangers play each other was, for the most part, a perfectly acceptable way to end the year.

While all of that was going on, the Braves were quietly improving. The Yankees and Phillies were still pretty damn good, too, and both had postseason hopes when the 2011 season began. As recently as the middle of September, it appeared that three of the eight postseason teams would be the ones we dislike the most.

Somehow, none of them got anywhere near the World Series. With the Braves missing the playoffs after holding a ten-and-a-half game lead over the Cardinals and the Phillies and Yankees both losing in the first round, the teams that have tormented Mets fans for most of the past fifteen years were all gone.

After that, anything else that happened this October was icing on the cake. I would have preferred a Rangers and Brewers World Series, but any combination of the last four teams playing baseball was fine by me.

It really sucks that the Cardinals beat the Mets five years ago, and we’ll probably have to see Endy Chavez’s catch and Yadier Molina’s ensuing home run at least a few times over these last few games of the season. Tony La Russa is pretty annoying, too, but all that really matters to me at this point is that the Cardinals are neither the Braves nor the Phillies. If they win the World Series, good for Albert Pujols, and good for them for putting together quite a run of good baseball.

I’ll still be rooting for the Rangers to win their first World Series. It would be great to see the team that Cliff Lee left win a championship while Cliff Lee, whose team has always been on the losing side in the postseason, is watching at home. Watching Mike Napoli win after he was finally freed from the shackles of Mike Scioscia and the Angels only to wind up playing for their division rival would be pretty great, too. And Endy Chavez is on the Rangers’ roster. The guy who temporarily saved the Mets’ 2006 season has another shot.

But if the Rangers don’t win it all, well, it could be worse.

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