As the old saying goes, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man." That's an axiom that Terry Collins expects the Mets' opponents to believe next year, as the Amazins defend their National League pennant.
Referring to what he expects from opponents next year, Collins said Wednesday that he doesn't expect to "sneak up" on opponents in 2016. The general consensus before the 2015 season was that the Mets would either miss the postseason, or compete for the second Wild Card spot. In a division with the Washington Nationals and the hyped Miami Marlins, the Mets were expected to finish second or third in the National League East.
The Mets exceeded expectations, winning 90 games and riding a second-half surge to a comfortable division championship. Said Collins:
"I love to walk in that ballpark—you've got to walk out there with a bit of a swagger that, you know, we're legit, and this wasn't a fluke."
One look at the Mets' rotation—led by Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz—and it's easy to think that a deep postseason run based on strong starting pitching next year is not only within reach, it may even be expected. The Mets have some spots to upgrade this offseason, though, and the Nationals can reasonably be expected to improve on their disappointing 2015 season, so a 2016 postseason appearance is no sure thing for the Mets. Nevertheless, after their run to the World Series this year, few will underestimate the Mets' potential for next year.