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Unburdened by Expectations, Just Having Fun

Mike SteffanosTuesday, October 10, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Our old friend Wallace Matthews is back, beating on the "anything less than a title is a total failure" drum. I'm sure there are at least some of you out there buying into this. While I understand the thinking, I would wonder why any of us would chose to be the equivalent of Yankees fans after all these years. Take this step, and you run the risk of turning the remainder of your 2006 playoffs experience into a joyless exercise where winning is something only to be expected and losing is agony.

For Mets fans that have been around long enough to remember 1986, that should serve as a cautionary tale. After coming up short two years in a row, and then putting together such a dominating season, we all bought into that line of thinking. It turned out okay in the end, I guess, but I always had the feeling that I was more afraid of the Mets losing the NLCS and then the World Series than I was prepared to take joy in what they accomplished. To an extent, I cheated myself of some of the fun that I had waited so long for, simply by allowing myself to buy into that cheerless mantra. It took the Mets almost losing game 6 to get that crap out of my head, which made game 7 such a delight in contrast to what I had felt before.

Listen, I want to get by the Cardinals, who I will never forgive for the crime of simply being the Cardinals, and then win the World Series as bad as anyone. But I simply refuse to allow myself to get into any all or nothing thinking. I enjoyed watching all three games of the LDS because I wasn't expecting anything. I knew the Mets had a good chance of winning that series, but I never looked at it as something to be expected. I refuse to get into that frame of mind, so elegantly expressed by MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone:

...the thing is, wallace is right, i think, and it makes me sick to my stomach...this whole top position, being the favorites, head of the class of the national league thing has me very, very uncomfortable...i mean, i'm happy, but i'm also full of nervous anxiety...i want to be confident, but just can't let it happen...it's not in my nature...

What Matt is describing here in response to Matthews' Newsday column is exactly what I felt in 1986, and exactly what I refuse to feel this year. I hope Matt and any of the rest of you that feel that way can get past it. This LCS can be a lot of fun if we only let that happen. I'm not going to allow myself to expect anything; I'm just going to root like hell.

Newsday: They Still Don't Get It
Mark Herrmann lets us Mets fans know that the Yankees still own the town. I almost feel sorry for these guys and their ignorance.

NY Times: Those Whacky FOX Announcers
Richard Sandomir takes the pathetic FOX team of Thom Brennaman and Steve Lyons to task for making fun of a blind person and just generally sucking. I have to admit that the thought of Turner doing playoff games next year scares me some, until I ask myself if they could possibly do a worse job than FOX has done with it.

Mets Walkoffs: Mets - Cards
Mark offers his trademark minutiae on the Mets/Cardinals rivalry.

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets

Continuous Mets Coverage:
Hot Foot

Comments (13)

Screw Mathews. This guy has been writing negative Met articles, putting political spin on Delgado, just over-all gloom and doom since his Yankees fell apart. I don't even bother reading this moron anymore...

pyrexia - It's not about Mathews, because a lot of others are buying and selling this kind of thinking.

I have decided to ignore Matthews. I have written about him a couple of times. What he does is bash the Mets or a player one day, then the next story is all about how great they are.
It is tired. He should go back to the Post, he would fit in better there.
Do I want them to win the Series, of course. But given the state of the rotation, it will not be the end if they do not. Wally does not get that.
I see some of the ESPn people are now on the Met bandwagon. Too late guys. Go away. No room in the inn for you latecomers.

This is the way I chose to look at 06. I am looking forward to 07. This was just the second step for the Mets. This off season Omar puts his final touches on the team so everything that happens is just a bonus. Two years ago(B.O.) if you would have told me the Mets would have been back this quick I would have thought you crazy.They are truly building something special so I am just enjoying the ride.
P.S. Maybe Phillips was right about A-Rod after all

It's not just Matthews, Ed. It's the line of thinking that everyone tries to sell you when your team is the favorite.
Jim - Right for the wrong reasons.

I hear ya about not expecting too much and just enjoying watching our boys play. You're absolutely right. Bottom line is: anything can happen in baseball. Some nobody can step up to the plate, get a big hit and win the game.

What I most want to see is our young guys--the future of our ballclub--do some of the things they're capable of doing. Nobody expects Beltran to ever play like he did in the '04 NLCS, but I would like to see some more extra base hits from him and Wright. Jose was not swinging a hot bat against the Dodgers but I'm looking for him to pick things up a bit, get on base and wreak a little havoc on the bases. If those 3 guys start hitting, I think we'll see some exciting baseball. And that's really all we can ask for.

Oh, one more thing... Milledge, YES! Ledee, NO!!!

Mike S. - You're right, this is just today's example of it. Imagine what kind of Met's article Kruk, Mathews and Francesa could put together.

Just keep winning boys, best way to shut them up.

Strange days indeed...Yanks yanked it... and they play golf instead...I weep no tears !...still feel a powerful hurt for El Duque 'cause of the snakebite... shakin' my 'ead at Omar for his prowess at building the pen, trading Benson for Maine and ultimately Orlando...Perez as "throw in" ...youre kiddin me...jus' like dat? Williams pulled from a Magicians hat somewhere in the midwest...Mota's "poof he's here"...one moment hes not the next he's suddenly "ours"...Watchout Perez might have a big role yet...the Invincible depth in the bullpen looks like the bigwave we're gonna surf to the cup... predicting that Pedro will be the emotional touchstone..one look at him and a tap of his cleats will be enuff of a catalyst for a couple runs at any moment...prohesizing Endy Chavez shines bright.... Cant see us not getting thru...its destiny..."Ya Gotta Have Faith" (slogan is free to be picked up and made into a mantra and a media sensation)....Thank You

chris - Don't get me wrong, they have as much chance of winning as anyone left. We just don't the papers to try to make us into Yankee fans. I hear you on the young guys.
pyrexia - That's an "interesting" trifecta you came up with there.
n8genius - I read El Duque might be back if the Mets make the Series.

Check out NJ.COM,The Star Ledger, has a very good "joke is on Mets foes" by Bridget Wentworth. It's confirmation to what we have been talking about the team spirit in our Mets. I think its worth the read.

N.J.The Star Ledger, has a very good "joke is on Mets foes" by Bridget Wentworth. It's confirmation to what we have been talking about the team spirit in our Mets. I think its worth the read.

Stupid anonymous me and my fixing things,sorry.

I'll check it out. (Relax, no one gets style points deducted here.)

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