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.
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.