There was a collective, "I'm not worried about them...just want to get there!"
Well, no one did.
As a general rule, teams beat individuals. So whether it's Daniel Murphy or Jacob deGrom, when you're facing a TEAM which possesses that never say die attitude, it's hard to beat.
I believed the Mets would make the World Series, and I also believed they wouldn't win. Now here we are.
Today I'm hearing a lot of, "This Mets team has the basis to be great, and next year just might be their year." I wouldn't count on it.
Baseball is the trickiest to predict, and there are a lot of question marks facing this Mets team. For example, does the first baseman still field like he's in High School? Is management signing Yoenis Cespedes, the man most responsible for getting them to the playoffs? If not, who is filling that role, and can that player repeat the enormous feat? Will homophobe Daniel Murphy be on the team? And if not, which Mets player is single-handedly carrying the club through 2 rounds of the playoffs? Where does the power come from in this lineup against an AL team?
I know, I know, it was the pitching. But it wasn't. It was Murphy, who in the Cubs series helped give their pitchers a lead after every first inning, and in the Dodgers series destroyed their will. It was a freakish situation for a player who has never in his career (nor will he again) shown that type of ability. Certainly, he won't be on the Mets next season for he is an average player who is also extremely disliked. I heard an ESPN reporter on the radio the other day call Murphy, "the most disingenuous player I've ever met in my 15 years covering the sport." That's nice.
Putting all of this side, the assumption the NL East will be the worst division in baseball again is just that, an assumption. The road to the playoffs could not have been easier for the Mets, which is part of the reason I saw them making it this far. It's unlikely they'll have the easiest schedule in baseball post-All Star Game like they did this year.
Pitching is impossible to predict. Just as no one saw Jake Arrieta performing miracles for the Cubs, no one has any clue how the Mets staff will look next year.
So yeah, put me in the camp that says, "This was their shot."
As a Cubs fan it's hard for me to say "this was their shot" because very few people predicted them to do anything. Yet they did have an opportunity, and no different from the Mets, you just never know when another one is coming around.
Where do the Cubs get their pitching from? Is it not crazy to expect a repeat from Arrieta? Jon Lester is trending toward #3 status, and the best free agent pitcher available is David Price, a man who has never won a playoff game in 9 tries and holds a 0-6 record taboot. Is he the answer?
Because the team is so young, and the turnaround seemingly so quick, my guess is they will be back in the mix the next 3-4 years. But I'm not going to get too excited until I see better pitching across the board, starters to closer.
My guess is they take the field with the team they have and attempt to trade for pitchers going into Free Agency in 2017. R.A. Dickey won't be one of them.
The NFC East is such a clusterfuck I'm trying not to concern myself with it. But I have to for a number of reasons.
One of which is not because I've mostly drafted fantasy players in the NFC East and South, hence my current dominance (and Todd Gurley, because of my wife, of course).
First thing, it's amazing the Giants are in first place when they have one of the 5 worst defenses in football. No, seriously, they do. And I'm including TCU and Baylor.
Slowest LBs I've ever seen, a defensive line with only one great player that has 10 fingers, and a secondary that's awful when Prince Amukamara isn't playing, and he's not even that good. Yet somehow they're in first place.
Next is the Redskins. Their quarterback is Kirk Cousins. Should I repeat that?
Cousins is the second least heralded quarterback coming out of college in the entire league, just barely ahead of his Spartan alum Brian Hoyer. And yet somehow the Redskins are a game out of first place. In most other seasons this team maybe doesn't have a single win. Today they're a 1/2 game out of first. I'm sure they'll trade all their picks for Trevone Boykin.
And then there's the Eagles, the most hated team in the NFL...by their own fans. Actually, the team isn't hated at all. Just the coach, the quarterback, the starting running back, and the wide receivers. Okay, let me rephrase that: the most hated offense in the league by their own fans, and being led by "an offensive genius."
It's not a good situation.
The crux of the Eagles problems are simple: their coach should not be a GM. Nothing more; nothing less. The team has some talent, but clearly the coach doesn't know who should be on the team. He should just coach the team.
As for the Eagles defense, it's one of the best in the league. However, the offense is such a mess they spend about 59 minutes on the field every game, and will eventually get worn down. It's a problem.
Then there's the most talented team in the division if not for the loss of their Quarterback and star Wide Receiver, the Dallas Cowboys. Thank goodness the Cowboys lost yesterday because at 3-5 this team would still be in a great place to win the division. Considering their unpredictable nature, it's way too much to ask them to go 6-3 the rest of the way in order to achieve an 8-8 record, which may win the division. Just don't see it happening.
More likely scenario, the Cowboys don't make the playoffs and all the knuckleheads they sign stir the pot up enough to make this franchise a dumpster fire worth staring at. Couldn't happen to a better owner.
In the end, the Eagles will win the division at 9-7, losing to the Patriots, Cardinals and Giants, but squeaking into the playoffs. And still, fans will want Chip Kelly fired as he attempts to trade Fletcher Cox next season for LaMichael James.
Speaking of Kelly, did anyone see Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer on...wait for it...WAAAAIT FOR IT...THIS SHOW?
Let me just say if you're a fan of inspirational speakers and like football, it's worth watching. Although it is odd Meyer holds his iPhone the entire interview. And it's equally as odd how bad Rose is at interviewing people in subjects he's not comfortable with.
Throughout the interview Meyer brought up a number of great coaches and players from Belichick to Brady to Tebow to...CHIP KELLY. More than once he referenced Kelly's insight and ability to "understand people." I found it surprising considering the situation in Philly and his inability to win any massive games in college. But I also found it hard to dismiss what Meyer had to say. It was Meyer's praise of Kelly which leads me to believe this guy should not be a GM, and should focus solely on coaching. For there's just no way a guy like Meyer would have such admiration for a guy who isn't capable of doing a good job.
Finally, I always get amped up for the start of the NBA season, but then Denver @ Lakers is on and I'm like, "There has to be a Sex and the City marathon on somewhere!"
Thank goodness for On-Demand.
I do look forward to the Kobe/Lakers meltdown which will certainly ensue. There are some amazing stats about Kobe coming out right now, like how he "misses more shots than 99% of the NBA takes" and "he has more missed shots than he has made passes this season."
This is sure to end well in LA.
As it stands now I'm loosely getting into the NBA, eagerly anticipating the NHL season which begins in late March...
First CFP Playoff rankings: 1) Clemson 2) Ohio State 3) LSU 4) Baylor
Final rankings? 1) Ohio State 2) Clemson 3) Stanford 4) Alabama
Sorry Big 12, but I see all of you guys beating each other, and then Oklahoma losing to OK St for no good reason.