Eighty-two wins seemed about right, and then they would be out golfing come the first week of October.
All of that changed around the trading deadline late in the summer when general manager Sandy Alderson finally started earning some of that substantial contract money the Mets gave him five years ago (and the Wilpons started to spend) and put the pieces together in a team built for serious October baseball.
While I am a bit surprised the Mets have a chance to end the NLCS series tonight in a sweep, defying the Back To The Future prediction of a Cubs' World Series championship this year, I had little doubt the Amazins would take this series (I had the Mets in six). Their trades improved every part of the team, particularly the offense, which has turned a relatively pedestrian .280 hitter in Daniel Murphy into the second coming of The Babe himself with the protection he now has in the lineup.
Still, to listen to talk radio this morning, the Met callers--one after another--are nervous, petrified they will collapse like they did nearly a decade ago in back-to-back Septembers. Those fans have to stop those thoughts and enjoy this ride because nothing is guaranteed after this season with owners like the Wilpons who incredulously are leaking stories how Murphy and Cespedes will likely not be re-signed.
But the impending free agent market is for another day. For now, just revel in what has become a magical season.