Sometimes making predictions makes you look like a God.
We will win tonight. - Mark Messier, May 25, 1994
And sometimes it makes you look like a damn fool.
We are the team to beat. - Carlos Beltran, February 16, 2008
It's the latter quote and subsequent performance that keeps kicking around in my head on this afternoon, the afternoon that David Wright said what was on his mind. What did he say?
We're expecting to go out there and win the National League East and go deep in the playoffs and win the World Series
To Jimmy Rollins: We are the team to beat. Without Santana, we felt, as a team, that we had a chance to win in our division. With him now, I have no doubt that we're going to win in our division. I have no doubt in that. We've got what it takes.
He said this on one of the first days of spring training in 2008. In other words, when everybody was still thinking about the epic failof 2007. Do you remember Carlos Beltran EVER saying ANYTHING remotely boastful before that moment? Nope. Because that isn't the kind of guy he is. The guy, the team, was still in shock over what had happened five months ago. Even then it seemed obvious to me that Beltran didn't really believe what he was saying. He certainly WANTED to. But his mind was stuck in 2007.
I've dared to dream about how a championship Mets season would go, and in those dreams the Mets would come out of spring training with an unspoken swagger to them. It wouldn't need to be said that they had the talent and the make-up to win it all; you would sense it. And after actions spoke louder than words and the Mets win the World Series, a post-game champagne soaked interview would take place. Ken Rosenthal would climb on top of his highchair and ask Jerry Manuel if he ever expected something like this, and Jerry would say something like, "You know, we had a feeling going into the season that we had something special. Nobody believed in us, but we kept our heads down and focused and we kept being gangstas and we kept pounding and pounding until we broke through."
Did John Wayne announce eight months beforehand that he was going to kick your ass? Nope. Why? He didn't have to. It was over before it started. John Wayne knew two things: Rip-off the persona of Ted Williams and have self-reverence.
Well now I'm babbling on and on about the virtues of keeping your mouth shut so I'll wrap it up.
David, I love you, but we're kind of a big enough punchline as it is. No need to provide a big set-up.
(I've got to say this is the greatest blog entry ever written. I guarantee this will be linked on Metsblog.com.)