The Mets won again last night, extending their lead over the Phillies to a season-high three-and-a-half games, with seventeen games remaining. Last year, of course, they had twice that lead with seventeen games left before, well, you remember. But the Mets would like you to know that they’re definitely not planning on choking this time. Nope, no way. And they’re also not too worried about jinxing themselves. See, they’ve already started their playoff ticket lottery, and though the team probably didn’t get a say in it, an image of Shea Stadium kicks off TBS’ postseason commercial. (Then again, the Yankees are also prominently featured, so the bar for “contention” might be set a little low there.) Then there’s the matter of José Reyes, who, in less symbolic terms, flat out told reporters, “This is our year” to win the division.
Fans, as you might expect, are a little more nervous. Last year, Matthew Cerrone’s MetsBlog posted a countdown to the team’s magic number when it reached twenty, and when they collapsed, he was accused of jinxing them. (Because, obviously, it was Matthew Cerrone’s fault that they lost twelve of seventeen and that Tom Glavine pitched the worst game of his career on the season’s last day.) But, in the spirit of doing whatever he can to help the team, he put the question to his readers in the form of a poll: When should he post the magic number this year? And with 4,647 votes in so far, 41 percent said only when it’s between 0 and 10, and 44 percent responded “Never, DO NOT Post It.” Yeah, this is going to be a torturous couple of weeks.