‘From the Pressbox’
By Ernie Palladino
» More Ernie Palladino Columns

It’s a good thing that end of the world thing never happened last year. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been around to see Johan Santana throw the first no-hitter in Mets history.

Now that it’s safely in the books, one big ape descended from the Mets’ shoulders like King Kong falling off the Empire State Building, one might well regard it as a trigger to a cataclysmic chain of events around the sports world. Hey, if one good thing can happen, why can’t a whole string of them?

Santana opened a whole range of possibilities, not just for his team but for everyone else around.

Start with no-hitters. These things do come in bunches, after all. Former Mets farmhand Phil Humber went perfect for the White Sox on April 21 and, voila — Johan Santana. Bet you a nickel the Mets get their second no-no before the end of this season, and it won’t be Santana who throws it. It’ll come from one of the back-of-the-rotation guys, like Jeremy Hefner.

Terry Collins won’t go up to him at utter, “You’re my hero.” Instead, it’ll be something like, “Huh?” He’ll check his watch, pinch himself, and ask the trainer what day it is.

The Rangers will finish out the NHL playoffs and bring home the cup. What? The Devils are in the finals? Down 0-2? Oh. OK. Make it the Kings. If a huge group of apocalyptic believers can screw up the end of the world, we’re entitled to one mistake, right?

Barack Obama will pull out of his bid for a second term by the end of the summer to take a shot at the NBA. A broken ankle suffered while trying to slam dunk on the White House basketball court will short-circuit his dream.

Major League umpires will become more tolerant with players questioning balls and strikes. And high school umps will finally learn that the middle of the plate between the knees and letters is, indeed, part of the strike zone.

Joe Girardi’s Yankees will hit with men in scoring position.

Tim Tebow and LoLo Jones, two world-class virgin athletes, will bring an end to their chaste existence and produce a love child that can run like the wind but can’t throw a lick.

Osi Umenyiora will play out his restructured contract, fall one sack short of Michael Strahan’s single-season record, and re-sign with the Giants before free agency only because the rest of the league’s decision-makers put out the word that they didn’t want to add another offseason melodrama to their already busy slates.

Bountygate will prove utterly unfounded, but the league will continue Saints coach Sean Payton’s year-long suspension to avoid paying off when he breaks his leg on the sideline again. Payton responds by sending Jonathan Vilma to Roger Goodell’s Park Avenue offices to administer the commissioner a beat-down. Payton then denies he knew anything about it.

And one game before the end of the season, the Lords of Baseball order a correction on third base umpire Adrian Johnson’s blown call Friday on Carlos Beltran’s sixth-inning bouncer that actually hit the chalk. The reversal removes Johan Santana’s no-hitter from the Mets’ record book, leaving the franchise still with no no-nos.

Worse yet, it negates everything we’ve said above.

We now return to the next prediction.

Can you believe it, Mets fans? Sound off in the comments below…


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