By Jason Keidel
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I admit, I thought the Cubs would be a bit much for the Mets.
I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong.
I thought the Mets were just a bit too young. Their holy trinity of young arms are pitching way past established maxims and prior maximums. After David Wright, they don’t have the requisite graybeards to temper the youthful glee and gaffes that so often hamstring a neophyte franchise.
Maybe the Mets are just young and dumb enough to forget how big these games are. Maybe they’re just atypically poised. Maybe it all accidentally coalesced this August, and they became the perfect cocktail of age and wage and wisdom. Maybe Terry Collins isn’t as comically inept as so many made him out to be.
Whatever is happening is undeniably special. And in the swirl of autumn leaves and long sleeves in the frosty, Flushing dark, it was the Cubs who shivered first.
Jake Arrieta, the pitching behemoth who had the best summer since ERA became an official stat, was forced down from the cosmos by Curtis Granderson and the most sizzling bat in the solar system.
That would be Daniel Murphy’s bat, of course.
Pick a moniker. Father Murphy. Murphy’s Law. Murphy is making a kind of magic we haven’t seen from the Mets since they were the big brothers of the Big Apple in the 1980s.
To quote Teddy KGB: Pay him. Pay that man his money.
Mike Francesa suggested the Mets give Murphy two years at $10 million. I don’t know if Mike meant $10 million per year or overall. But just splurge, for a change. Sometimes a man means more than his regular season stats.
If the Mets let Murphy walk after this biblical run, fans won’t be able to process it. Mets fans are sensible enough to realize the Wilpons won’t crack open the wallet wide enough to pay Yoenis Cespedes, the glittering, late-season rental who literally carried this team into October. He will ask for about six years at $25 million per annum.
But keep Murphy.
No doubt the twin performances of Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard were the primary reason the Mets are two wins from the World Series. (With Jacob deGrom, their postseason ace, starting Game 3.) But Murphy’s singular postseason can’t be overlooked. Sometimes a player builds a legacy during a brief but enchanted run at the most blessed time.
That’s for later, of course. For now, the Mets are making logic out of illogic, whipping pitching stalwarts who vanquished the Pirates and Cardinals, conquered Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and have performed the kind of bizarre, baseball alchemy that only happens in October.
People have fled my Facebook and Twitter pages, nauseated by a Yankee fan for actually enjoying this run. Bye. If you can’t at least have an aesthetic appreciation for this glittering autumn, then maybe there’s a reason the Yankees have fallen so hard from their historical orbit.
Few fan bases deserve this more than Mets fans. Perhaps the only fans and franchise that are more frostbitten and snakebitten are the ones the Mets just pushed to the brink of another October extinction. Call it the “Three Bs” of the Billy Goat, Black Cat, and Bartman. Chicago and their Cubs have endured a curse beyond our comprehension.
And the Mets are more than happy to add one more year.
Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel