During the New York Mets' 2007-08 offseason, the club was down in the dumps, to say the least. Their historic collapse had left them as the laughing stock of baseball, after looking like a straight shot to the playoffs for much of the season.
The Phillies' Jimmy "Nostradamus" Rollins had set the tone for the 2007 season with his famous "Team to Beat" statement, and his team had followed through with Rollins' prediction. The Mets knew that if they were going to take back control of the division in 2008 they would need to be the ones setting the tone this time.
After the huge acquisition of Johan Santana, the Mets outlook for 2008 seemed very bright. Carlos Beltran, hoping to start a classic revenge story, offered his "own" prophetic statement:
"With [Santana], now, I have no doubt that we're going to win in our division. So this year, to Jimmy Rollins, we are the team to beat."
Jimmy Rollins, hoping to again be the tone-setter in 2008, offered his own, new prediction:
"We'll win probably 100 games...100 games will get us to the playoffs."
In the end, Beltran's prediction was just plain wrong. His team again collapsed, even with the addition of the incredible Santana. Rollins' prediction wasn't exactly on the money, but his team did win over 100 games—including the postseason. However, one thing was certain—the Mets had again failed to hang onto a healthy lead in the division.
At the Winter Meetings, the Mets again struck gold. This time, they added two spectacular closers, Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz. Today, Rodriguez, only days after his signing, offered a chilling new prediction.
"Of course, we’re going to try to win the division. Of course, we’re going to be the frontrunner. Of course, we’re going to be the team to beat."
Such an unprecedented, prophetic, and unique prediction will certainly send a chill down the spine of Phillies fans over the months leading up to the 2009 season. The Mets have made a huge upgrade, and one of their top players has promised change. These developments are sure to turn the tide in the Mets' favor. The Phillies don't stand a chance in 2008—oh, wait, sorry, I meant 2009.