Mets’ World Series drought far from MLB’s worst: Sherman



ATLANTA — Winning a World Series is hard. You know that, of course. It is why it is so precious.

Yet, it is easy to forget. Because you become so passionate about your team. You hold it to outsized expectations. You become so critical when your club is not the last one standing.

We feel it in New York, of course. But let’s consider the Dodgers. They are the West Coast Yankees and the organization that Steve Cohen, upon taking over the Mets a year ago, pronounced he wanted to emulate. They have won one title since 1988 and it is somewhat tainted that it came in a 60-game season.

The 2021 World Series participants began with one title each in their current locale: The Braves, who moved to Atlanta in 1966, won in the slightly shortened 1995 campaign. The Astros won a title in 2017 that was far more soiled than that of the Dodgers, since it is caked in their sign-stealing episode.

The Yankees have not won since 2009 — forever in Yankee years. But they were one of 14 teams to win it all in the first 21 seasons of the 2000s, and one of four clubs (with Boston, St. Louis and San Francisco) to win more than one.

The Mets, though, have not won since 1986. That leaves them ninth longest without a title (this does not include the Rays and Rockies, who have never won, but did not come into existence until 1998).

Pete Alonso
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Cohen said the goal was to deliver a title within three to five years. But in Year 1 of his reign, the Mets went playoff-less for the 18th time in 22 seasons in the 2000s. Cohen’s wallet makes the Mets threats to bulk up quickly (or be expensive duds). So are they closer or further way from a parade than the eight teams who have gone longer without a title than them:

1. Indians (1948)

They will be the Guardians next year. They will still have strong starting pitching led by Shane Bieber. Payroll restrictions will make it hard to add the two to three bats needed to seriously contend. They tried a mid-range bat last year by signing Eddie Rosario for $8 million, but he did not go off until he was traded to the Braves.

Also, Cleveland’s division is going to have to show it can hang with the big boys. The AL Central Royals won it all in 2015 then the Indians went up three-games-to-one in the 2016 World Series. But from that point forward, AL Central teams are 4-22 in the postseason without advancing a single round.

2. Rangers (1961)

Between being the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers, this organization has never won a title. The Rangers were within a strike away twice in World Series Game 6 in 2011. They are nowhere near that now, coming off a third last-place showing in four years. They are a lot of starting pitching away from relevance. There has been buzz about them bringing Trevor Story home to Dallas or perhaps uniting the Seager brothers (Corey and Kyle). They are ready to spend a bit right now.

3. Padres (1969)

They felt closer to their first title ever 12 months ago than today. They pushed the Dodgers in 2021 both in the NL West and playoffs, added more big players (especially starters) in the offseason and then endured an injury — and dissension-filled — 2021 as the majors’ most disappointing team. They replaced overmatched manager Jayce Tingler with one of the best, Bob Melvin (boy, would Melvin have looked good with the Mets). The talent is still there. Can they get starters such as Mike Clevinger, Yu Darvish, Dinelson Lamet and Blake Snell healthy for a full season?

Fernando Tatis Jr.

4. Brewers (1969)

Like San Diego, the Brewers have not won since beginning play in their expansion season (as the Seattle Pilots). They have made the playoffs four straight years (the Mets have never made it in more than two consecutively). It is one reason they wanted to talk to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations, David Stearns. He’s staying, which gives the Brewers proven brainpower. But Milwaukee probably can’t go the distance, considering its payroll, if the highest-paid player in franchise history does not reawaken. Christian Yelich finished first and second for NL MVP in 2018-19, signed a nine-year, $215 million extension and since then has hit .234 with a .752 OPS in 175 games.

5. Mariners (1977)

Seattle has never won a title and has gone the longest (since 2001) among teams in the four major sports leagues without making the playoffs. In 2021, the Mariners finished above .500 for the seventh time since 2003. In the first six, this was the win total the next year: 63, 61, 61, 76, 78 and 68. They are expected to be big spenders this offseason to break this trend.

6. Pirates (1979)

Pittsburgh has been concentrating on deepening the organizational depth by trading — among others — Adam Frazier, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon for prospects. Are the Pirates able to put a stake down by extending long term a Ke’Bryan Hayes or Brian Reynolds? They are nowhere near title contention.

Joey Krehbiel

7. Orioles (1983)

The Orioles have lost at least 108 games in the past three 162-game seasons. They play in a division in which the other four teams just won at least 91 games with no intention but to continue full throttle to win. In catcher Adley Rutschman, Baltimore has arguably the top prospect in the game and Grayson Rodriguez is in the conversation for best pitching prospect. They both should arrive next season. Baltimore needs a lot more than that.

8. Tigers (1984)

They surprisingly challenged .500 for much of the 2021 season as new manager A.J. Hinch helped raise their floor. But what is their ceiling? They may begin to see how high this winter, as the Tigers are expected to spend, perhaps to reunite Hinch with his former shortstop Carlos Correa. Two of the better prospects in the game, first baseman Spencer Torkelson and center fielder Riley Greene, are on the 2022 radar. Casey Mize leads a group of young starters with potential. The AL Central offers avenues to the top if the Tigers get this next step correct.


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