So, I'm finally facing up to the truth. Starting tomorrow, the baseball playoffs start and I am thankful for the next few weeks I am going to be too busy at my three jobs to whine about how the Mets aren't in it.
As the title suggests, the MLB season was the "Year of The Choke" Yes, the Mets were the biggest story of the season in regards to choking, historically so, the third worst choke (In my estimation) in MLB history. But they weren't the only team. There were a minimum of 4 teams that had the opportunity to be in the playoffs, it was theirs for the taking, only to have it blown away.
The Milwaukee Brewers jumped out to an incredible lead in the early part of the season. They had an 8.5 game lead in late June but went on a tailspin soon after and fell behind a Cubs team that made an incredible comeback. The Brewers hung in there but faded in late September. It could have been worse, but I don't think the fans are going to be just happy to have a winning record for the first time in more than a decade. The Brewers were hoping to become this years version of the 2006 Tigers. They choked away the large lead but it was early enough not to be as painful as the Mets.
The Detroit Tigers looked strong enough to repeat as American League champions, they were holding their own in a tough division. It looked like that the American League wild card was going to come from the central, but a surge from the eventual champs, the Indians combined with the massive surge from the Yankees, kept the Tigers from a second consecutive playoff appearance. They were in control of the Wild card while battling for Central Division supremacy. Another team who choked took over, giving the Tigers fits until the Yankees took over and won the wild card. This choke wasn't too bad, but when you are close on two fronts that's no consolation.
The Seattle Mariners were no one's pick for a playoff appearance. I resented that, but they had some of their best pitchers leaving for free agency and the one they signed were mediocre at best. They have had three losing seasons in a row and only an optimist would hope for a better than .500 record. And that's just what they were doing. They finished April 10-10. It was a weird April at that, being snowed out completely early on and having to make up those games intermittently throughout the season. Then they went on a post All Star climb that had people noticing but dismissing. They were streaky throughout the year but all of a sudden they were three games in front of the Wild card race and only one game out of the American League west behind the Angels. They were winning with smoke and mirrors with timely hitting and great relief pitching. They were poised to play a three game series with the Angels at Safeco, A sweep would put them in first place. A sweep happened alright but it was the Angels doing it and the Mariners went on an 8 game losing streak that had them fall out of the wild card race by September in a free fall that would not be matched until the end of the month by the Mets.