Playoff layoff could be the one challenge when it comes to winning it all

Colorado Rockies v New York Mets
Colorado Rockies v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

We haven’t seen the New York Mets make it to the postseason since 2016. They’ll end the playoff layoff this year but history tells us their championship chances aren’t so good.

Teams tend to need to at least appear in the postseason once before winning it all. There’s a build up toward a World Series victory. The Atlanta Braves made several appearances before taking the 2021 World Series. The 2020 champion Los Angeles Dodgers saw plenty of playoff action in the years leading up to the win.

Can the Mets buck the trend and win a World Series in their first trip to the postseason after a somewhat lengthy absence?

Mets would do something unusual if they win the 2022 World Series

In my lifetime, most of the World Series winners were somewhat expected. No team has gone an especially long time without winning it except for one.

In 2005, the Chicago White Sox won a championship after not even appearing in the playoffs since 2000. It was actually a shorter time than what the Mets are going to experience in 2022 by a year. They’re actually not the most unexpected winner.

Three years earlier, it was the Los Angeles Angels possibly representing all of California, maybe just Anaheim, or all of the above when they won the 2002 World Series. Exactly 20 years ago from this current season, the Angels accomplished something amazing.

The Angels of the 1990s weren’t very good. Led by former Mets skipper Terry Collins from 1997 through mid-1999, they were a marginal ball club finishing in second place a couple of times but never able to make the postseason until 2002. When they accomplished this, they ended a lengthy playoff drought.

Previous to the 2002 World Series win, the Angels hadn’t been to the playoffs since 1986. A 4-3 series loss to the Boston Red Sox ended their chance to face the Mets in the World Series. After that year, a lengthy postseason drought began until they got back in 2002 and captured the ultimate baseball prize.

The time between when the Mets last made it to the postseason and this year isn’t as long as what the Angels fans had to experience. And just because history hints that it’s a rare thing to accomplish doesn’t mean we should make plans to see the Amazins get eliminated before winning four games in this year’s World Series.

Fans have huge expectations for this year’s club and rightfully so. At the same time, many will agree it’s not just about 2022. This is an organization with a mission to build an empire, not capture a single title.

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