Today is different. Today, Steve Phillips is smarter than all of us.
On the morning of August 14, the Mets had an 85% chance of reaching the playoffs. At 65-52, they had a three game lead in the East. The Postseason Odds Report had them winning the division 70% of the time, and having the Wild Card to fall back on half the time they didn't. Nobody was picking the Mets to miss the playoffs- despite their flaws, all logic pointed towards the Mets playing in October.
Not one to be deterred by logic, Phillips predicted that the Mets would fall short of the playoffs. I can't find a link to him specifically saying that, but MetsSox wrote about it on August 16. In the days prior to that, he was all over ESPN telling anyone who would listen that the Mets weren't going to make it. His reasoning? (Beyond, you know, this...)
"Chris (NJ): Thoughts on moving John Maine to the bullpen if Pedro comes back healthy? That could be the right handed reliever the mets need.
Steve Phillips: Boy I would not dream of doing that if I were the Mets They are going to have to find a solution from within, but Maine is to critical to remove from the starting rotation. I have some concerns as to wehther Pedro can comeback and be a force, as shoulder injuries are very hard to comeback from. I think Pedro takes Brina Laurences spot in the rotation. I think what you see is what you get from the Mets right now and I have pretty significant concerns about their pitching over the next month and a half."
I'll ignore the typos (Brina Laurence?), because I'm a nice guy. From that point on, the Mets' team ERA was 5.13, as they suffered through the second worst collapse in baseball history, missing out on the postseason after having a seven game lead with 17 games to go (without even needing a Monday playoff, which is truly incredible).
So sorry about being so critical, Mr. Phillips. Apparently you had this all planned out the whole time.
Update: OMDQ points out that this situation could potentially come back to haunt us.
Bristol, 2014: “Steve, Prince Fielder will not win the Cy Young award this year. He’s not a pitcher.”“Oh, yeah, you’re probably right, I’ve never been good with these predictions. Remind me- who won the NL East in 2007?”
Related: What happened to the guys who managed some other teams that fell apart down the stretch?