So much has to go right for a major league team to play 162 games, win all of their playoff series and then four games in the World Series, against the other league's best team. Even more would have to go right for the Amazin' Mets.

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New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has tried to eliminate some of the negative variables involved in that quest, by blowing by every tier of the MLB payroll tax threshold. Still, money can't buy championships and this year will be no different for the New York Mets.

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#5 Buck May Always Be A Bridesmaid (or Usher)

Buck Showalter is a fan and media favorite but when breaking down the Mets chances of winning a World Series, he may be a liability. In 21 seasons as a major league manager, Showalter has led his team to the post-season 5 times. Last year Buck led the Mets to 101 wins. However, when it was time to lead the Mets to a National League East Championship, Showalter's team folded by losing 3 straight early October games in Atlanta, clinching the division for the Braves. Follow that performance with a wild card series flop against the San Diego Padres, well, Buck still has something to prove.

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#4 Designated Hitters That Don't Hit

Mets' general manager, Billy Eppler failed to improve the designated hitter position in the off-season. Darin Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach were given the opportunity to be the Mets one-two, lefty-righty punch as the DH in 2023. Ruf hit .167 this spring and has been designated for assignment. The Ruf trade was a waste of JD Davis and three prospects. Vogelbach hit .205 in the Grapefruit League this spring. Fun player but not a championship caliber DH. Eppler failed to bring in an impact bat last year at the trade deadline and tried to run the same show back this spring. If the Mets are waiting for Shohei Ohtani to fill that role, it will be no sooner than 2024. Eppler has given Mets fans no reason to believe he will fix this position. Eduardo Escobar will eventually be the DH.

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#3 An Aged Starting Rotation

Eppler didn't make his over-experienced starting rotation any younger this off-season. In fact, it aged. Eppler signed 30 year-old Kodai Senga from the Japanese Leagues to a 5-year/$75 million contract and 34-year-old José Quintana to a 2-year/$26 million deal. Senga has never thrown a pitch in the big leagues and Quintana will miss the first three months of the season after undergoing surgery to remove a lesion from his rib. That's a terrible start. Again, 36-year-old Carlos Carasco will be asked to anchor a spot in the rotation every 5 days. Carasco had a nice season last year, feasting on the lesser teams in the National League. The Mets are banking on a repeat performance. Tylor Megill and David Peterson are nice young pitchers but have a total of 23 major league wins between them. The front of the rotation will be great for as long as they stay on the mound. Max Scherzer turns 39 in July. Justin Verlander turned 40 this winter. History isn't kind to such "experienced" rotations.

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#2 The Trumpets Will Be Silent And That Will Be Trouble

Remember, a lot of things have to go right to win a World Series? Well, your closer getting injured during a post-game celebration during an international exhibition tournament, isn't one of those things. Edwin Diaz's injury during the World Baseball Classic was devastating to Diaz an an individual and to the New York Mets dreams of winning a World Series. Few New York closers, not named Mariano Rivera, have experienced the type of success Diaz had in 2022. That success earned him a record 5-year/$102 million contract. The Mets are hoping for a speedy recovery but the very end of this season is a long-shot at best. This was a biggest hit to the Mets championship dreams.

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#1 The Mets Didn't Get Better Than The Atlanta Braves In The Off-Season

The Braves have great, young starting pitching. Max Fried, Spencer Strider and Kyle Wright are all under 28 and each has dominated for Atlanta. This off-season, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos added power-hitting catcher Sean Murphy to their already potent line-up. Matt Olsen, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Eddie Rosario, Michael Harris II and Ronald Acuña Jr are better on paper than the Mets right now. Mets will win 97 games but they won't beat the Braves for the NL East and if they get by Atlanta in the playoffs, they won't beat San Diego for the National League Championship.

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