I’m a Mets fan. And I’m proud of it, but I’ve been this way for life. I am the son and grandson of Mets fans, the brother of a Mets fan, and the father of a new generation of Mets fans. Being a Mets fan runs in our orange-and-blue blood.
And yet in my 49 years on this planet I have seen my beloved team win the National League pennant but three times, and the World Series championship only once.
There have been some great teams and plenty of fantastic, crowd-pleasing and fan-favorite players. And there have been some hard times and more hard-to-watch games (and seasons) than I care to count.
Still, every year I find myself getting excited for yet another campaign, looking forward to chilly spring days and warm summer nights in Flushing. And of course that excitement is always tempered by a good dose of nervousness, worries about all the what-ifs that can happen and the bad luck streaks that somehow seem to plague some ballclubs more than others.
Last year the Mets fielded a outstanding team that won 101 games in the regular season, only to be bounced 2-games-to-1 by the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card playoff round. A strong offseason of significant free agent signings and retaining much of our best talent seemed to signal a commitment to success from a new owner with very deep pockets. It was hard not to feel that there was a change in the winds of fortune coming our way. This was our year!
And then it happened. All-Star Closer Edwin Diaz -- fresh off of signing a 5-year, $102 million contract last fall -- suffered a season-ending knee injury on March 15 while celebrating a huge victory for his native Puerto Rico in a World Baseball Classic game against the Dominican Republic. And every Mets fan out there held our collective breath as it seemed some of our worst fears were materializing in front of us.
But before we get too hysterical let’s take a step back and do a reality check. The Mets are still a very good and deep team, and they can still have a great year. And Diaz will be expected to miss all of 2023 but hopefully he should be back on the mound and healthy again for 2024. So we have to put this all in perspective and realize that as painful as this is as a fan, it is far from catastrophic or tragic. Nothing compared to what many people and families suffer when misfortune strikes.
Injuries can happen anywhere, any time. So can illnesses. And worse. The financial impact of the long term (or permanent!) loss of an income earner can have a devastating effect on a family’s balance sheet. Assets and investments have to be liquidated, savings are depleted, and eventually debt grows. Some families never recover from that and their long-term financial plans and goals are forever derailed.
Financially, Edwin Diaz and the New York Mets are lucky. Diaz will benefit from complete income protection and will receive the full $17.25 million dollars he is expected to make this year, while the Mets will not be responsible for paying any of it thanks to MLB disability insurance provisions that cover players who participate in the World Baseball Classic.
We all go through life accepting that there are just so many risks out there that are beyond our ability to predict or control. The purpose of any insurance is to transfer the financial impact of those risks to a company, who pools those risks with the risks of large numbers of other people in order to indemnify and make financially whole those unlucky few who suffer the worst of fate.
We may not be multimillionaire superstar athletes, but we can still protect what we have and the lifetime economic value of our unrealized future wealth. Do you have enough long-term disability income insurance to cover your full after-tax earnings? Do you have enough life insurance to cover your full human life value? Do you have enough liability insurance to cover all of your assets from the threat of lawsuits or penalties?
If the answer to any of those questions is “no” or “I don’t know,” then it’s time for us to talk. Most insurances get more expensive (and harder to qualify for) the longer you wait. And the odds of something bad happening can increase over time too.
With baseball there is always another year, and the New York Mets and Edwin Diaz will all be fine in the long run. But will you be, if you don’t protect your tomorrows today? Make sure you do – and do it right. There is a still a full season to play, and your team is counting on you too.
The Time To Plan Is Now!