CHICAGO -- It was Oct. 20, 2014, and Kevin Burkhardt had left SNY after eight seasons as its Mets reporter for a full-time job with Fox.
Just for fun, he looked a year into the future in a Twitter post, imagining the Mets hosting games in the 2015 World Series and "having @The7Line army flood our @MLBONFOX set would be pretty cool."
Tuesday, with that reality two wins away, Mets fans @The7Line re-posted the tweet.
"Never in a million years when I sent that did I actually think that it would come true," Burkhardt said Tuesday as he drove to a Los Angeles studio to host Fox's baseball coverage. "If that happens, it would be a really cool moment."
For now, Burkhardt is busy with the ALCS, which was set for Game 4 Tuesday before the Mets and Cubs meet in Game 3 of the NLCS.
But for a guy who grew up in New Jersey in a family of Mets fans and spent so many years around the team, naturally he has peeked into a potential near future in which he is on-site at Citi Field for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series.
"First of all, I'm really happy for the guys," he said. "There are a lot of players there I really like, like David [Wright], who were great for me when I was there, and I root for them. Personally, I miss the people and I miss the fans, and obviously sometimes I miss the games. But I don't miss doing the job."
Like everyone who covers baseball regularly, Burkhardt had to juggle the grind of the long season with his personal life. He also was looking for something new.
"I did it for eight years and it was wonderful and I loved every second of it and it was great for my career," he said, "but I was kind of burnt. It's hard to be away from your family all the time. That's just a reality. I miss a lot of things about it, but I'm really, truly OK with the fact I haven't been there for this."
Still . . .
"That being said, if I told you I didn't think about going back there [for the World Series], I would be completely lying," he said. "It would be fantastic."
Burkhardt said he was moved by the way Mets fans treated him, most memorably at his final game at Citi Field. "The last day I was there it was a day I'll never forget," he said. "People were out there with signs and taking pictures. It was so humbling and crazy."
Many fans jokingly attributed the Mets winning the NL East to the end of the "Burkhardt Curse," since the team now has won the division twice in SNY's 10 seasons - in the only two seasons Burkhardt was not the reporter.
"I have fun with it, I laugh at it," he said. "I look at it this way: If the 'Burkhardt Curse' is lifted, maybe it will be a good thing for me. Free beers in Flushing for the rest of my life."
Burkhardt, who also is Fox's No. 2 NFL play-by-play man, now lives near Los Angeles but he followed the Mets during the season and thought they "looked like they were dead" before the trading deadline.
"Then they swing all these great trades and they're transformed into a different team," he said. "Who knew Daniel Murphy would turn into Mike Piazza? I think they've got an outstanding chance to win the whole thing."
If that happens, "it would be awesome, especially from a whole family of Mets fans. The icing on the cake, I think."
And if the Cubs come back to win the NLCS, that's not a bad consolation prize for a TV guy.
"I either get to go home and see my family and be around the people I was around for eight years or I get to go and maybe see history at Wrigley. It's not too bad."
Meanwhile, he is focused primarily on the ALCS, where on Monday he got a new colleague in guest analyst Alex Rodriguez.
"Sitting there watching a baseball game next to Raul Ibanez and Frank Thomas and A-Rod and Pete Rose, I thought, 'Is this really occurring?'" he said. "It's Bizarro Land. From that aspect, it's been really fun."
The goal, he said, is to create an entertaining, easygoing atmosphere of the sort for which TNT's "Inside the NBA" is known.
Burkhardt said Fox's studio production meetings are "like a bunch of guys having beers at the Knights of Columbus. We throw ideas against the wall and if guys have opinions on them we go with it."
Burkhardt said he did not know Rodriguez before this week other than a couple of quick interviews when the Mets faced the Yankees. He said he already is impressed by Rodriguez's knowledge and dedication. A-Rod asked Burkhardt to come to the studio early Monday to discuss the show.
"I have to tell you, he's extremely baseball smart," Burkhardt said. "That's not a complete shock, but he really is."
Rodriguez made a pregame point about the pitching velocity of the Royals' Johnny Cueto that turned out to be prescient as the Blue Jays hit him hard.
"I think people will be impressed with his actual analysis," Burkhardt said.
Rodriguez will remain a part of Fox's team for the World Series. So both he and Burkhardt could find themselves back in New York later this month.