CHICAGO -- How can the Mets let Daniel Murphy walk this offseason after the show he is putting on in October, with six playoff homers in eight games?

It is a reasonable question -- for any fan under age 12 or so.

But for those of us with a bit of life experience, the answer is obvious: Why not?

This sort of thing is disorienting, certainly, but it happens all the time and it's (usually) just business, nothing personal.

Look no further than the last time the Mets won an NLCS, in 2000. The MVP was Mike Hampton. His 2001 team was the Colorado Rockies.

Or the last time the Mets won a World Series, in 1986. The MVP? Ray Knight. His 1987 team: Baltimore.

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Or the last time the Yankees won a World Series, in 2009. The MVP? Hideki Matsui. His 2010 team: the Angels.

Or when the Yankees won the World Series in 1996. The MVP? John Wetteland. His 1997 team: the Texas Rangers.

Or when the Yankees won the ALCS en route to their historic, 125-victory season, in 1998. The MVP? David Wells. His 1999 team: Toronto.

We could go on, but you get the idea. If Murphy delivers the Mets a championship, he will deserve all the fan appreciation he will get, and what he did never will be forgotten.

Even if he is but a memory come April.