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Mets call premature celebration on website 'glitch'

CHICAGO -- The New York Mets would require a historic collapse not to advance to the World Series.

Still, the team's website prematurely touted the Mets as National League champions and displayed merchandise celebrating capturing the pennant on Wednesday afternoon.

"NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS," the website declared.

"THE PENNANT WILL RISE," one orange and blue T-shirt read.

Team spokesman Jay Horwitz called the display a "glitch."

MLB executive Bob Bowman said it wasn't the team's responsibility as Major League Baseball Advanced Media controls that type of content on teams' websites. Bowman said the league apologizes to the organization for the error.

The Mets enter Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night with a 3-0 series lead. Of the 34 teams to take a 3-0 series lead in MLB history in a best-of-seven series, only one has failed to ultimately prevail. That came in 2004, when Theo Epstein's Boston Red Sox made history against the New York Yankees.

Epstein is now president of the Cubs.

Leagues customarily have graphics and merchandise prepared in advance of teams clinching. That's why a generation of youngsters in impoverished countries likely grew up wearing Buffalo Bills NFL championship T-shirts in the early 1990s.