April 17, 2013
Hello Metropolitan fans. Long time no post. At least it has been for me. No matter how long I stay away, the Mets and their lousy ownership just pull me right back in.
Today’s subject follows the atrocious double-header sweep by the Rockies yesterday. For any Met fans who began to sip the Kool Aid after a small sample of successful games against the likes of the Padres and Marlins to open the season, shame on you. It isn’t as if the team had impressed any of us with the off-season moves they made. Did anyone think that the John Bucks, Marlon Byrds and Collin Cowgill’s of the world were going to amount to any measure of sustained success in 2013? Not to mention the fact that Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey now compose 40% of our starting rotation. I mean really. The analogy that comes to my mind is comparing the Met roster to a building with large holes in its foundation. Rather than repairing those holes with durable cement, the Wilpons decided to use silly putty instead. Sure the holes are indeed filled, but it is only a matter of time until the foundation continues to crumble, inevitably leading to the entire building suffering a complete collapse.
Such is the prognosis for the Mets 2013 season. Does this sound familiar to anyone? It certainly should. After all, it is the same formula that the Wilpons have concocted to produce a forgetful season for each of the past four years. The formula goes something like this. Two established, healthy, proven major league talents + one budding young prospect that the organization is pinning their entire future on + six physically decrepit players + five washed-up players with familiar names that no one else wanted + eleven players who are either unproven or that no one had ever heard of. Unfortunately, this is a formula for failure that anyone not named Wilpon can easily understand.
Alas, it is the Wilpons who are captain of this vessel, and not unlike the Titanic, we were doomed from the start.
December 5, 2012
It is that time of year once again Met fans. As we bask in the afterglow of R.A. Dickey’s Cy Young Award frenzy, we turn our sights towards the 2013 season. Just as we do every off-season, our minds wistfully follow the Hot Stove reports and Winter Meetings with the small shred of hope that the Mets will suddenly act like a large market team by making an unexpected splash or two. You know, the type that would actually improve our team by signing a player in his prime for some meaningful dollars. Someone for Met fans to hang our hats on. Someone that gives us a touch of amnesia and makes us forget about the recent years of non-competitive misery. Someone to give us some warmth during this long, cold winter.
Alas, what have we learned in recent years? Mets management executes only what absolutely needs to be done in order to show us that they are trying. They do not offer the educated New York baseball fan true hope. No, Met management offers only The Token Move of Appeasement, or TMOA. Yes, ticket sales are on the minds of the Wilpons. Make no mistake about that. Met ownership is banking on this tactic to lure the desperate Met fan into purchasing a season ticket plan, or perhaps a partial plan as a consolation prize.
This year’s version of TMOA is David Wright. Not even the Wilpons could be idiotic enough to let their franchise face walk away from the team. It is of no concern that the contract offered by the Wilpons will be backloaded with a significant amount of deferred money to be paid off through the 2020 season. Whatever it takes to accomplish their one goal of selling tickets to cover the their massive debt and perhaps make some semblance of a profit. Winning? That is not part of the equation.
Let us look at this from another perspective for a moment. If you want to measure the quality of the player David Wright truly is, he first needs to be removed from the Met roster. This is because he is a superstar on the Mets in comparison to any other position player currently under contract. The truth of the matter is that Wright is a very good player, but he is not a superstar, nor an MVP caliber player. He is not a player that can carry a team on his back for sustained portions of a season. In other words, he is not a Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and perhaps not even a Mike Trout. Of course, I am listing the elite here. However, if we move down the line just a bit, there is a second tier of talent in the majors that Wright may still fall short of placing within. Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder, Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, and Andrew McCutchen all come to mind as more productive offensive talents than Wright. If DW had the benefit of playing alongside one of these talents, well then the Mets would have something cooking.Part of me feels bad for David Wright. He will never get the opportunity to be a part of a winner here if he has to be the number one guy. I wish better for him. The other part of me sees it this way. He did sign on the dotted line, and I believe he knew what he was getting himself into. He is getting paid a king’s ransom. Why should I feel bad for him?
My feelings for David Wright aside, the major concern is whether or not the Mets made a sound baseball decision here. It is clear that Sandy Alderson was under direct orders to sign Wright at any and all costs. However, we have learned that the Wilpons would not know a sound baseball decision if it slapped them in the face.
What do we know about the current state of this Met franchise? We know that they are banking on the young pitching that they developed or acquired through trade. If we are lead to believe that this is the direction they are headed in towards potential future success, wouldn’t it make sense for the Mets to grab some young position player talent as well? Outside of Wilmer Flores (a third baseman subsequently blocked by David Wright’s presence), the Mets do not have anyone in the minors worth speaking of. That being said, who do the Mets expect to win with in the coming years to go along with all of that young pitching talent? The last time I checked, teams can not win championships losing by 3-2 and 2-1 margins. We have heard whispers of the Mets looking to find some outfield talent on the cheap this off-season. Do the Mets truly believe that they can get by this way and legitimately compete going forward? Will they suddenly wake up and spend adequate money on some offensive talent in the coming years?
These are all great questions that will never be asked to the general manager nor ownership, and if it were asked, it would be left without answer. I do know this, David Wright might have brought back some nice position player talent if he had been traded previously. I know there is no guarantee that prospects bring future success, but how does our alternative look right about now?
There is one undeniable truth here. David Wright being flanked in the middle of our order by the likes of Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis does not excite me one bit. This much I know without any hesitation, and I know all Met fans feel the same way.
February 14, 2012
Unbelievable. If one word could sum up what has transpired recently, that would be the one. Yesterday, it was reported that the Mets GM was taking jabs at Met ownership’s finances. This comes from the same guy who was also recently quoted as saying, “We feel that we are going to be far more interesting to watch than most are anticipating.” Maybe that was meant to be an indirect dig at the state of the Mets as well. Perhaps it was a read between the lines sort of statement.
Regardless, Alderson was not pulling any punches when he tweeted, “Will have to drive carefully on trip; Mets only reimburse for gas at a downhill rate. Will try to coast all the way to FL.” This has been the buzz on Twitter for the past 24 hours, and has seemingly taken on a life of its own.
One thing is certain. The Mets PR department is more defenseless than ever when it comes to social media. Not that they were very good at anything before social media became a prominent way to spread news and discussion either.
It becomes more and more clear by the day that the Wilpons face an uphill battle that holds little to no reward upon reaching its apex. When the team’s GM has no choice but to attack the growing disdain for his financially strapped employers, where else can this really go?
The Mets enter the 2012 season as a virtual non-entity. The only news that anyone creates or writes about is the upcoming hearings to be held in March. If the Mets were not a New York professional sports team, they would be a complete afterthought. Ticket sales will surely decrease to unheralded lows this year as well. This will be extremely troublesome for the Wilpons, as they have publicly stated that they need the revenue from ticket sales to help them skate by financially this year.
All of this spells big trouble for the Wilpons and Mr. Katz. However, as stubborn as this trio is, they will fight tooth and nail to hold onto majority ownership of the franchise.
How can they dig their way out you say? Unfortunately, they have been afforded an escape hatch to this sinking ship.
ONE – Bud Selig, Fred Wilpon’s friend and crony, had his reign as MLB commissioner extended recently. Unlike the situation with the Dodgers and the McCourt’s, Selig will afford the Wilpons every opportunity to dig their way out of this debt. He would even approve another loan or two if need be to keep his buddy in good standing.
TWO – The Mets have already found family and friends, the only people dumb enough to invest a collective $20 million, as minority owners. This dough is being used to desperately pay off some outstanding loans, which will enable ownership to take out future loans in good standing when they need them next year and beyond.
THREE – The lawsuit pending has already taken a turn in the favor of the Wilpons. The principal moneys that Irving Picard was pursuing in the Bernie Madoff case have already been dismissed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff in the United States District Court of Manhattan. There are many sources who believe that the Mets may only be responsible for about $83.3 million. If the Wilpons become responsible for only this amount (originally Picard was seeking $1 billion), they would achieve a stay of execution. Once this occurs, the Wilpons will invest money back into the team in a matter of three to five years. This will bring the fans back into the stadium and get them to start spending on everything from tickets to t-shirts to concessions once again.
Sounds rosy for the Wilpons and the Mets doesn’t it?
This scenario ensures that the Mets will continue to be run by inept baseball owners, whose only care in the world is the bottom line. Unfortunately, this does not include a little thing called winning, regardless of how much they preach its importance to them.
Let us not forget that the Wilpons’ track record has been completely muddled with poor decision-making from the minor leagues on up to every post held for the big club over the past 25 years.
Finances aside, we can be assured that bone-head decisions will continue for years to come with the Wilpons at the helm. We can also be assured that the Mets will never, ever win a World Series as long as the Wilpons remain in control.
This is true even if their GM stops cracking jokes publicly about them on social media outlets.
December 16, 2011
I recently came across an article written by Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest in regards to the Wilpon’s and their financial troubles. It is not only a fantastic read, but it has motivated me to purchase a book entitled “Wilpon’s Folly: The Story of a Man, His Fortune, and the New York Mets” by Howard Megdal. You can read Mr Silva’s article here, and I certainly encourage that you do.
Mr Silva certainly poured his heart and soul into this article, and any true Met fan who is disgruntled by the current situation will truly enjoy this read.
December 6, 2011
Hello everyone! Did you think I was dead?
Well, I am still alive, which is more than I can say for the Met franchise. I am not saying this in response to the Miami Marlins (dreadful uniforms, what the hell were they thinking?) signing Jose Reyes. No, not at all.
I consider the Mets fortunate that they were priced out of contention just to be in the bidding for Reyes. For if the Mets had the cash to throw away on a selfish, injury-prone player, I am sure they would have done so in an instant. I would imagine that they would have committed themselves to a very long-term, team-destroying deal without batting an eyelash. Alas, the Mets escape this one without a scratch and I am sure that they don’t even know it.
Why are the Mets dead? Let me count the ways.
Next season, the Mets will have precisely one healthy player with a solid track record for success in David Wright. Wright by no means is all that he is cracked up to be, but compared to the rest of the roster for 2012, he is a megastar.
Then we get to the next rung of players. Those who either have to prove their health or their worth while garnering bloated contracts that have not paid off for the most part or even at all. I bring to you Johan Santana and (ugh) Jason Bay. I have to admit, even though Bay was the “Token Move of Appeasement” in 2010, I actually thought that he would work out to some degree. Yep, dead-wrong. Bay has been nothing short of one of the worst signings in Met history. As far as Santana goes, who in the world can predict what decreased level of pitcher he will be moving forward. This is under the assumption that he can actually pitch without blowing his arm out again after 5 or 6 starts. In either case, expecting Santana to be anything more than an above average pitcher is nothing short of tomfoolery.
What comes next is either the unproven or pure mediocrity. There may be some upside with Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada here, but is there anyone else that should excite us for next year? I think even Mike Pelfrey’s mother isn’t excited about his prospects going forward.
Don’t expect any help from free agency or the farm system either Met fans. All of our prospects are 2 plus years away (stop me if you haven’t heard this one before), and the Mets may have only about 10 million to invest in about 7 important roster spots. These include starting pitching, an entire bullpen including a closer, outfield depth, and possibly a second baseman.
Hey other than that, I think we are set for 2012.
Seriously though, is anyone going to pay good money to see this abysmal product next year? I know some extremely optimistic Met fans who have told me that they have canceled their season tickets for this year, and these were the blind optimists who thought the Wilpons were doing a solid job.
The revolting truth is that it isn’t going to get any better in 2013, nor 2014, nor 2015. You can see where I am going with this, can’t you? I urge all Met fans to abstain from purchasing any Met products or tickets until the Wilpons decide to give our fan-base the break we deserve by selling the team. I think it is quite obvious, even to the passive baseball fan, that they have successfully run this team into the ground. What more needs to be seen to prove that point?
May 20, 2011
As the Wilpons continue to deal with a massive lawsuit set against them for knowingly being involved in the Ponzi scheme arranged by Bernie Madoff, the Mets are actually playing some decent baseball. They actually sit just one game under the .500 mark as they open a subway series tonight against the Yankees. (Did you notice that I didn’t use the term “Crosstown Rivals” when mentioning the Yankees? Come on now. The Mets are clearly not the product that the Yankees are, and as much as I hate to admit it, they are not even in the same universe.)
This backdrop aside, you might be lead to believe that this small measure of success would lend to a slight bump in fan attendance at Citifield. However, the truth of the matter is that the opposite has actually occurred. Newsday reports that fan attendance has actually dropped by 3,031 per game. This was according to statistics taken from baseball-reference.com.
According to the article, Mets executives blame this on bad weather recently, as well as the fact that attendance typically picks up after the school year has ended. They also “claim” that the total ticket sales for this time of year are actually the same as they were last year. Yawn.
One thing is certain. Despite the fact that the Mets have exceeded expectations thus far, the Met fan base does not really buy into what is going on. After all, why should they? When you look at the Met lineup, you see guys named Pridie, Turner, Tejada and Murphy getting regular at bats. That is not going to excite anyone. The fact is, the star power the Mets offer is either injured (David Wright, Ike Davis and Johan Santana), under producing (Jason Bay – again) or headed out of town very, very soon (Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and possibly Frankie Rodriguez). The future, like the Wilpon’s bank account, is certainly bleak.
When this is taken into account, how can the Met front office realistically be surprised by the dip in attendance? If they are hanging their hat on the idea that these AAA players will continue to overachieve, then they are less intelligent than even I thought that they were. Truthfully, that is tough to do.
I personally tip my hat to all the Met fans who are fed up with the direction of this team due to its misfit owners. As a matter of fact, I think that I’ll actually raise a drink to all Met fans later this evening. It is about time that we Met fans show the Wilpons that enough is enough.