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Some Major Sucking Up

Edward: I think we need some major sucking up.
Hollister: Very well, sir. You’re not only handsome but a powerful man. I could see the second you walked in here you were someone to reckon with.
Edward: Hollister.
Hollister: Yes, sir?
Edward: Not me. Her!

—Richard Gere and sycophantic salesman, Pretty Woman

Peter B. Maglathlin has won me over. He knows exactly how to pluck my strings.
Peter — or Pete (he addressed me as “Dear Friend,” so I guess I can be familiar with him) — is the best kind of judgmental. He makes judgments that I like.
My man Pete works for the Danbury Mint in Norwalk. He’s the director there. No wonder. He knows quality when he sees it. When he looks at the Mets, he sees quality.

This is the very first sentence Pete wrote me a little while back, right after Dear Friend:

When the greatest sports franchises are counted, the New York Mets are always at the top of the list.
Pete, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, here is the entirety of my Greatest Sports Franchises list:
1. New York Mets

So it’s clear right off the bat that Pete and I see things eye to eye. I don’t know about his wealth, but Pete is definitely a man of taste. And judgment. Who would argue over his choice for the top of the Greatest Sports Franchises rankings? Nobody I respect.
I respect Pete because Pete obviously respects me. He doesn’t just tell me what I want to hear, he backs it up with solid factual facts:

With two World Series championships and four National League pennants, the Mets are one of the most successful teams in all of sports.

Inarguable evidence. I can think of lots of teams that don’t have a single National League pennant. For example, the Cleveland Indians are a total zero in that department. The Mets, by Pete’s calculations, have the Tribe beat on all-sport success. And the Green Bay Packers? How many World Series championships are they packing? Not a one. They, like the Boston Celtics and Manchester United and my high school swimming team, are waaaay back in the World Series pack. Losers.

If you’ve got two World Series championships and four National League pennants plastered to your right field wall (to say nothing of Wild Cards and Eastern Divisions…but why make other, less successful teams feel bad about themselves?), you are indeed emitting the sweet smell of success.

Damn, Pete. You’re making me feel good! Tell me more, tell me more…

And an integral part of the Mets success has been their home field dominance.
Pete doesn’t have to say it, but I can infer what he’s getting at. Nobody’s ever won more games on the Mets’ home field than the Mets. The Mets play 81 games a year at Shea Stadium. Opponents? They’re like “we’ll play three or four against you, but then we’ve gotta go.” Chickens! And since I’m often at Shea Stadium for Mets games, I think he’s telling me that I have a great deal to do with that home-field dominance. I’ll accept that.

To sum up Pete’s major points in the first paragraph I read in his letter to me, His Friend:

• The Mets are the greatest
• The Mets are always at the top
• The Mets are successful
• The Mets are dominant

It all checks out with me. Pete didn’t have to say anything else. He had me at “greatest”.

The beginning of the note Pete sent me was so warm and accurate that I haven’t bothered to read the rest of it. I assume it’s filled with more accolades for the Mets and a further telling of their many positive attributes. They are the mightiest of the mighty. The skillfullest of the skilled. The Metsiest in all the land!

Let’s see…

Now, you can honor this great baseball tradition by acquiring The New York Mets End Table, a handsome hardwood and glass end table that features a stunning art print of Shea Stadium.

Hmmm…that’s not another heaping helping of praise. That reads like it’s a…a…

Ohmigod! My Friend Pete didn’t write to me just to confirm how great, successful and dominant the Mets are! He’s trying to sell me something!

When you examine the brochure I’ve enclosed, you will begin to experience the elegant beauty and brilliance of this unique end table.

What? Nothing more about the Mets’ rippling muscles or classic good looks or uncommon intelligence? You’re just talking about the table?

Crafted of genuine hardwood, it features an exquisite art print of Shea Stadium set under beveled glass.

What’s this have to do with the Mets’ eternal awesomeness? Their spectacular soulfulness? Their untoppable two World Series championships?

The print shows the stadium on game day, with the packed stands dotted with orange-clad fans, and even players on the field!

I’m beginning to think that Pete doesn’t much care about the Mets or about me, His Friend, and my interest in being reminded how you can’t top the Mets. I think he’s just trying to get my money.

He is! He is!

Requiring only minimal assembly, The New York Mets End Table is attractively priced at $149, payable in four monthly installments of just $37.25 (plus $15 total shipping and service).

Attractively priced? You mean I don’t just get one of these for being an orange-clad part dotting the integral success of our home-field dominance? Not even the “sliding felt-lined drawer that opens to store everything from remote controls or coasters to an address book”? How am I supposed to contribute to that legendary home-field dominance if I’m sending $164 to Norwalk? That’s practically a full day at Shea (including shipping, service and maybe a pretzel).

Oh Pete. I’m so disappointed in you. I thought you sought me out as a Dear Friend just to share with me your well-considered opinion on the magnificence of the Mets. You said all the right things. You made perfect sense. I thought we would have a beautiful thing going. Now I just realize you’re trying to sell [1] me a piece of…of…

You know, it is pretty attractive [2]. And “satisfaction is completely guaranteed.” Even the greatest of sports franchises doesn’t make that claim. I mean “Your Season Has Come”? What if it hasn’t? That’s highly unlikely, given our greatness, but technically you never know.

Sadly, I think I might have to have this stupid thing, minimal assembly and all. (When it comes to me and assembly, there is no minimal.) But a hundred sixty-four smackers? What if I want a bottle of water to go with that pretzel?

Thanks a lot, Pete. Some kind of Friend you turned out to be.

While I mull over my big-ticket purchasing decisions, read what your bloggers have to say about this, that and the other thing at Gelf Magazine [3]. And if you’re reasonably accessible to downtown Wednesday night, please stop by for Faith and Fear’s first-ever public appearance [4], when Varsity Letters hosts us, Dan Shanoff, Deadspin, The Dugout, With Leather and True Hoop in a discussion of all things online sports media. Unlike The Danbury Mint, Varsity Letters charges nothing, so you’re already coming out ahead. We look forward to seeing you.