As the Mets go about their alphabetical roster restocking — Alex Cora…Chris Coste…Chuck Cottier? — they'll have to do it without five of their longtime ticketholders. A Mets fan and FAFIF reader sent us the note below the other day explaining why he and his friends will not be renewing their seats.
I don't know whether this group, whose letter was signed “Amazings NY,” has reconsidered its decision based on the subsequent securing of clubhouse wise man Cora or eternal Phillie Coste (or, for that matter, the definitive deletion of Brian Schneider), but I kind of doubt it. Since we ran a letter like this a little while back, I thought it was fair to run this one, too. That said, if anybody wants to send us a “I just bought season tickets for the first time, it will be worth every penny” missive, we'll be happy to consider it for publication.
In the meantime, edited only for clarity, here is the story of Amazings NY and why you won't see them regularly at Citi Field in 2010.
First off, I never blogged or used the Internet to voice my opinion before. Maybe you can run this on your blog if you see fit.
We are a syndicate of five lifetime Met fans related through blood, marriage or friendship who have been season ticket holders since the early nineties when our paychecks finally allowed us some disposable income. Our full season 4 seats steadily improved over the years. In the past decade we added 2 more seats for half a season. Over the years we had a few additions and subtractions to the group, [but] the core never changed. We went together, we went with our own families. If no one went we gave the tickets away. Sold a few. There were no worries.
It was a sweet setup. For a couple of grand a year, we went when we wanted and had a blast. There were good years and bad years, but we were certainly part of the “Flushing Faithful”.
This year  everything changed; to keep our seats, the prices quadrupled. The seats were so expensive that we could no longer treat them as whimsically as we had in the past. We had to commit to games well in advance, we would sell the seats we weren't using. We could not afford to give them away as we always had (apologies to friends and coworkers who had benefited). Then the season went south; OK I understand a team can have injuries, but look at the Yankees and Phillies, they finished the season with essentially the same teams as they started the season (losing Chien-Ming Wang was more likely a blessing than a curse). Were these Met injuries a freak of nature or did this uncover a team of poor design? Probably both. But this is a discussion for another day.
It was a hard team to watch. Not because the team was losing. We're Met fans, we have agonized over losing seasons before. Sloppy play at every level (Ryan Church missing third base, Luis Castillo dropping the last out against the dreaded Yankees). This time was different. There were no prospects to root for. They put Daniel Murphy in a position to fail, as opposed to most teams which take care to place rookies in a position to succeed. Watching washed up mercenaries are hardly a draw. Remind me how Sheffield fits into our future? Fernando Tatis? Livan Hernandez? Where were the players to root for? Luis Castillo makes me ill. He is the only non-Yankee in the 2009 Yankee highlight reel.
Was it incompetence or was the team disingenuous as they communicated the injuries to the fans? Either way it was pathetic and another example of ownership and management's disregard for their fan base. The new stadium is beautiful, and a great tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ebbets Field. Another slap in the face to the lifetime Met fan.
So our season ticket renewals came in two weeks ago. They are offering our seats to us at a 6.5% discount to last year. The same seats we could not sell for half their face value for the last three months of the season. The Mets have put their fans in a position to carry all the risk. There is little upside to the seats with their nosebleed prices. Did they offer a credit for last years dismal showing? Of course not. Where is the goodwill? The Mets have left their season ticket holders out to dry.
The Mets will have to wake up to some cold facts: This is no longer the maiden season in Citi Field, that the Mets lost 92 games last year, they are not a likeable team, and the Met fans endured the team choking in September the two preceding seasons. Any young New York baseball fans are going to naturally gravitate to the world champion Yankees. We are living through the worst recession of our lives and Bernie Madoff and his buddies will not be there to keep demand up for high-priced tickets.
So our syndicate after 17 years is not going to renew any of our 6 season tickets. The lack of goodwill on the part of the Mets has morphed into ill will on the part of these season ticket holders. Interestingly, I have a handful of season ticket holding friends, all of whom came to the same conclusion.
My fear is that there will be a Knick-ization of the Mets. My dislike for the Knicks' ownership, management and players has led me to attend a total of one Knick game in the last ten years. I am someone who at one time watched every Knick game. So the precedent is there and it scares me.
I probably don't speak for everyone, but I would rather root for Mets who came up through the organization, than the high-priced mercenaries who never live up to expectations. Yes I'm talking to you Pedro, Oliver, Luis…let's rebuild a farm system. Trade high priced players at the trading deadline for prospects when we're not contending. Have you seen the Atlanta organization? They have 5 legitimate top starters: Jair Jurrjens, Derek Lowe, Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson and Javier Vazquez. The Florida Marlins have an exciting young core with Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Chris Coghlan (NL Rookie of the Year), Jorge Cantu (100 RBIs). Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco both had more than 190 strikeouts and Chris Volstad has looked spectacular at times. The Phillies have gone to the World Series the last two years. Are we looking at fourth place in the NL East?
I urge the fans: Do not renew, do not buy tickets. Let the Mets carry some risk, let the Mets show some goodwill to their fans. Trust me, you will be able to buy the tickets on the secondary market at half the price. Once you renew, if prices drop, you won't see it.