The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Mets Fans Not Getting It Done

You can’t take the numbers you see after five games terribly seriously. Do we really think Jeff Francoeur will hold to an on-base percentage of .500? That Ollie Perez will be hitting .500 all year? That Jose Reyes will be fielding .875 when all is said and done?

On the other hand, it would be hard, based on recent precedent, to bet against Ollie’s 6.35 ERA being the norm. From the looks of him, I can’t imagine Frank Catalanotto raising his batting average from .000 to any higher than .001. And then there’s the performance that doesn’t show up in the boxscore, that of the Mets fans.

Are we going to be a bunch of bumps on logs from now to October 3? I sure hope not. I’d like to think not. But honestly, I don’t know.

I was hoping to come home Saturday afternoon not just celebrating a Mets win (thwarted on that count) but also elevated by being At The Mets Game on a big day, when Jose Reyes returned. This was no mere undisabling. It was a month ago tomorrow that we received the news of the thyroid setback. Jose, it was said, would be restrained from “baseball activity” for two to eight weeks. Turned out to be not quite two, and it took only eighteen days between that all-clear coming down and Jose Reyes, once again, batting leadoff and playing shortstop for the New York Mets.

His first appearances were greeted warmly. I had hoped they’d be greeted hotly. It shouldn’t have been chilly at Citi Field this afternoon. It should have been downright Dominican out there. But Jose brings enough heat on his own. Nevertheless, we met him in lukewarm fashion: a nice hand when the lineups were read, a semi-standing O when he came to bat the first time. Jose drained the drama a bit by swinging overanxiously and not getting hits.

But then, in the ninth, it was perfect. Jose’s the leadoff hitter. There’s nobody you’d rather have up when you’re down by one and you wanna be starting something. Sure enough, the prodigal sparkplug singles.

Jose’s on first and we…what? At first, nothing much. A few of us Jose!‘d, but not en masse. Perhaps everybody was spent from that wave they were doing in the top of the ninth when their 20-year-old phenom reliever Jenrry Mejia was mowing down the opposition on nine pitches, keeping us viable for the bottom of the inning. Or perhaps they were tired from taking pictures of each other against the appealing backdrop of a major league baseball game in progress. Or it could be that nothing any Met was doing could be as interesting as comparing scores from the Masters, as the fellas in front of me in Section 508 were doing when not drinking beer.

Then DiamondVision interrupted and ran a graphic in which the screen was filled with Jose!s. That cue, along with the traditional Jose! music, got the crowd going briefly. Then the music stopped and the DiamondVision showed Alex Cora’s face and it was back to nothing.

What, we can’t cheer unless we are electronically cajoled? Really? We, Mets fans, need that?

The rest of the ninth-inning rally progressed the same way. If DiamondVision suggested a LET’S GO METS! then the suggestion would be followed. When the suggestion was over, so was the enthusiasm, as if most Mets fans have no idea that it’s OK to keep yelling without specific provocation. Despite Reyes being moved to second on Cora’s sac bunt; despite David Wright walking; despite Jeff Francoeur walking; and despite this being a one-run game against a closer with no known well of ice water in his veins, most of the crowd could not bring itself to sustain a cheer for more than a few choreographed seconds.

Oh, and it was Scarf Day. The scarves were nice. They came in handy against the cold and the wind, but it was warm enough by the ninth to take them off and twirl them. Imagine a sea of blue and orange stripes getting Matt Capps’ attention, or maybe even Willie Harris’s.

You must imagine Mets fans making noise and distracting opponents because if DiamondVision didn’t actively tell them to do it, they didn’t. It’s probably absurd to believe that was the difference between winning and losing, but it was the difference between feeling people who go to Mets game have a stake in what happens down on the field and noticing how distant everybody seems from the action in this intimate ballpark. In a season when we’ve been accommodated with a fantastic museum and all kinds of extraordinary nods to team history (the P.A. played two Jane Jarvis recordings before the game!), the oldest tradition in the Met books, that of proactively urging the players on, seems to be dangerously close to extinct.

It’s sad. It really is.

Don’t mistake this for Mets fans being polite. We’re not polite, as Ollie Perez could tell you every time he went to ball two, but we’re not properly engaged either. We’re not being the Mets fans we’ve always been. We’re not generating Let’s Go Mets! without a video nudge; we’re not seeking soft spots in the other team’s psyche; we’re not exuding anxiousness over the outcome like nothing else matters for those few minutes when the final score is definitively in doubt. The acoustics at Citi Field are such that I pick up on far more conversations than I care to, and I hear everything being talked about except baseball. It’s a free country, but it’s not a free ticket, so why would you come to a baseball game to be immersed in anything but? The only guy I heard who seemed into what the Mets were doing was a coot a few rows back whose gems included:

• A singsong chant for “ROO BIN TEH HADA!” when Reyes batted because, well, Reyes wasn’t perfect and Tejada wasn’t there.

• A cursing out of Reyes for making a poor play on an Adam Dunn grounder, oblivious to the fact that it was Wright who didn’t handle the ball per the overshift employed against Dunn.

• A loud declaration that “HE’S ANOTHER ROBERTO ALOMAR!” after Jason Bay struck out in the ninth.

Citi Field has never been a better place to visit, yet those who visit it aren’t living up to the ballpark’s early-season standard-setting. Get up and walk around and chat and do whatever the hell you want, but if you’re in your seats in the ninth inning and your team (as indicated by your garb) is loading the bases and attempting to tie, then how can you not be heart and soul into what’s going on?

I really don’t understand it. This isn’t an entirely new revelation for me; it’s been coming for a few years, dating back to Shea’s overreliance on its automated cheerleading, but not in the ninth, not when the tying run’s on third and the winning run’s on second. Maybe there’s an element of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” to the mass reticence after the disappointments of recent seasons, but you’re already in the ballpark and the Mets are alive and kicking. They’ve survived the bare adequacy of Oliver Perez, they’ve persevered through Willy Taveras and Tyler Clippard (which, FYI, was a great ventriloquism act in the ’70s) and they don’t know yet — all previously compiled evidence notwithstanding — what Willie Harris’s glove is going to do to Rod Barajas’s sinking two-out liner.

So how come these people can’t roar for their team without a gigantic television screen telling them to?

40 comments to Mets Fans Not Getting It Done

  • But yet, they’ll do the wave for no rhyme or reason, at the most inappropriate times.

    The worst part is, it’s not just us. I saw this in my reader, and said, “Wait, didn’t I read this already?” and then realized it was something similar written about other teams.

  • I noticed that too. Where I was (in back of sec 138), in the 9th, there was a little more cheering without the scoreboard’s prompting us, but it didn’t last long. I could even hear Cowbell Man from the Shea Bridge ringing his bell. He is usually ahead of the scoreboard and sometimes instigating it with his “Let’s Go Mets” bangs of the bell. But it’s the accoustics of the ballpark as much as the layout where the fans are and can be.

    Where I was on the drink rail behind the last row was a handful of fans, and it was maybe 10 rows of empty shaded seats before the fans sitting in the sun for maybe 6 or 7 rows. It’s hard to get a continuous cheer going from there.

  • MetsMom

    I noticed it on opening day and again when we were there on Thurs. It was cold on Thurs and a small crowd, but it seemed as if no one was cheering. Even on opening day I felt like my son and I were the only ones cheering at times. I don’t get it. Maybe people are too busy eating. Or maybe its the fans – with ticket prices higher, maybe the people who aren’t buying tickets are the true fans, the ones who were cheering at Shea. And all that’s left at Citi are the ones who came for the food.

  • Hopefully, the warmth of the upcoming summer will bring out the warm cheers. Until then, I think we might have to get used to the fans all clapping with one hand.

    We were actually sitting in the Caesar’s Club for a few innings and we heard a total of five people clapping. That’s it. Why do people go to games anyway if they don’t care about cheering or booing? (…says the guy who was sitting at the Caesar’s Club bar instead of in his seat during the game.)

  • I’d like to second DyHrdMET’s thoughts on the acoustics and layout. On Friday night there were a few occasions when people seemed ready to start up solid “Let’s Go Mets” chants, but something about the way sound travels in the new stadium seemed to make it hard for everyone to get synchronized. I thought I was imagining the difference vs. Shea, but seeing someone else put forward that thought encourages me to believe there’s something to the theory. I’m not saying it’s the only factor, or even the primary one, but it may be having some kind of impact.

  • dak442

    The loudest, most crazed fans are the 19-year-old nuts who get to the parking lot at 10 AM, fuel up with a 12-pack of PBRs before the game, and as fired-up as they are, are knowledgeable baseball fans to boot – no wave in the ninth for them.

    I know that 19-year-old fan well. I was him, 24 years ago. We led cheers, we went bananas for the home team, we mocked the opposition. The thing is, today’s 19-year-old ain’t at the ballpark. 21st Century economics have priced him out. In the 80s my friends and I collected empties for the deposits, sold beer in the parking lot, and bought $12 seats to dozens of games. Today, you’re paying 3 or 4 times that to get in, plus $20 to park, and $8 a beer. I’m in my peak earning years and I can barely afford that. Jeremy the HS Senior looks at a day at Citifield as a $100 nut, shrugs, and watches Jersey Shore on Hulu instead.

    Perhaps related to being priced out, Jeremy isn’t even that into baseball. He’s too busy on Facebook, or texting, or what-have-you. So you’re left with a stadium full of middle-aged (and older) codgers who are mostly cheering politely, and Suits entertaining clients, none of whom have an investment in the game. Opening Day, the guy two seats away and I valiantly tried to get some Lets Go Mets chants going, and after a while gave up feeling stupid.

    It’s societal. I think the days of shaking Upper Decks, spontaneous (and witty) chants, the whole tenth man thing, are probably over.

    • Chris

      Dak,

      Although you’re making a lot of valid points about the masses, I respectfully disagree about the inaccessibility of the game to fans like your 19 year old self. Sure, there are no more $5 Upper Reserved seats and early or late-season $2 ticket days like there were at Shea. But the Value and Bronze games aren’t completely unaffordable for a ticket.

      Also, the type of fan who shows up 2-3 hours before a game should know that parking on the streets of Corona costs $0, and so long as you’re not leaving your GPS or laptop on your front seat next to a sign that says “please break into my car,” it’s relatively safe.

      I think the lame crowds come from seasons of disappointment and a sense of apathy among the most die-hard fans. They’re not willing to make the effort to get out to the game, even when there are ways to do it on a budget.

      I’ll admit beers in the stadium are ridiculously expensive, so keeping the buzz going inside is a hard thing to do.

      Rocking crowds are certainly less common than they were in the past. I was at MSG Friday night and loved every second of it because it was the best crowd I’ve been a part of since Game 1 of the 2006 Mets playoffs. Even those Mets playoff crowds got less and less excited, and I was at every playoff game at Shea this year.

      But I guess it’s all semantics at this point. Nothing pisses me off more than some jackass trying to start the wave in the middle of a close game – especially in the 9th inning like yesterday.

      • Dak442

        Chris-

        A few more weeks of this brand of baseball, and whether it’s pricing or fan apathy brought on by crushed spirits, the ballpark’s gonna be empty.

        It ws a beautiful day, Johan was pitching, and I made no effort to go yesterday. Mostly because I didn’t want to drop a hundred or so, and partly because right now, picking weeds in my garden seemed more entertaining. And judging by the shots of the stands, a lot of people agreed with me.

      • Zach

        I was at the Garden on Friday too and that crowd was berserk for the most part, however there were a couple times it was dead quiet and I found myself thinking it sounded a lot like Citi does lately.

        I was also at the game on Sunday and it was, quite frankly, downright depressing. There was a kid that was about 12 or so behind me yelling about how Johan sucks. I had to stare him down after that one and he changed his tune to “Johan sucks today” but still, it’s getting ridiculous out there.

        I second the idea that a lot of it has to do with the acoustics of the stadium as I remember from last year sometimes I could barely hear an entire section doing a Let’s Go Met’s chant from 5 sections over.

  • Andee

    In other words, Mets fans nowadays are exactly like Dodgers fans? Whodathunk.

    I’d say a championship would rectify all that, but no…if the last championship was any indication, it would mean an increase in Mets attendance by beer-flinging yahoos and speed-texting yuppies out for a suntan who don’t know what a pickoff play is and don’t care to have it explained to them. I just think the number of people who go to baseball games who actually give a crap about baseball is at an all-time low, and it was never all that high to begin with.

    P.S. With all the Dodgers games I went to when I lived in SoCal, I can only recall the fans ever spontaneously chanting once — to razz Deion Sanders when the Reds were in town. (‘Cause, y’know, Deion represented the entire NFL as part of America’s Team, and Angelenos feel the same way about the NFL that, um…Mets fans do about Derek Jeter. Or at least that’s the closest analogy that leaps to mind.)

  • Matt from Sunnyside

    Man, Greg, I love this post. I watched that whole game on TV, so I really didn’t get the crowd reaction to the play on the field. But this first week? The Mets have had two blowout wins and three close losses. They have never seemed out of it. Even with not so great starts from Maine and Perez. And I sincerely thought Maine and Perez both looked like they could get it together very, very soon.

    But yeah. You’ve got a fan base that has been completely demoralized by talk radio and a thousand tiny cuts by blog snark. Expectations are at an all time low. The park today was full of people whose best hope was that Oliver Perez wasn’t going to kill an umpire with a misguided fastball. They stand in the Shake Shack line and cheer only for triples.

    What’s their motivation? Everyone they listen to has already convinced them that this season is bullshit. I mean, this team. THIS team, in May, will have a lineup of Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Daniel Murphy, Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas, and whoever is pitching. This is brutal on opposing pitchers. Especially if Reyes gets on base. And we have Johan Santana pitching every five days, and the rest of our rotation could either be spectacular or fail horribly. Chances are, two out of four guys step up, and we still have room to trade for someone midseason. Not so unusual for an MLB club.

    But everyone who covers this team has convinced everyone who follows this team that they really, really, really suck. It’s just not true, but it’s not surprising that the fans aren’t really convinced yet.

  • Andee

    Also, what dak442 said. I can’t help but recall that when I did go to Dodgers games, the fans who sat out in the $5 “family seats” (bench seating, and no beer!) in the outfield were by far the most enthusiastic. The “real” seats were full of yawning El Lay wannabes.

    I wish there was a section like that at Citi. I know there are some cheap tickets, but they get snapped up almost immediately, and just heading for the park and plunking down a small bill on the spot to get in is unheard-of. Yes, price more seats for YOUNG people (and forever young people) who don’t have trust funds, and see the energy level go up! I’d gladly give up drinking a $10 beer at the game for a shot at that.

  • I was surprised that stadium announcer didn’t say much when introducing Jose Reyes. I thought he should’ve said something like ‘we welcome him back to the Mets’. He would say that for Mike Jacobs for crying out loud, but wouldn’t welcome back OUR Jose Reyes?

    I was at the game and I bought the ticket just the night before so I can welcome Jose back. I mean like you said having Jose back alone is HUGE for Mets, and yes I was little bit disappointed at lukewarm welcome. I mean, there were a lot of people clapping and cheering yes, just that it didn’t last too long.

    And again I noticed a plenty of empty seats, and maybe that’s one of reason why. (Wave was stupid too, maybe once or twice yeah, but don’t do it like ten times stright!)

  • John Ryan

    Only team in baseball history where bases loaded and no outs is a bad thing.

  • I was there too and was lamenting the same lame, boring crowd that you are. I reminded me of when I went to Turner Field in the year they opened up the park for baseball in Atlanta. It was a Saturday afternoon Mets-Braves game and I was so thankful I was a Mets fan that day because the environment at Turner Field was the same as a Saturday afternoon at the mall. Now that environment and crowd is at Citi Field.

    The wave is an embarrassment. ESPECIALLY when its done in a tight game. Everyone who participated in the wave yesterday should never be allowed back into Citi Field again. They look like goofy idiots.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Unfortunately, I saw this coming for a long time. Those who aren’t phased by the outrageous salaries and ticket prices that followed, especially in today’s rough economic times, are not representative of the average working individual. They have money to spend and are apt to worry less about the kids needing new clothing, paying the mortgage, etc.

    Fred and Jeff vision of a commerical entity where people will spend and spend has come true. As alluded to by others, the average fan has been priced out and those who mostly go are more apt to find baseball as just another form of entertainment and a way to spend an afternoon or evening. This is the crowd that the Wilpons focused on and explains why the Citi Field experience has become a disaster for the real, passionate fans like us.

    Even during the bad times of the late 70s/early 80s the crowds that were small were still vocal and enthusiastic. We never needed to be coerced to cheer like a television studio when the producers want applause on cue.

    Those people still do but, as pointed out before, do it mostly in front of their TV sets at home (not the ones that are part of Citi Field).

  • Lenny65

    Well, in the fans defense, nothing kills a baseball crowd like the home team leaving dozens of men on base. It’s like having your date pass out cold on the ride back to your place. All anticipation, zero satisfaction. I mean damn, as I’m writing this they’re doing it AGAIN! Please stop now and remember, although we live in a brave new world of all sorts of fancy modern statistics, RBI’s still count at contract time, guys.

    Mike Jacobs = a new appreciation for Daniel Murphy.

  • ck

    this was my fear as shea was demolished. I spent the last three years in coors field making fun of rockies fans cause they only cheered if they put the noise meter on the screen. i think they really thought they cause the noise meter to explode.

    I certainly hope it doesn’t stay this way.

  • Chris

    I agree the crowd is pretty bad. But they might be more excited and cheer more often if the team was any good. Or if they hadn’t collapsed in ’07 and ’08. Or if they hadn’t stunk up the joint last year.

    • Joe D.

      Fan apathy comes down to the fact that everything regarding today’s player revolves around money and, as it is with ownership, there is little sense of sentimentality or team loyality. Oh, they might play hard but it’s because it is their profession, nothing more. How could this not take away the passion we once felt?

  • “Oh, they might play hard but it’s because it is their profession”

    So what’s the problem, exactly? That they don’t play for free like the players in the past did?

    • Joe D.

      The point was not to accuse them on not playing hard but also not to mistake this hustle as being even partially for the team since their only concern is about themselves and the money.

      C.C. Sabathia wanted to stay in Milwaukee until the Yankees nearly doubled what he was being offered by the Brewers; Santana was ready to walk out on the Mets over what was for him, a few extra dollars. Pedro left the Red Sox because they offered him an option in lieu of a guaranteed fourth year (yet he couldn’t even give us two in return).

      So how could one root with the same passion as before when the team one plays for and its success in winning are distant seconds?

      There used to be a balance between business and character. That is no longer the case. Most players are not going to be upset if the team lost as long as he went four for four. That’s why the crowd is so subdued. Even those attending games at Yankee Stadium have noticed the change. Baseball has become a form of entertainment to be enjoyed and is no longer a passion. For many, that is enough. For me, that isn’t.

  • Great points all around and a terrific post highlighting an under-reported issue. Definitely due to years of fans being inundated with video exhortations to cheer. I love cheering at ballgames, but why bother when you’re drowned out by the robotic voice instructing “every-body clap you hands! clapclapclap”
    Of course, it’s not just Met fans who have been affected. Attending a Knick game at the Garden is a complete chore. It’s increasingly hard to go without wearing earplugs. And the Knicks are one of the more conservative teams in the NBA, there is nothing more insulting that watching an NBA game on tv and hearing piped-in music or piped-in chants WHILE THE BALL IS IN PLAY. it’s astounding. Ok, I’ll stop being Mushnick now.

  • BT

    I couldn’t agree more…it’s so hard being the only one cheering for the home team, on opening weekend no less. Maybe the team would try a little harder if they knew the fans were on their side, for once

  • Joe, I understand that concern, and indeed it’s an element that turns me off to pro sports (only fairly recently, honestly, have I become a sports nut – I’ve learned to live with it. But it still bugs me). That being said, how can it possibly be fixed? Sports are a big business, and the players are the main draw, and they deserve every penny they can get. Some might argue that the game of baseball was better when people stayed with one team, made middle of the road salaries, and worked jobs in the offseason… but I would argue that the fact that now that baseball is the players’ full time job has made the game better. But when something is gained, something is lost as well.

    • Joe D.

      I would never want us to go back to the days of the reserve clause for nobody should be forced to stay at a place one is unhappy with or be unable to move to places that present better opportunities for the future.

      I don’t hold it against any athlete trying to get as much money as he or she can get if more hustled as a team like the…, I hate to say this, baseball’s best team (the Yankees) or baseball’s worst (the Nationals) there would be no complaints, even if they decided to opt for free agency when their contracts run out.

      But that is not the case. For most, it shows that the integrity to the game and their profession is not there. I don’t believe the Mets would have been “unprepared to play” as Jerry Manual said yesterday if they didn’t have such lucrative, multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts with all it’s long term guarantees.

      • “I don’t believe the Mets would have been “unprepared to play” as Jerry Manual said yesterday if they didn’t have such lucrative, multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts with all it’s long term guarantees.”

        I agree with that 100%. Is it any coincidence tons of guys have career years when they’re up for free agency? Not at all.

        The Mets certainly epitomize the down side of excess.

  • Mike

    Lots of valid points, but, I didn’t see where anybody picked on the stadium – not for the acoustics, but, rather because the Wilpons didn’t build a baseball stadium, they built an “outing.”

    I recall, as a youngster in Shea’s early days, there was no dunk tank, no Shake Shack, no museum, no team shop, no rotunda, and no whiffle ball field to distract us. There was only the game.

    There wasn’t a bridge, or a Pepsi porch, or areas built in specifically for socializing (and spending your money), where the atmosphere is no different than any sports bar – where you hang around with your buddies, sloshing down a few, and paying attention only when someone says, “hey, watch the replay.” There was only the game.

    So on top of the depressing results, day in and day out, saying “it can’t get worse,” onlt to live another day to find out it does, on top of the buffoonery of Manuel, and the “uh, you knows,” on top of the Minaya’s overly extended contracts to seen better days playrs, on top of the deceits from the front office, the exhorbitant prices, the lazy plays, the injuries, the bad pitching, the never ending attacks from every other fan in the world, and the media lambasting, every day, you have a place, where the game is at best, seconday.

    In my day, there was ONLY the game, and it was enough to fill your heart and sould, for days on end.

    • Joe D.

      Mike,

      You’re not alone, I’ve been blasting the Wilpons for two years on that very point. They were more concerned about stores and restaurants to get people to spend their money and gimmicks (tricky angels, high walls, deep right field, seats jutting out behind the bases, etc.) for entertainment purposes rather than creating a ballpark. The fact that at least one corner is blocked from view for every fan and that HD monitors had to be installed for those unable to see anything deep in the outfield proves that watching a baseball was secondary. The additional fact that they didn’t design the park around the team’s strength was even a more distant third.

      Just felt everyone here was tired of me repeating myself.

  • CharlieH

    Sad.

    Flip to the back of Roger Angell’s excellent book FIVE SEASONS and read his take on the 1976 season (“Cast A Cold Eye”). The last line captures my current ennui pretty nicely:

    “…[I]t may just be that the business and the sport have grown too big for me after all.”

    • Dak442

      Charlie- That quote is spot on. The business HAS grown too big. The entire economy of scale is completely out of whack. Players make too much by a multiple of 10, tickets are similarly overpriced, and even if you don’t go to a game you subsidize billion-dollar stadiums with your taxes and your cable bill.

      Baseball is following the path of Broadway. Instead of catering to a smaller hardcore crowd willing to spend $40 a ticket to go to practically every show, plays are dumbed down for the masses and marketed as “events” you charge three times as much to attend.

      It’s not as if anything is going to change. I haven’t paid attention to hockey since Messier left the Rangers the first time, but I was hoping that the strike would blow up the entire cost structure, and it would come back smaller – players making low hundreds of thousands, tickets costing $20. Instead, it seems as if nothing has changed. If a niche sport can’t start over, baseball certainly won’t.

  • Andee

    Paying the players nothing, or nearly so, wouldn’t do anything to reduce the price of a game ticket. College players don’t get paid, other than in scholarships, but it still costs a few internal organs to get in and see them.

    The Mets and Yankees and pretty much every other team out there with a stadium built since 1992 have been drooling over the revenue possibilities of a new stadium with luxury boxes and luxury prices ever since Camden Yards sprang up. Are there any owners now who DON’T put revenue first? If pressed, they’d probably all admit they’d rather turn a profit with a losing team than be in the red with a winner.

    Anyway, I could give a crap about how much the players are paid; why should the owners make all the money? It’s how long they’re paid that’s often the problem. Long-term contracts frequently turn into albatrosses that teams can’t get rid of if the player turns out to be a bust. That is why I think they were right not to get into a bidding war over John Lackey, and wind up with a 6- or 7-year deal with a pitcher on the north side of 30 with a history of injury problems. If they wanted to pay him $25 million for one year, fine. But his agent would never have even accepted that as a bid.

    Problem was, there wasn’t a whole lot else available, but when things are this desperate, the fans feel like they should have gotten someone, anyone, no matter who or what they had to give up to get them. And then, of course, those same people would have whined incessantly that we gave up Ike Davis, or whoever, for some schlub who blew out his arm.

    • Joe D.

      Andee,

      You’re 100% correct when it comes to multi-year contracts. No incentive and even no fear which we all really need to bring out our best. Long before free agency and the wild card system, September was known for two types of drives: one for the team (the pennant drive) and one for themselves (the salary drive). For other than the fringe player, that doesn’t exist any more. Players sign long-term contracts with guaranteed amounts and incentive clauses but never ones with season-by season financial escape clauses for owners should they perform below par.

      One would hope with their financial future no longer in question players would focus on team play and actually take losses much harder. But that is not the case until their skills go down and they mature enough to appreciate the game itself. A prime example is first-year free agent Ken Holtzman who said he didn’t care if he didn’t pitch at all as long as he got paid – later on, when that began to happen he became very unhappy and admitted he was wrong.

  • Rich P

    Lets face it, the game is not played in between the ears as well as it once was, but this is not what recent generations of Met fans respond to!
    Instant gratification and Baseball dont mix!!
    So lower your expectations and sit back and relax kids..And if your urges to win become too great. You can always do what many Met fans did in 76, 77, 78 and shift your loyalties to the Bronx..
    Rich P

  • [...] for Jerry, I don’t know. Last Saturday, after the ninth inning during which few cheered without electronic tickler, I told my friend Joe that the good thing about this upcoming road trip was if the Mets do badly, [...]

  • [...] notwithstanding, a pretty popular guy with Mets fans, and the whole notion of LET’S GO METS presumably continues to maintain resonance with the same audience. I personally don’t give a damn about the company that makes the sausages, [...]

  • [...] particularly want built when I’m inside it. They’re 8-1 in 2010, including 7-for-7 since Willie Harris besmirched this season’s bid for perfection. They did well with me in attendance last year; they are all but impenetrable with me on hand this [...]

  • [...] particularly want built when I’m inside it. They’re 8-1 in 2010, including 7-for-7 since Willie Harris besmirched this season’s bid for perfection. They did well with me in attendance last year; they are all but impenetrable with me on hand this [...]

  • [...] There was plenty good on Wednesday, but my mood when I had to handle loss for the first time since Willie Harris snared a sinking liner on April 10, wasn’t in that category. Losing 8-7 didn’t leave me in a “New York State of [...]