I get the feeling that whoever conceived the already infamous Mets Investor Partnership Benefits section of the “term sheet” revealed by Richard Sandomir in the Times put it together as soon as he or she finished updating the Mets Fan Club for Kids membership form.
For $25, your child receives:
• Two tickets to a 2012 Mets home game
• Kids Club Jersey Backpack
• Window Cling courtesy of Kozy Shack
• Welcome Letter from the New York Mets
• Membership ID Card with Lanyard
• Membership Certificate
• Mets Folder
• Rewards Card redeemable for a free gift at Citi Field
• 3 Issues of the Kids Club Newsletter
• Birthday Card from the Mets
• Subway pre-loaded meal card
• 10% off retail at the Mets Clubhouse Shops
• Invitation to the Mets Fan Club for Kids Day at Citi Field events
• Special 5 year member gift
• Topps Baseball Cards
• Chances to win prizes and much more!
As our buddy Matt Silverman attested on December 5, that’s a pretty good deal. It’s a veritable ton of unquestionably neato Met stuff for $19,999,975 less than it would take to get you:
• One Preferred Limited Partnership Unit
But wait…there’s much more!
• Membership on an Advisory Board of the Club
• Regular updates regarding financial performance and other material developments
• Business card with “Owner” title
No mention on whether a lanyard is included with your card.
There’s more “much more!” to becoming a 4% owner of the New York Mets, and assuming you come up with the $20 mil, they probably work with you. Still, there is a weird, detached paternalism at play when you read the constraints the Mets placed on these potential benefits. For instance, besides trying to impress very rich people with their very own “Owner” card, prospective buyers are offered “the opportunity to attend a road trip in another city with hotel arrangements covered by the Mets,” with the parenthetical qualifier, “trip selected by Club prior to each season.”
So…if I’ve been a bad $20 million investor, I either go to Houston — or get nothing and like it? And if I prefer the trip to, say, San Francisco, the traveling secretary won’t return my texts? Then what would I do? Make other arrangements as someone of my theoretical means would be quite capable of doing?
Also, I get a “food and drink allowance” in my Empire Suite. At what point am I handed a bill for exceeding my allowance? If I’m giving you $20 million, you bring me all the damn burgers I want — and not from some Shake Shack, but from a frigging Shake Castle.
Listen, if you’re going to hand me an “Owner” card, I’m going to walk around Citi Field like I own the place.
The caveat to this very fun document is it was probably lawyered to death (“What if they want unlimited Blue Smoke? I mean sure, we’re experts at blowing smoke…better make that ‘food and drink allowance’.”) and, as Sandomir points out, it was likely intended as a starting point. Maybe someone who suddenly wants to give the Mets $20 million in exchange for no real say over anything doesn’t realize all the neato Met stuff being a minority owner entails. And while “discounts on all MLB-licensed merchandise” sounds like a pretty half-assed come-on…no, it is pretty half-assed. But it is essentially the same perk they offer the Fan Club kids.
And to think — they could have offered Much More!
• Relocation of Spring Training facility from Port St. Lucie to Port St. Your Name Here.
• R.A. Dickey will invoke three multisyllabic words per homestand to perfectly capture your essence.
• Complimentary Fanwalk brick (brick not included).
• You won’t broadcast any fewer innings on WFAN than will Wayne Hagin in 2012.
• Your bright red “Owner” windbreaker allows you to grope “Security” personnel in the same fashion “Security” personnel is allowed to under the auspices of wearing dark red “Security” windbreakers.
• None of the liquidity pertaining to your ownership share will be directed toward the compensation of Jason Bay.
• Pick a number between 15 and 36, and consider it retired in your honor.
• Citi Field concession personnel will be specially trained to make eye contact with you and cease conversations with coworkers as you order (they may still ignore you).
• Paper mâché head bearing your likeness replaces Home Run Apple on alternate Thursdays.
• D.J. Carrasco will D.J. the sweet sixteen, Bat Mitzvah or quinceañera of your choice.
• Team store personnel must show you their receipt as you leave store.
• Bring your kiddies, bring your wife, we’re legally obligated to guarantee the time of your life (legal obligation limited to minority share owner’s life on earth and does not extend to any form of you which is reincarnated; management not liable for minority share owner’s spiritual beliefs).
• Subsequent to one lefty-righty pitching change per series, Terry Collins will mix and serve you a Tom Collins.
• You may travel on your own personal “7 Train” (defined as your being carried aloft by Ed Kranepool, Hubie Brooks, Todd Pratt and Kevin Mitchell; Jeff McKnight may be substituted for any and all of the aforementioned).
• Throw out the first pitch of a Mets game, then maybe the next eighty if you don’t mind.
• You are the answer to the Acela Club trivia question; you present the prize to the surprised recipient; you are the surprised prize-recipient; you must use your prize in the Acela Club no later than the fifth inning.
• Mike Nickeas will serve as your “personal catcher” — no judgments.
• Have Section 538 all to yourself. Intentionally.
• Mike Pelfrey will lick your hand instead of his (may be considered a balk dependent upon the discretion of the first base umpire).