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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.

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What Makes Met Marketers Chuckle

I’m picturing Mets marketing types watching the games from St. Louis and Chicago this week. They see the deep-seated allegiance in the home crowds set against the respective backdrops of Cardinalia and Cubbishness. There are symbols and there are statues and there is total engagement between the fans and the franchises, one of which has been far more successful than the other, but you don’t necessarily get that sense from the turnout and enthusiasm. The Cardinals and their fans are all in. The Cubs and their fans are just as all in, which is a helluva lot harder after a century-plus of not going all the way.

And then those Met marketing types turn off their TVs and hold meetings to congratulate themselves on their brilliant decision-making.

“Hey, good job deciding to pass on commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1973 pennant!”
“You mean the Mets’ 1973 pennant? One of four the Mets have won? One of the most iconic pennants in modern baseball history? One that spawned all manner of positive resonance where the Mets brand is concerned?”
“That’s the one.”
“Well, thanks! I’m particularly proud of ignoring that accomplishment. You know, those guys are getting up there. I think it would be best to, at most, invite a few back in dribs and drabs and disperse them through the community quietly and not make much of a deal out of it otherwise.”
“That’s Met executive thinking! We were careful to not gather every living 1962 Met on the occasion of the 50th anniversary last year, and that was only our inaugural team.”
“Caution paid off. We didn’t shower undue attention on those players who survived a historic season and helped create a legacy of goodwill, which means we achieved our goal of not being bothered.”
“Don’t forget how lucky we were to not be disappointed by trying to do something and not necessarily making it translate to a one-day profit.”

“That’s the thing. It’s not about embellishing what the Mets mean in a broad sense and burnishing the memorable moments so they live on as something the Mets stand for over time. It’s about one day and only one day. If having a day to honor the 1962 Mets on their 50th anniversary or the 1973 Mets on their 40th anniversary puts us out, it’s jut not worth it.”
“Any extra effort that speaks to our most loyal fans, let alone cultivates an ongoing connection for our newer fans, is never worth it. We wouldn’t be working for the Mets if we thought it was.”
“I know! That’s why I really respect Terry for telling reporters that fans don’t know anything. Good for Terry!”
“Listen, Terry’s a nice guy, but he kind of backed off that the other day.”
“Really? That’s too bad.”
“Turns out Terry was just frustrated by all the losing and he didn’t mean to take it out on our fans.”
“You mean our consumers? Why not? Screw them and their thinking they have any clue!”
“I agree, but what’re ya gonna do? Terry must not be totally on board with our philosophy.”
“Maybe we need to get him to sit in on another ‘what it means to be a Met executive’ seminar. He must’ve missed the part about not caring what the people most loyal to our brand think.”
“Well, he is busy trying to win games.”

“Oh, you’re funny! Like it matters what he does.”
“Yeah, I thought you’d like that one. Terry gets a pass. Sandy gets a pass, too.”
“Of course he does! We all get a pass! And if anybody complains, they just don’t understand!”
“Hey, if we’re so dumb, why do we still get several thousand people in here most games?”
“If we’re so dumb, how did almost a hundred banners get made going on about how great the Mets are and how people love the Mets?”
“Hundred more than I would’ve guessed.”
“Well, we tried to bury it at like ten in the morning.”
“Good thing we took those instructions seriously.”
“You mean when they sent out those pictures of thousands of people on the field at Shea between games of doubleheaders?”
“Yup, When we were told, ‘let’s not let this happen,’ we made sure it wouldn’t.”
“You’d think the constant losing and never-ending bad publicity would be enough to turn off everybody.”
“Go figure.”

“But we get fans anyway. Fans who pay hard-earned money.”
“Dopes.”
“And we get questions about why there are no statues like in Chicago and St. Louis or why we don’t retire another number or do more with our Hall of Fame.”
“Weirdoes.”
“And they want to celebrate our history and heritage like that’s an important part of being a Mets fan.”
“Insane!”
“You gotta believe they’re crazy.”
“‘You gotta believe’? Hey, that’s a catchy phrase! Is that from something?”
“I don’t know. I might have heard it somewhere. Not sure where.”
“Just wondering. Oh, I forgot to ask, how did the Mets do today? Gary and Keith were talking about what a fun, vibrant scene Wrigley Field is so much that I got tired of hearing that that sort of thing is allowed at a baseball stadium and turned it off.”
“Tell me about it. Uh, let me check…lost again.”
“Hefner?”
“Who else?”
“Was it close at least?”
“Stop! You’re killing me here!”
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to get you laughing that hard. You know when Harvey’s pitching again?”
“Every day of the homestand, I hope.”
“Any ideas for effective promotions next week?”
“You mean besides Harvey pitching every home game?”
“Thought so.”
“Hey, wanna grab some lunch?”
“Definitely. Mishandling our responsibility as tenders of the Mets’ legacy always gives me an appetite.”

22 comments to What Makes Met Marketers Chuckle

  • Dave

    Busted for sneaking a recording device into a Mets marketing meeting, Greg. The genius who came up with the “Homegrown Infield” Tuesday t-shirt isn’t going to like this. Because we should celebrate an infield half made up of guys who can’t hit their weight while ignoring the 73 team.

  • Lenny65

    1973: “Ya Gotta Believe!”

    2013: “Ya gotta continue to support us until ownership becomes financially stable.”

  • Kevin from Flushing

    I hate that people are still talking about the Valdespin thing, so I’m sorry to do this, but one aspect of it REALLY fucking bugs me: Collins and anyone who will talk say, “he should expect to be hit, it’s part of the game.” We all agree on that—so then WHY DON’T THE METS EVER BEAN ANYBODY?! Seriously, when was the last time an opposing player got out of line and got pegged? Even Clemens didn’t get bruised! It’s unfortunate hypocrite horseshit out of Terry’s mouth.

    More nonsense from this club.

  • Steve D

    Though I have no plans to buy Met tickets, I went onto StubHub to see how low prices are…I found something interesting…seats in the 400 level are often going cheaper than the 500 level for similar sections. This makes no sense…unless sellers selling 500 level seats have basically given up hopes of selling them and don’t bother constantly lowering their asking price.

  • great satire! hit the nail on head! Last week I recived a post card from Mets about all star tickets.. I phoned them and spoke with a young sales women ..told my history of All Star games and how George Foster was kind enough in 1996 to give me his extra ticket in Philadelphia allowing me to sit with Mets contingent at ASG. The young ladt was CLUELESS, never heard of George Foster/zero knowledge of game or its consumers and it is like this in aot of places..when I worked in accounting with Indians a young account asked me whey we sell more hotdogs at Doubleheaders than regular games..CLUELESS people working at these teams hired by CLUELESS execs and this is the mess you get!

  • FL Met Fan Rich

    Great story and spot on!

    So who are the real dummies? The Mets marketing people in the suits or the fans who still go to the games knowing this about the team they love?

  • And here I thought these kind of conversations would end when David Howard hustled over to 33rd & 8th, and his duties were taken over by Jeff Wilpon.

    Oh wait…

  • pfh64

    Because once again, it is NOT a Dodger related issue. If it was something that connected the Mets to the Dodgers, the owner would insist that the Dodger be memorialized. Since it is only Mets’ history (i.e. Mets’ Hall of Fame) it dos not count.

  • kjs

    NYC: Winning is marketing.

    Chicago: Very clever rebranding that dump into Field of Dreams Mythos Tripe. Works for the Iowa farmers. Won’t work here. Watching this Wrigley pseudo crap now on TV? Tourists. Not fans. Fans don’t tolerate fecal baseball like what the Cubs fart out. Hokum. Go White Sox—Chicago’s real MLB team.

    The main thing is to boycott the Wilpons. Starve them.

    • Dave

      Yeah, Wrigley gets its share of tourists, read in today’s Times that it’s Illinois’ third most popular tourist attraction (but the crowd is still mostly real Cubs fans). I’ve been there and to US Cellular, and I think there’s no comparison…Wrigley has charm and attitude and you sit nice and close to the action, while the White Sox’s home is the modern equivalent of the faceless cookie-cutter stadiums that popped up like mushrooms in the 70’s. Best thing about US Cellular are the hotdogs.

      • kjs

        Where were the “real fans” before the Lovable Losers rebranding? Any poseur can put on a jersey and yelp like an assklown with the addition of beer. Believe me, I saw enough bandwagoners at Football Giants games the past few years.

        What I meant is that if you root White Sox, you root for baseball, not a James Earl Jones nostalgiafest. The team is relevant, not the stadium.

        Hence, White Sox fans are bona fide fans.

  • Patrick O'Hern

    Wow a Cubs/Whitesox battle on FAFIF!

    • kjs

      No. It’s a debate on marketing strategies. What sells in Chicago can’t sell in NYC. NYC demands winners. Citi will be empty until the Mets win. You can’t sell Wrigley hokum in NYC.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Very clever and I would be having a nice chuckle if it wasn’t so true.

    There was one other time where it seemed an ownership was going to run this organization to the ground and it almost succeeded. Perhaps what saved it was that we still had Shea and an emotional connection to our past to get us through that era.

    Now, we don’t even have that. The new park could have been the new step in a rich tradition but instead is has become a reminder and monument to what the Mets have become.

    Most of us will just have to live in our memories of the past of what the Mets once were until this regime and it’s insensitivity to both the team and it’s fans is over. As it is, no matter how much a sincere effort the next generation of owners makes to return us to our once gloried past, there will always be a part of the Wilpons with us – the part that blocks off a third of left field for us in the outfield promenade.

    And then we can also get away from one who reads stats and thus believes with no other experience he has become more qualified to tell one how to play the game than those who have been through the wars on the field.

  • And it would be a downer for everybody this week if the Mets in some way made mention of the Reds, the team they beat in one of the most memorable five-game NLCS–and the most memorable postseason fight in the game history. Who cares that it was unbelievable upset and touched off a riot at Shea Stadium, that might keep people from browsing merchandise discounted from $50 to $40 or texting answers to innocuous in-stadium questions.

  • Rob D.

    They actually did have a tribute to the 73 team..in 2008..35th ann’y..I know..I was there…I think it was Tug McGraw’s last appearance at Shea.

    Not to say they shouldn’t have a 40th reunion….

    • That was 2003, for the 30th (and poignant as hell). Tug died in January ’04. Mets did 10th and 20th in ’83 and ’93. Didn’t do a 25th, though “BELIEVE” was part of their marketing slogan that year. Nothing in ’08, which was given over to Sheaing goodbye.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Did you notice in the pre-game Kevin Burkhardt indeed doing his marketing best – referring to a dismal past to point out how we’re getting away from the way Omar did business to that of a “new philosophy” on focusing more on the minor league system and building from within.

    Of course, given the fact that it would take at least two years for those just starting out now in the system to probably be ready to crack the major league level – plus two more years for them to then develop – that puts back our re-building plan just a wee bit more – let’s say anther four years. By that time, should they still be on the team, our infield would include David Wright who will be 34, Murphy 32, an outfield with Duda 31, starters Gee 31, Niese 30, Hefner 31, relievers Parnell 32 and Rice 35 to aid Matt Harvey, who will be 28 at the time along with those deemed just about ready, i.e., d’Arnaud also at 28, Wheeler at 27, Lagaras 28, Valdespin 29, Nimmo 24, Syndergaard 24 and the others whose names we don’t even know yet.

    Gives me goose bumps just thinking of what to look forward to in 2017. All that young talent coming together with guys who will still have at least two more years of productive service when it’s decided to get rid of them for more younger talent too.

  • mikeL

    YA GOTTA BEREAVE!

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