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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 [1]!”
“You mean the Mets’ 1973 pennant? One of four the Mets have won? One of the most iconic [2] 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 [3].”
“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 [4]?”
“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 [5]?”
“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.”
“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.”
“And they want to celebrate our history and heritage like that’s an important part of being a Mets fan.”
“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 [6].”
“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.”