On this day after Thanksgiving 2012, one of the things I am most gratefuil for is my readership. Over the years I have gotten to know many of you, argued with some, commiserated with others and have made quite a few friends along the way. Every writer wants to be read, and even more, given feedback; complimentary or otherwise. So my thanks to all, from the bottom of my heart.
Having been an actor for many years before starting my journalism career, I am no stranger to criticism. I am sad to say that the thick skin I now posses wasn’t always as such, and I’ve had my share of cringe-worthy moments. Most of those regrettable moments have come in ther form of defending myself against those who would question my integrity, or others who have either misquoted or misrepresented my words.
Back in May of 2011, I published the first “Choose The Mets” post on Gotham Nation. In it, I tried to illustrate my feelings about the team I love and the present ownership group.
When Erin Arvedlund first talked about the effects of the Bernie Madoff scandal as it pertained to Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and Sterling Equities, Mets fans took sides. Why? Unless you are related to Fred Wilpon or work for him, why would anyone care? The Mets might be owned by Fred Wilpon, but they are not his team, they are your team.
I urge you to read the original posts and the ones that follow, if for no other reason, to help create a more reasoned debate that we can continue this offseason.
Many Mets fans agreed with the post, while just as many others viewed it as a biased attack on their beloved team. With hopes of trying to clarify my position, I posted “Again, I Choose The Mets”
The Mets? I love the Mets. My kids love the Mets. Most of my extended family loves the Mets. But the people that run the Mets have used up all of my patience, enthusiasm and trust. I can no longer support their efforts with my wallet because I do not believe that they have the interests of the New York Mets first and foremost in their minds.
Is that fair? Do I have no compassion for their financial and personal situations? Of course I do. But having empathy for their situation is one thing. Enabling their ability to cling to the New York Mets is something else. They are a bad ownership group, it’s as simple as that. Now their past failings have not only created a serious crisis of confidence among their fanbase, there is a growing number of people who are (finally) starting to realize that the Mets and MLB’s relationship is a little too cozy to be ignored.
This post, which I thought more clearly expressed the background and totality of “Choose The Mets”. was again met with similar results; those who agreed and those who didn’t. One major rebuttal came from the MetsPolice.com, the “fan advocate” blog run by Shannon Shark. So I answered his criticisms with a post “Me and The Mets Police”
I thought it was fair. I still do. And frankly, I think this statement completely summed up what Choose The Mets is all about:
By choosing the Mets, I can enjoy Mets baseball without having to endorse the ownership by paying admission.
A lot has happened since then. Jose Reyes, the best shortstop in Mets history, left. The Mets, after a nice start, regressed, and finished worse than they had the season before. Part of the problem was the fron’t office’s inability and/or unwillingness to import players who may have helped turn things around.
Then the Mets announced that certain ticket prices would go up. There was nary a peep from most. That, for me, was the last straw. I amped up my Choose The Mets stance to include a more stronger criticism of certain Mets fans that still don’t seem to get that they are part of the overall problem. Hence, “If You Buy a Season Ticket To See The Mets in 2013, You Are A Schmuck”
The schmucks, to be clear, are the people spend their hard-earned money on season tickets. These season ticket packages subsidize a baseball team that is unwilling and unable to reciprocate that same financial commitment on the field. You are, in essence, telling them with this purchase, “Attaboy!”
Money raised from season tickets revenue goes in the bank. It won’t go to the bullpen, it won’t go to the outfield, nor will it go behind the plate. It won’t go to a high profile manager or coaching staff, all of whom are being brought back despite two seasons of failure.
Where is it going? It sure as hell isn’t going into your pocket as a return for your loyalty and support.
A season ticket will get you a chance to get an All-Star ticket, but really, if that’s your goal as a Mets fan in 2013, you really are a schmuck.
That seemed to get people’s attention. Again, some laughed and admitted they were schmucks, but wouldn’t change. Some were highly insulted. Some totally agreed.
Shortly after, the Mets announced that the cheapest seat in the house for Opening Day would be a cool $63, a lot of fans finally started to see that while I may have called them schmucks, the Mets apparently are counting on that very fact.
This is YOUR team, my fellow Mets fans. I can’t think of a better mesage to send to ownership than staying home. You can still enjoy your team, but on YOUR terms, not theirs. Not going to the ballpark sucks, but as long as you keep going to The House That Fred Wilpon’s Ego Built, they will never get the message. And that infintely sucks more.