It’s Hard For Fans To Get Excited When The Mets Don’t Know Where They’re Going

Fred Wilpon is approached at Citi Field, asked about next year’s payroll and says “Ask Sandy.”

Sandy Alderson is approached a couple of days later with the same question and says “I haven’t discussed it with ownership yet.”

Which way does the wind blow? Will the player personnel budget increase or decrease further in 2013? Will moves be made to improve the disappointing product on the field? Is 2013 to be the major stepping stone to the promised Nirvana of 2014? Will the Mets finally be better than mediocre-at-best?

Well, if Fred and Sandy don’t know, we fans certainly don’t. And that’s a problem for the rest of 2012 and probably for 2014, as well. Whatever the plan is, in the going-forward it is wrapped up tighter than the Pentagon Papers were. I can understand Sandy Alderson being reluctant to lay out his entire strategy, naked for all the world to see. I can get not blabbing away whatever leverage you might have among free-agents-to-be or revealing your overall arc to the other 29 Major League front offices.

But can we get a hint?

For an organization that had staked so much of this season on improving attendance over a decent-but-far-from-great 2011 – over and over we heard about a $70 million loss in 2011 and how there was precious little new revenue to be had, other than better attendance, to reverse that trend for 2012 – it sure has done a good job of sabotaging itself. Other than their smoke-and-mirrors first half, this team has given a fan no reason at all to fork over any precious funds and take a seat at the not-so-ol’ ballpark. Oh, they’ll tout the latest post-game concert or bobblehead giveaway, but that alone won’t draw what they need. They have two things playing against them in that regard: first of all, Bill Veeck is dead; secondly, this is New York. Unfortunately for them and us, the Yankees have spoiled the whole area. Winning is what counts. Winning is what will bring people into the building. Winning is what will create a legacy. As is painfully obvious, there hasn’t been a lot of that in Queens for years. These owners and this front office aren’t talking about how they intend to reverse this course. They’re telling us they don’t know how.

Meanwhile, we’re distracted from yet another on-field disaster by a miniature replay of last season’s 9/11 “Capgate”. R.A. Dickey was forced to remove a friendship bracelet his daughter had given him prior to his ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro back in January. He’d been wearing it while he pitched all season long – and such a fine season it’s been. As soon as it was removed, balls commenced going over buildings. Dickey gave up approximately 9,000 feet of home runs at Great American Ballpark last night (8/15). Selective enforcement of an obscure rule is never pretty, and Dickey & Terry Collins felt picked on.

Sounds about right for the Mets, actually.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley

9 comments for “It’s Hard For Fans To Get Excited When The Mets Don’t Know Where They’re Going

  1. August 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I think way too much is made about leverage with free agents to be.

    But I’d rather be kept in the dark about the 2013 payroll then lied to about it like we were in 2012. Until/unless one of the 2012 liars says something concrete in either direction, I’ll just assume we’ll have the same $94.5 million payroll that we had this year in 2013. And even if one of the liars says, “We’re going to have a XX million payroll next year,” I still won’t believe it until the 25-man roster is set.

    Because once you’ve found out that you’re dealing with liars, the only rational action is to focus on deeds, not words.

  2. David Groveman
    August 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I am a believer that a New York team should have a New York payroll. This means the Mets should annually spend at least $125 Mil on player salaries and should be able to afford $175 Mil if need be. This is not the case.

    If this team stays below the “Big Market” poverty line ($100 Mil) then Selig needs to act.

    • Chris F
      August 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Theres a lot of truth in that David.

      • steevy
        August 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

        I agree.The Mets can’t be like the KC Royals.

  3. steevy
    August 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Mea Culpa,Terry Collins is a genius.

  4. steevy
    August 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Brian I apologize for using the comments rather than the chat.I can’t get the chat to work properly either on my computer(even with Firefox) or on my Ipad.

  5. Metsense
    August 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    The Mets are losing money because of bad ownership decisions. They refused to invest some sizable money and low level prospects for any bullpen help when they were competing and were a wild card team. They decided to keep backing their 16M investment in LF when other players were and still are outperforming him. They got a RH hitting catcher 2 months after the horse got out of the barn. All of the above did not require gutting the farm system. It is obvious they still don’t have money and should sell the team. The Wilpon’s should realize that they won’t make money until they put a winning team on the field which they could have done in 2012.

  6. Chris F
    August 19, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Bad news from espn about the budget. 2013 won’t be any better and given resigning DW, RA etc, the news may not be changing.

    • steevy
      August 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Why should fans support a team with their hard earned $ if ownership wont spend to put a top product on the field?The answer,of course,is that we shouldn’t.They should expect to be last in the league in attendance next season.

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