A fiscal discussion for the Wilpons

Met fans talk a big game.  We say that if the BLEEPITY BLEEPING owners don’t give Sandy Alderson the money to sign David Wright and other players, that we’re not watching a single game.  The truth of the matter is: If you are reading this blog… you care about the Mets too much to ignore them through a season.  The truth is that you’ll complain until every message board but still end up watching, rooting for, and cursing your favorite team.

Instead of a hyperbolic appeal to the owners full of threat, innuendo and puffery I’ve decided to try a more rational approach that appeals to the Wilpons on a rational level.  There are plenty reasons that they should care about in terms of bringing back David Wright and R.A. Dickey and investing in the team.  Remember, all things revolve around MONEY.

Spend Money To Make Money: David Wright will cost the Mets a lot of money to retain.  More money than his skills alone might be worth on the open market… but then again… probably about as much as another team would eventually be willing to offer.  R.A. Dickey is going to cost a substantial increase but he’s not going to get Ace money just as he isn’t going to get drafted in the first 3 rounds of the average fantasy baseball draft next season.  The key with Dickey and Wright isn’t how much they’d want.  It’s how much they’d make the team.  If David Wright is making $20 Mil a year (Not saying he will… it’s just a round number) then it would be assumed that he’d be making the team over $20 Mil between his draw as a player and the rights to his name.  The same goes with Dickey but I’ll estimate $10 Mil instead.

The fact is that, YES, they probably do earn their keep in Met uniforms at those kinds of salaries.  The question is if the team makes enough of them to offset the money they decidedly don’t make off of Johan Santana or Jason Bay.

Offer A Comparable Product: The next reality is that the Mets play baseball in New York.  Which tends to mean that they will never escape a direct comparison to that other team who plays nearby.  How can one New York team be so very good and the other team be so very bad?  How can one team seem to have a never ending bag of money and the other team teeter near the big-market poverty level?  You are winning no NEW fans this year.  You’ve won no new fans for a while.  You cannot continue to trot out an inferior product when there is a direct comparison a boro away and expect to attract a bigger fan base.

HECK!  My Devils can’t attract fans and we’ve been a top team since 1994!  Do the Rangers still sell more tickets?  YES!

Charge Less: The fans are tired.  These are not the new fans.  These are the old fans.  We’re tired.  We have bought our jerseys, tickets and souvenir Pepsi cups.  We’ve shelled out $20 for parking, $100 for mediocre tickets and another $50 on food at the stadium.  Give us a break.  If you can’t provide the funding to make your product credible… at least give us a break and make them affordable to watch.  I didn’t go to a single game this season.  Not because the Mets weren’t good, not because it’s not convenient to get from the stadium home to New Jersey by public transport, not even because I had a busy and miserable year.  I didn’t go because I didn’t have the money to.

Here Is Me Being Rational: Spend More… Get Competitive… Charge Less…

Note: Rational does not (in this case) mean realistic.

14 comments for “A fiscal discussion for the Wilpons

  1. 7rain
    September 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    The Wilpon’s have spent money to make money for 20 years now and I am sure did in fact make plenty of it. The problem is that they didn’t re invest anywhere near enough into subsequent teams and that is where their money would have multiplied ten fold.

    Imagine a team of players they had drafted as high school kids who cost a little more than the average slot selection (or lower) one tool college player. It is not only on the Amateur Scouting Coordinator or GM when 4-5 of each continue to exhibit the same exact tendencies.

    Imagine a 2013 team with Yadier Molina (4th rnd 2004) Travis d’Anaurd (sup end #37 2007) at catcher.

    Mike Trout (1st round #25 2009) Andrew McCutchen (1st round # 11 2005) and Mike Stanton (2nd round 2007)

    We had the picks to draft these players or plenty of other almost as talented HS kids. Sure it would have cost a little more on the draft budget and that philosophy would have produced a number of busts as well but we religiously avoid hunting the elephant instead opting for the “safer and closer” college pick or use the picks to address the lack of talent currently existing in the Organization as well as stimulating the fan base at ticket selling time.

    Penny wise but dollar foolish.

    Wonder what the prices would be on stub hub if this team were run as a continuous fluid enterprise instead of on a year by year basis.

    So sure the Wilpon’s understand the value of spending money to make money but their not willing to be patient about the return. with the Ventura, Zeile, Appier, Weathers, Floyd, Cedeno, Glavine, Pedro, Beltran, Wagner, Alou, K-Rod, and Bay type signings they not only generate tons of favorable publicity right at ticket selling time but their investment starts paying off before they even have to start paying it out. They also get to avoid having to spend the money in August those forfeited draft choices would have received.

    Win – win for everyone but the Fans.

    Realistically MLB probably forced the Mets to lower payroll because their debt to equity ratio’s were above the guidelines. That’s not going to change until the Stadium bond payments are retired unless this team starts drawing. We’re already not drawing with Wright and Dickey so I don’t them carving into the 50 M coming off at the end of 2013.

    A resign of Dickey for 3/45 and a mid season deal for Wright if it comes together is about the best you could hope for. If not it’ll be a supplemental round pick for Wright and a mid season deal for Dickey.

    Three pretty reasonably talented prospects anywhere between Rookie ball and AA.

  2. September 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Well written article.

    I admit and own it: they stink, but I will watch. There must be some sane things that can be done.

    I want David Wright signed, but more for nostalgia than value; more for my 10 year old son, than for value. I saw Wilmer Flores. He can hit.

    I am, however, outside the Money Ball, optimistic about the future.

    Our pitching staff could be something very special.

    I think Zach Wheeler makes it out of Spring training. Harvey, Dickey, Wheeler, Niese and guys fighting.

    1B Davis
    2B Murphy .290, hard working, much better defense
    SS Tejado outhit Reyes

    3B: This gets interesting. If David goes Chipper Jones, accepts less gazzillions to stay, all the better. If not, he could bring us something we need:

    Catcher.

    Obviously, our outfield is in trouble, but at least the infield and the pitching staff are solid. Listening to Josh Thole, me wonders if he has taken too many Scott Stevens like hits. (nod to author)

    But yes, I will watch, regardless of ownership.

  3. Rev. Al
    September 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I love R.A. but he is 37 and had one good year? Last year was not so good. So! which Dickey do you get? I think to trade him now,for a piece we need and keep Wright, if he would give the Mets a chance to sign him.The money you save on R.A. tops off Wrights contract plus you have a hole filled in the line up.Dickey in a package, should bring us something good?

  4. Metsense
    September 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Winning is what puts fans in the seats. Being above .500 is important. Making the playoffs is important. These two aspects have a carry over effect. This is discussed in the two links below. The Mets blew a golden opportunity at the beginning of July by not investing some capital and aquireing some help. An above .500 record would have helped for next year’s ticket sales.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/orioles-winning-season-paying-off-at-box-office/
    http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2010/03/what_puts_fans.php

    • Mack Ade
      September 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Metsense:

      Hey guys… I’m home.

      I can’t seem to get something across.

      The bean counters have turned off the faucets. Comparing the 2012 team to Baltimore isn’t fair to anyone, including Fred Wilpon. There simply is no money in the till to begin a decent turnaround until:

      - off-season Oct 2012-March 2013… the Mets will clear 5-8 players and have somewhere in the range of $5.13mil – $13mil to do “something”, but most of this will pay for guys like Baltimore did IN THEIR OFF-SEASON. Did you want the Mets to sign people at this all-star break that still were available at $1mil and worth the sign? And if you do, you get them for 6 months, in a year you’re not going to make the playoff, and then let them negotiate you again for next year/ This makes no sense.

      IF… they pass on Pelfrey, and don’t sign Hariston, they will have enough to pay for all the $1mil-1-yr guys they need… plus one everyday outfield in the $5-8mil range… via trade.

      - THAT’S IT FOLKS. The money raised selling minority shares has all been spent and there still is plenty of interest on debt on the books.

      THIS TEAM WILL LOSE $60-70,000,000 THIS YEAR. Guys, it’s a business.

      • Chris F
        September 30, 2012 at 8:33 am

        Hi Mack, glad you are back and hope all is well.

        I completely hear what you are saying and looking forward to installment 2 today. As I see the matter, 2013 is a treading water year, with ’14 something to aim for being .500. As for competitive? I’d be thinking ’16 once the team begins to gel as a unit, all of course depending on the Nats, Braves, and Phillies. I think Miami is structured a long term disaster. Wonder if Miami will see Stanton as a moveable piece. He’d command quite a return.

  5. kjs
    September 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Dave… the box office is an odious hustle for tourists, masochists, and corporations. The Wilpons are scum. However, as I’ve mentioned on many a blog, the Wilpons have been freelancing out tickets for years at $2 to $5 a pop (why do you think sales outdo attenence by 5 to 10K each sad little game?) I’ve gone to 13 of my 16 games this year at $10 or less. If you can access my ID email, I’ll hook you up.

  6. September 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    It is difficult to understand why the Mets stood pat in July.

    • Mack Ade
      September 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Peter:
      Please reed my business series that continues tomorrow… and read what I told Metsense above.

      I don’t know what you do Peter, but let’s say you own a widget company. You’re putting out an inferior product, less people buy your widgets every day, you own million of dollars to all sorts of people that won’t lend you anymore, and you lost $60,000,000 this year in your business.

      That’s the Mets.

  7. Charles
    September 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I believe wholeheartedly that the Wilpons would love to raise payroll. I believe that the reason they don’t is because they just don’t have the cash to do it. These are wealthy men who sure aren’t going to empty their private piggy banks, using their butler’s salary, to help this team win. The only way this team gets competitive is by the Mets turning a profit, stop bleeding cash, and waiting out the horrible contracts they have left on the books.

    Anyone see what that player on the twins did today? He forfeited his 2013 salary and buyout because his play was so crappy. This is a man who earned less in the last two years than Jason Bay has in any one of his pathetic years with the Mets. I’ve always wondered why these millionaires who don’t need the money continue to throw their pride out the window and cash those huge checks, despite a performance so horrible it would make them puke before bed every night. I don’t care how much work he does in the cage or how good of a player he is in the locker room, this guy is wrong. Yeah, I could see if he batted .250 with 12 homers and 68 rbi’s, then you can say it was a bad signing. This isn’t the case. This man can’t play ball anymore. He shouldn’t be on anyone’s 25 man roster, on anyone’s 40 man roster, or on the roster of my over 30 softball team. He says a lot that if he really believed that he wasn’t still the same player from four yrs ago that he’d give it up and stop subjecting himself and us to his horrific ending of his once great career, but that is a lie. Everyone, including himself, knows that it’s over and now it’s just time to collect the rest of his garenteed contract.

    Yes, he has every right to collect every last dime. But I ask you, he’s made over fifty million in the career, how can he justify this thievery? Not only that, but let’s also remember the roster spot he takes up. His greed is preventing someone from either achieving their dreams or making their much worked for cash. If the mets released him, he’d still collect his cash, and I’d even bet he’d never bother to find another job. I think he’d be relieved. That alone justifies him retiring this offseason.

    Furthermore, I think the Mets fans should start a petition. A retire Jason Bay petition. Let’s get it going, make it big and I bet if it grew to the point that it got over a million signatures he’d go quietly off into the Canadian sunset. I’d love for Sandy to have an extra 18 million to spend this offseason, wouldn’t you?

    This great guy from the twins Has the kind of character every person should have within them. He’s an honorable man whom I applaud.

    • September 30, 2012 at 11:51 am

      I just don’t see how you can say the Wilpons are justified in not spending their own money to improve the team while Jason Bay should forfeit his salary, which is the same thing as spending his money to improve the team.

      If anyone should spend his own money to improve the Mets, it should be the guy who, you know, owns the freaking team.

  8. Mack Ade
    September 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Charles gets it… of course, he’s been reading me the longest. :)

    Spend all the time you want pissing and moaning what this team should have done this year.

    T H E Y C A N ‘ T ! ! ! !

  9. Charles
    September 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    They just cant

  10. David Groveman
    September 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Great comments all around.

    Mack, really glad you are healthy. I think my point is simply that without a fiscal investment in the team the team will bleed more and more money. If that is true, the Wilons will have to sell at some point anyway, but it will be years before the fans get payoff. Meanwhile the following of the Mets will dwindle as they settle in as the punch line of New York teams.

    You are of course right, but I was being rational and not realistic.

    All the best on a speedy recovery.

    I’ll chime back more when on an actual computer and not an iPhone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *