It was just about a full year ago that I envisioned better things on the horizon for the Mets. I thought the team’s finances would stabilize. I thought Sandy Alderson would be somewhat freer to make marked improvements to the product on the field. I thought the kids ripening on the farms would be ready to contribute – either at Citi Field or as trade fodder. I thought I’d feel better about the Mets this Christmas than I did last Christmas.
I was wrong. And I was right.
Over these previous twelve months, the Wilponian finances have, indeed, become stable. As I’ve said before, “zero” is a stable number. And the farm system has produced some valuable parts: Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Collin McHugh, Robert Carson and Josh Edgin showed some talent and makeup enough to possibly stick out of spring training, 2013. I’m thrilled that David Wright will now most likely finish his career as a New York Met: his new extension takes him through his age 38 season and he’s made it well known that he probably won’t want to play much past that.
Right now, that’s about where the good news ends. It started at the 2012 trade deadline, when opportunities for improvement were there, then discarded. The machinations and roller-coaster nature of the Wright negotiations left a slightly-off taste in my mouth. Immediately after that, Sandy Alderson and company went to the Winter Meetings and came back with…David Wright. That made much of the Mets’ fan base restive. Then came the announcement that the cheapest ticket for Opening Day 2013 will be $63.00. To sit in the cold in April and watch…the Mets. Think about that for a minute. You may feel yourself needing to lie down.
Right now, the sloth-pace of the negotiations for an extension/trade of R.A. Dickey – and Dickey’s slightly testy tone when asked about it at the team’s annual Christmas party, at which he played an elf — has ratcheted the grumbling to a higher pitch. Something has GOT to give, and soon, or those $63 seats will remain un-butt-creased well into the summer and until it gets cold again. We find ourselves exactly where we were at the beginning of October: no outfield, half-a-catcher and a ramshackle bullpen. Even for me – keep yer sunnyside up! – this is beginning to border on the inexcusable. Even possibly righting a wrong from last year – bringing in Cody Ross – will not be enough, and once the Dickey situation is resolved, the money probably stops right there.
I know there’s still three months until spring training. I know there’s still seven full months before the trading deadline. I know there’s still answers out there and plenty of time to find them.
Knowing makes no difference. Action is being demanded.
I wonder if the front office realizes it.