Last week, it was pointed out that there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to pay attention to the Mets, even with this 2014 season as early as it is. That assessment appears to have been mistaken: the Mets and their machinations have been noticed as far away as Paris…as in France. In the painstakingly detailed article linked here, it is posited that once the Willets Point project, with its ritzy hotels, pricy restaurants and upscale retail shops is completed, Fred and Jeff Wilpon will have no more use for the team they own but do not love, and the stadium they also own, but for which they are in hoc up to its flagpoles. The article goes on to say that they could – with the assistance of their MLB Godfather, Commissioner Bud Selig – follow in the footsteps of their beloved Dodgers by leaving New York a one-team town and high-tailing it up to Montreal.
A far-fetched, paranoid delusion? Perhaps, but well within the realm of chilling possibility: we wouldn’t give it a second thought if it hadn’t happened in this town before. It also seems like it could be real, given the identities of the players involved. Face it, if you’re a Met fan, you can’t put anything past these owners when it comes to callous disregard of its own rapidly dwindling fan base. It would explain the wild desperation to hold onto the team in the face of mounting costs, ever more hostile press and public clamor for them to do otherwise. It would explain the Chinese-water-torture-style starvation of the major league product. It would explain the continued presence of Chris Young on the 25-man roster.
The counter-argument, of course, is that Fred Wilpon wouldn’t be as cruel as to inflict the same pain on the people who love this team that he felt as a young man. One would hope he wouldn’t. As we’re reminded on a daily basis, though, baseball is a business. If the Wilpons can “get out from under” by hiking north of the border and then coast home by collecting the expansion fee that will come when MLB inevitably establishes yet another team known as New York (NL)…or yes, even Brooklyn…
Could you see Fred, Jeff and Uncle Saul swapping out Mr. Met for Youppi? And if so, what would you do? Become an Expo fan? Head to the Bronx? Start watching soccer regularly?
Here’s to hoping we never have to find out.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.