Mets fans are getting restless

Yesterday, our own esteemed Brian Joura posted a lengthy, thoughtful article on how we fans could be dealing with the current state of the Mets. So far, we’re not dealing so hot. Now, let’s be real: owners Jeff and Fred Wilpon and GM Sandy Alderson haven’t given us much to work with so far this winter. While the team across town has added NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton to their already-formidable roster, and are purportedly in negotiations to bring in All-Star infielder Manny Machado and talented young starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, the Mets have had to be contented with middle-reliever Anthony Swarzak and a rumor of bringing in aged first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Other players the Mets have been “strongly linked to” have ended up elsewhere: Bryan Shaw, Evan Longoria, Ian Kinsler and the like. It appears for all the world as if the other 29 teams in MLB are improving daily and the Mets are stuck in the swamp.

What’s a fan to do?

Well, some are fighting back – symbolically, if nothing else. There are Twitter movements afoot and petitions to sign and boycotts to join and all manner of social unrest to in which to engage. All that may make us feel better, but it is doubtful that any of that shouting-at-the-rain will make any difference. As has been pointed out so many times, correlation does not equal causation: the Mets didn’t get to the World Series in 2015 because a group of fans ponied up to erect a series of “Sell The Team!” billboards in Port St. Lucie and Flushing. No, they got there because nearly everything broke right for the starting pitching staff and the team was able to stay close enough in the race to warrant lineup improvement at the trading deadline. So, see? Management can function on a Major League level if they put their collective mind to it.

From over here, the problem is transparency, and has been for a long time. Say what you will about the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, but their fans always knew where he stood. His aim was always winning. Now, the same may be true for the Wilpon family. Former GM Steve Phillips worked for this organization in one form or other for 15 years and he recently took to Twitter himself to defend Mets’ ownership, calling them, in effect, the Mets’ biggest fans. Unless we “regular” fans are working side-by-side with them, we’d never know it. We get all kinds of platitudes about being “competitive,” and “meaningful games in September,” and building “sustainable success.” As we all know, actions should get more volume and their actions have consistently fallen short of the mark.

The Wilpons have owned the team for almost 38 years, now, and in that time, they’ve given us one World Championship, two NL Pennants and four other playoff appearances. Seven post-season parties in 38 years: not the best percentage. Back in 1977, when the Mets’ golden child Tom Seaver was on the verge of being hustled out of town, he noted that “Mets fans want a winner,” and the truly odious ownership of the time blithely refused to give us one, using some honest to goodness horse-and-buggy thinking. The Wilpons? Sometimes they get it right.

Just not often enough to please us.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.

15 comments for “Mets fans are getting restless

  1. December 21, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Charlie of course the Wilpons are the biggest Met fans. It’s their team. I’m sure they would love to win as many games as possible so they can continue their legacy here in Queens. I’m just trying to figure out how they expect to continue when everything has to fall into place just so the team can make a wild card berth. After how many years of dumpster diving we find this enigmatic team still floundering and with more questions than answers. Nothing changes and that’s what I feel pisses off most fans. If there was a glimmer of hope I wouldn’t mind the suffering. And yet we continue to cheer for “our” beloved Mets because that’s what true fans do

  2. MDonaldWilpon
    December 21, 2017 at 9:25 am

    They never get it right…. a broken clock is right twice a day. If Washington doesn’t fall apart in 2015, we don’t make the playoffs. If St.L doesn’t beat Atlanta in 2000, the Braves would have beaten the Mets in the NLCS. The Mets succeed when others have breakdowns and never on their own merits. What type of loser organization cannot stand on its own two legs and charges ticket prices based on how good the opponent is? Build a winning product.

    • December 21, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Everybody does the tiered ticket pricing nowadays.

  3. Eraff
    December 21, 2017 at 9:44 am

    You’re mimimizing the 2015 run???? sad!

    • MDonaldWilpon
      December 21, 2017 at 9:52 am

      I’m calling the 2015 run what it was. Capitalizing on a dysfunctional team in Washington. The Mets never build a team that wins without some other anomaly occurring.

  4. Jimmy P
    December 21, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Since they cheated partner Nelson Doubleday out of the business, that’s zero World Championships. There’s nobody left to talk them into trading for Piazza anymore.

    Omar’s great gift was that he got them to buy into a vision for the franchise. Stars, big money, fan excitement, winning. He came close to pulling it off, but 2007 and 2008 was disappointments, then Madoff, and they now don’t have enough money to run a team. Their interest is in Sterling Enterprises anyway.

    Now there’s no vision for the future, more of just kicking the van down the road, cheating the fans. Sandy helps run the show and, to date, keeps it looking almost like a legit enterprise instead of a grotesque scam.

    It is what it is, as the saying goes, but at least we can all be honest about reality here. These guys have been the worst thing that ever happened to the Mets franchise. A pox on them!

    • December 21, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      I’m not ready to say that the Wilpons are worse than M Donald and the deRoulets. I do wish that Doubleday had never let him have more than his original 5% share.

      Here’s a piece about the Doubleday/Wilpon history, written in 2010 if anyone doesn’t know the story.

  5. Mike Walczak
    December 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Realistically, what I want as a fan is a team that is competitive enough to win the division and get to the playoffs. Do the Mets stack up to be as good as the Nationals ? No, they don’t. The Nats window will be getting smaller once Harper leaves. (Maybe) But for now, the Mets don’t stack up. Expecting them to is a pipe dream. Too many stars have to align for that to happen.

    Yes, I do understand and respect that they dont want to go out and get bad contracts. ie Jacoby Ellsbury, etc…. But there are other options and so far, the Mets havent exercised them to really improve the team.

    We also have to look at the farm system. Besides Rosario, where are the stud prospects ? The Mets farm system is weak.

    As I have said before, I am impatient. I want to see new blood on the team. I dont want to see Reyes, Bruce, Duda or Neil Walker. I dont want to see them go after 35 year old players like Ian Kinsler either. Big contracts for Moustakis or Hosmer arent worth it either.

    I like speed on a team. Speed adds a dimension to the game. Lets get a “good” leadoff hitter. Lets continue to add to the bullpen too.

    We have to give Alderson the time. But, I will be very disappointed if he does not add players that the Mets need or pick up junk players in hopes of a miracle.

    • December 21, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      “As I have said before, I am impatient. I want to see new blood on the team. I dont want to see Reyes, Bruce, Duda or Neil Walker. I dont want to see them go after 35 year old players like Ian Kinsler either. Big contracts for Moustakis or Hosmer arent worth it either.”

      I could not agree more

  6. Pete In Iowa
    December 21, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    “The Mets biggest fans.” The Wilpons? Really?
    When I was following the Mets in the box scores of the Daily News in the sixties, they were doing the same — for the Dodgers!
    I’m sure they’d be hard pressed to name the usual lineups during 1969 and who we traded for Clendenon that season.
    The Wilpons may be a lot of things, but the biggest fans of the Mets? I don’t think so.

    • Mike Walczak
      December 21, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      You can get good payers by trades. Keith Hernandez for Rick Ownbey and Neil Allen. Gary Carter for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald and Floyd Youmans. Frank Viola for David West. Preston Wilson and a couple of prospects for Mike Piazza. Phill Humber, Carlos Gomez and couple of prospects for Johan Santana. (I know there may be more to the deals, but you get the point)

      I say, go ahead and get some players that you want. Dont be afraid to give up a piece of the puzzle answer. Just have a plan to replace them after the trade.

      So who ? Cubs are in win now mode and are in a win window. How about Ian Happ? What a great piece.

      Thinks about this. The last real significant trade that the Mets made was 5 years ago, when the Mets traded Dickey for Syndergaard and d’Arnaud. Five years

      Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

      • NormE
        December 21, 2017 at 5:30 pm

        You forgot the Cespedes-Fullmer deal.

        • Mike Walczak
          December 21, 2017 at 11:48 pm

          OK – you got me on that one.

    • December 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Pete we’re talking about the time frame as owners. The Mets are their bread and butter. The more success the team has the more profit they can drain from it.

      • Pete In Iowa
        December 22, 2017 at 10:30 am

        All true Pete. But that doesn’t make them “fans.” At least not in the sense that you or I consider ourselves to be.

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