It seems like ripping off the Wilpon family is en vogue these days. The sad part about that is that the Wilpon’s can always recoup their losses by giving their fan base the bill.
After two straight disappointing seasons and a world of revenue pouring in from a new park, the Mets were poised to make sure 2009 would not end the same way 2007 and 2008 did.
They were going to make sure that all areas that needed to be addressed would be shored up. Things were going smoothly as the Mets signed closer Frankie Rodriguez for much less than first expected, and a day after that they jettisoned Aaron Heilman to Seattle and came away with a second closer in J.J. Putz. The Mets were on their way to a stupendous off season. Then 24 hours later the Bernie Madoff scandal rocked the airwaves.
The Mets’ first reaction was to separate the huge loss from the team by saying it would have no bearing on the Mets and their needs and goals. Yeah right… Who among us really swallowed that?
Almost immediately the Mets shifted gears. They stormed out of Bloomingdales with K-Rod and Putz, told their limo driver to take the rest of the week off, hopped on a bus, and set off for Value City.
By the following week the Mets had a new plan and a new vision for the 2009 Mets. They sent their little minions out to the media to spread the word. Basically, the new plan went like this.
1. They were no longer interested in upgrading in leftfield. After further review it was decided that Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy would go into the season as the starting tandem in leftfield. Replacing Moises Alou was no longer an option.
2. Mike Pelfrey would follow Johan Santana in the rotation, thus eliminating the need for a number two starter. Instead the Mets would now look to fill out the bottom of the rotation.
3. Luis Castillo who was almost guaranteed not to return, was now repackaged and resold as the the Prodigal Son who promises to do better if given another chance.
The new plan went into effect without much blow-back. After all, with K-Rod and Putz in the fold, most Mets fans were beyond appeased anyway.
No matter how much free agent players discounted their services, no matter how hard they tried to get the Mets to bite, the new Madoff Era Mets weren’t budging. There would be no O-Dog, no Burnett or Lowe, and even Abreu and Dunn who were willing to sign for a three hots and a warm bath, were not even considered.
Ticket prices were announced, and as expected for the fifth season in a row it meant higher prices, only this time the hike was a ballsy 20% across the board. Oh and one more thing, if you wanted to see the Phillies, Braves, Yankees or Dodgers, you had to buy tickets to 14 other games just for the priveledge. That’s right, single game tickets would not be available for any of the attractive draws.
The Bernie Madoff era hit Mets fans both indirectly and directly. Not only were we going to see the same exact lineup we saw in September of 2008, but we were going to pay hundreds more to see them perfrom… err… under-perform.
Now that Oliver Perez has proven to be a big time bust, things can only get worse from here. Another $36 million dollars down the drain and once again it will be us, the fans that will pay for it not the Wilpons.
Let’s see who the Mets will dredge up to fill this spot in the rotation.
Not many of us wanted Oliver Perez in the first place citing his erratic past, but when he was the last pitcher left on the market who wasn’t facing Tommy John surgery we had to bite our tongues, swallow our pride, and dance with the devil, Scott Boras. When you’re broke, on the streets and starving, the apple with the worm in it looks better than no apple at all.
To make matters worse, our GM Omar Minaya goes prime-time and says his team has no fight in them, and worse yet our manager Jerry Manuel is making decisions that even leaves Sponge Bob Squarepants scratching his head.
What else can possibly go wrong?
It’s not exactly the end of the world, but all of you should have plenty of duct tape and D batteries on hand just in case.