“There’s a sucker born every minute”.
The great showman P. T. Barnum is credited with first saying those words, and his quote has been well preserved throughout the years. It’s intended to mean that there are, and always will be, a lot of gullible people in the world.
I’m convinced, that the Wilpons live by that credo.
This weekend, baseball fans saw the future of the New York Mets. With the inclusion of prospects Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada in last night’s lineup, the Mets had achieved the remarkable feat of fielding a team using seven homegrown players. An achievement so rare that the last time it was accomplished, Dwight Gooden was on the mound.
Somehow, this resonated with the base and with the media so much so that it spawned a hundred blogs and thousands of tweets. My take on it? Big freaking deal!
For the last few years the Mets have aggressively hyped their prospects in a campaign to condition the minds of Mets fans into believing that somehow all these prospects are among the best in baseball. They include the current top three organizational prospects led by Wilmer Flores, Jenrry Mejia and Fernando Martinez. Neither of them have done anything noteworthy though we are to assume that they are the cream of the crop because the Mets say so. Actually the Mets have us over a barrel and they know it.
Including our new young second baseman Ruben Tejada, the Mets have given us four prospects that were all undrafted, international signings. They have no college record for us to gauge, they have no baseball pedigree, no bloodlines, no record of competing in the Olympics or playing in organized international baseball, nothing.
They were seen kicking a can around, throwing rocks, running through the streets, or swinging an ax to cut down a tree for lumber. Somehow they found their way to the Mets new baseball academy and became uber-prospects… Blue chippers…
It was a real nifty trick when you think about it. All of a sudden that barren wasteland the Mets called a farm system, was now bursting at the seams with prospects so good that any mention of them in trade talks was quickly dismissed. This only added to their growing legends and to their mystique.
Jenrry Mejia in a deal for Doc Halladay? Dude, seriously, we weren’t born yesterday… You go ahead and keep Halladay, Mejia is staying put right here. What do you think, that we were born yesterday?
They got so good at hyping these international signees, that it quickly spread to their traditionally drafted prospects like Josh “Holy” Thole, “Captain” Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Jonathan Niese “And Easy”. None of them ranked in Baseball America’s Top 100 this year, but all of them are now untouchable and the future of Flushing.
This weekend the Mets launched Phase Two of their Master Plan to shave their payroll down to $80 million dollars. It worked perfectly. The fan base were receptive on all fronts, and by next April, the Mets will have perpetrated the “Greatest Fraud on Earth” instead of the “Greatest Show on Earth”, or at least New York. Barnum would have been so proud.
Move over Washington Nationals, here come the 2011 Mets:
1B – Ike Davis: Watch him tumble and turn for an amazing $500K.
2B – Ruben Tejada Look at his batting average… Now you see it, now you don’t.
SS – Jose Reyes: Watch him juggle and bobble baseballs like no other, all while smiling.
3B – David Wright: No show is complete without a ring leader, give him a “C” and watch him lead!
C – Josh Thole: He’ll hit some of the longest singles you’ll ever see, and boy can he catch a knuckleball.
LF – Jason Bay: The Human Canonball… Watch him crash though obstacles with his bare face.
CF – Angel Pagan: A wave of his wand, and doves, bikini clad women and Carlos Beltran vanish into thin air.
RF – Fernando Martinez: He will dazzle, he will amaze, he will make $400K. A true keeper.
Seven homegrown Mets!
Eight, if you want to give Jason Bay credit for being a former Mets farmhand!
You gotta hand it to the Wilpons… They’ve convinced the masses that this will be the best ticket in town in 2011. I don’t know how they did it, but somehow they did.
Somewhere in the clouds, ol’ Phineas is smiling down on Citi Field…
So is the rest of the National League East…