You know the old saying from the classic baseball movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner and Ray Liotta. If you built it they will come…
That hasn’t exactly been a case of life imitating art where the Mets are concerned. In fact, it’s not even close. According to a report by ESPN, Mets attendance has been in a steep decline since they played their last game at Shea Stadium and drew 4,042,045 in 2008. The attendance figures since moving into Citi Field are sinking faster than the Lusitania:
Those are declines of 21.6 percent, 19.2 percent, 8.1 percent and 4.7 percent.
How much worse can it get?
Will the Mets attract fewer than 2 million fans for the first time since 1997, when they drew only 1,766,174?
Everyone seems to be excited and enamored with the “new direction”, but it seems that the majority of those fans mostly inhabit the internet because nobody seems to be showing any tangible support for this team since the new regime took charge.
Nobody is flocking to see the “face of the franchise” David Wright, or promising slugger Ike Davis, or exciting newbies like Matt Harvey and Josh Edgin.
So what gives? We have a beatiful new ballpark and an exciting new direction, what the hell went wrong?
Well, another old adage applies here… Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Alderson, please take note…
You get what you pay for.
Apparently the slightly updated, If You Re-Build It They Will Come, doesn’t work either. That might thrill throngs of Mets bloggers and tweeps, but the majority of them are not putting their money where their mouths are either.
Until the product on the field starts putting more wins on the board the bleeding wil continue. And as long as the bleeding continues, Sandy Alderson will keep the blood-letting up.
Which player will be the next to go if they have a breakthrough season in 2013?
I’m betting that Ike Davis and Jon Niese will be rocketed out of town for another team’s top prospects should they have All Star campaigns this season. That seems to be the trend – all being done under the guise of a plan. A week doesn’t go by where Davis and Niese are mentioned as trade chips on the Mets’ flagship site MetsBlog. It’s as if they are warming us up to the idea.
Time will tell if that’s truly the case, but for now as much as everyone loves the job this front office is doing, the fact is that it’s done little to increase their win totals in the standings, their attraction at the gate, or the fortunes in their coffers. That is undeniable.
You want more fans? Spend some money and put a product on the field we could be proud of. Don’t slash payroll while jacking up ticket prices. Giving us less for more and sugarcoating it with the promise of prospects isn’t working, guys. Some of us may have been born, but we weren’t born yesterday.