Fortuitous Fred, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Shake Shack At Citi Field

An article by posted on July 18, 2013

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An MMO Fan Shot by Costa Michalakis

Tuesday night’s game at Citi Field marked the first time the New York Mets organization has hosted the Midsummer Classic in nearly 50 years.  The last one was at Shea in it’s inaugural season of 1964.

While this year’s game couldn’t match the on-field drama of that contest which ended when the Phillies’ Johnny Callison hit a walk-off homerun (long before anyone ever used the word “walk-off”) to give the NL a 7-4 victory it did provide plenty of theater in a karmic sense.

Granted the American League’s 3-0 blanking of the National League broke a three game losing streak for the AL in the Classic and awarded them home-field advantage in the World Series, the game was relatively uneventful as far as All Star games go.  The NL managed only 3 hits in the game and the AL scored their runs on a sacrifice fly, fielder’s choice and a ball that was misplayed by Domonic Brown on Jason Kipnis’s double into the left field corner in the top of the 8th.  Not exactly thrilling stuff.

Until the bottom of the 8th ….

You knew something was amiss when the AL players were late to take the field to start the inning.  Then Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” (haven’t heard the argument about it being Billy Wagner’s song in quite some time) began to blare out of the Citi Field speakers and something that’s been more automatic than anything in professional sports over the last 17 years (or maybe all time for that matter) happened. That’s when the revered Mariano Rivera trotted out to the mound to take the ball for the 8th inning. The only thing strange about this scene was that Mo was coming out to pitch the 8th and not close the game in the ninth. AL manager Jim Leyland later explained that he did this because he wanted to make sure Rivera had a chance to pitch with the lead.

Mariano received a long-standing ovation as both teams and the largest crowd ever at Citi Field showered him with well-deserved applause.

Mo then proceeded to steal the show by pitching a 1-2-3 inning and taking home MVP honors for the game in the process. The first time ever that a reliever has won the award and maybe the only honor that had eluded living legend to this point in his incomparable career.

The fact that a Yankee immortal stole the show at this year’s game takes on a special significance when you consider it was supposed to be a turning point for the Mets franchise, a symbol of things turning around after a miserable 5 year stretch. Rivera dominated in the house we were forced to build for Fred Wilpon, stealing the spotlight from Fred’s most cherished new asset (Matt Harvey) who started the game for the NL.

The irony could not have been greater but having been a die-hard and long-suffering Mets fan for 36 years I assure you, ain’t a damn thing changed.  What happened in the game on Tuesday was a microcosm of the Mets existence. No matter what we do, the Yankees are right there to eclipse any of our accomplishments, no matter how small.  We are forever the red-headed stepchild in orange in blue.

So while I’m sure it was a huge victory in the coffers, I think it ultimately reestablished the pecking order in NY baseball. I hope Fred Wilpon and the rest of Mets ownership grabbed plenty of napkins while they were picking up their fine Japanese cuisine over at Daruma of Tokyo, because they certainly had a lot of egg on their face by the end of the game.

At this point you might be confused.  If this guy is a Mets fan why does he get such pleasure and sound so giddy about the Mets getting overshadowed on a night that was supposed to be their own?

First off Rivera is one of the few athletes that genuinely transcends allegiance to any team.  His graciousness and humility while abusing hitters over the years has made him nearly impossible to hate.  Even in a rivalry with as much bad blood historically as Mets/Yankees you can’t help but be inspired by his greatness.  The second reason is much more complicated and to really understand it you have to be well acquainted with my tempestuous relationship with the Mets.

For some deranged reason, I just can’t quit them.

I promised myself I wouldn’t watch the All Star game this year because of my contempt for all things Wilpon. There’s no way I could bring myself to contribute to all the pat-on-the-back bullshit going on in the weeks and days leading up to the game.

But as much as I dislike the Wilpons, I LOVE baseball.

As the game approached, I paced back and forth in my living room gripped by temptation.  “Ok, maybe I’ll peek in for the first few innings to watch my boy Matt Harvey pitch, but I’ll do it defiantly, silently protesting every pitch and I’ll obviously turn it off after Harvey exits the game.”

But there I was at 11 pm EST glued to the TV when the Rivera farewell tour took over the game.

I know, “old habits die hard”, “can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em” and all that other bullshit….

I must be a glutton for punishment, a 9-inning masochist of sorts because I just couldn’t look away and I have to admit, part of me actually enjoyed it.  Any joy I derived from it was strictly because it meant that Fred Wilpon’s Amazin’ high came to an abrupt end.  Even if it was only for a moment, you know the thought of a Yankee legend stealing the spotlight on HIS night, in his precious monolith to Ebbets Field had to twist his balls a bit.

I sound sick right?  I sound sick?

It wasn’t always a poisonous relationship.

To really grasp why my bitterness and disappointment goes so deep when it comes to the Mets, it’s imperative I chronicle my love affair with the team over 36 years.

Like any REAL love affair, the highs have been spectacular but quickly followed by deep periods of melancholy and nostalgia.  They’ve left me with plenty of psychic scars, but I keep coming back for more.

When it’s good, there’s nothing else like it.

I started following the Mets and could name every single player in the team photo by the time I was 4. This was mostly due to my older brother’s fanaticism, but it was my father who was the first true Mets fan in my family.

He followed the path of countless Dodgers fans after Walter O’ Malley packed up and moved the team to LA and decided to take up with the city’s newest franchise in 1962.  Even though the team’s roster that inaugural season was composed of other teams castoffs, the Mets represented a fresh start for my father, something original to counteract that business as usual approach favored by that team in the Bronx.

The Yankees were steeped in old-school tradition and the players were such fixtures, such deities in cleats that they didn’t even need names on the back of their uniforms.

Once they stepped out on the field everyone immediately knew Whitey, Yogi, The Mick and Maris, and could trace a clear line between them and the immortals of the past that wore those pinstriped uniforms.

The Mets were the renegade AFL to the Yankees’ Establishment NFL, the Afros, dunks & multicolored balls used in the ABA as opposed to the crew cuts, layups and boring, brown, leather balls used in the NBA.

They were trying to claim their little corner of the NY baseball universe left vacant when the Dodgers and Giants bailed for Cali’ in ’57.  The city was left a one-team town, but for many of New York’s diehard baseball fans the thought of rooting for the Yankees was abhorrent.

1962 mets

The Mets stumbled and bumbled their way into baseball existence.  It was hard to imagine that anyone would ever come to refer to “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry as #2 or Richie Ashburn as #1, there were no Ruths or Gehrigs or Riveras in this crew.

In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that the players on the 1962 Mets would have preferred their names weren’t on the backs of their uniforms so they could have remained anonymous on their way to amassing 120 losses (still an MLB record).

Despite the atrocious product on the field, for my father and the rest of a huge immigrant population planting their roots in Brooklyn, the Mets were a scrappy upstart, his mirror image and he would be there from their inception, the chance to be part of something from the ground up.

What else could someone new to this great country and city ask for? He would never become a Yankee fan. It was too easy.

For all of these people that were struggling to make ends meet in their new surroundings, they needed a team that could share appreciate their daily grind.  It was of great comfort to have a group of players who reflected their growing pains & struggles with language, customs and homesickness on the base paths and in the batter’s box.

His boss at the machine shop took him to his first game Dodger’s game at Ebbets Field in1952 and he was totally hooked. Baseball was his introduction into any sort of neighborhood or community in America, a way to assimilate with his buddies at work and fit into his new country.

The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son and my big brother saw that firsthand being a devotee of the late 70’s Mets. He had to navigate the hopelessness of the squads with Joe Torre as a player/coach (this was 20 years before Torre would reinvent himself in NY as the beloved skipper who would guide the Yankee dynasty to 4 World Series titles in 5 years) when the only reason to stay tuned was to find out whether or not Dave ‘King Kong’ Kingman would hit a 500 ft home run or whiff for the 200th time. For all you New Jacks, Kingman was Ike Davis before Ike was swimming in his daddy’s nuts.

Sure, there were some great moments sprinkled in (Seaver & ‘the Amazins’ shocking the world in ’69 by taking home the franchise’s 1st World Series, that 82 win 1973 ‘Gotta Believe’ bunch that would upset the pre-Big Red Machine Reds on their surprise run to the World Series only to come up short in 7 games to the Oakland) but not much else to cheer for over the first 20 plus seasons of the Mets existence. Because there was no ‘wild card’ in those days you either won your division over 162 games or you went home.

I caught the tail end of the Pat Zachary and Joel Youngblood teams in the early 80′s. Teams so brutal the only reasons to watch were to see how dirty Mookie’s uniform would be by the end of the game or if you had a thing for those silly little bullpen cars they used to drive the relievers to the mound in.

Things started to change around ’83-’84 when some of those young players you heard about in the minor league system (Straw, Doc) started to show up on the big team and straight up BALL.

frank cashen davey johnson

GM Frank Cashen accelerated the shift to respectability by pulling off a couple of blockbuster trades bagging us two of our hated rivals’ best players and career ‘Met-killers’. That Sammy Hagar-looking backstop from Montreal Gary Carter (RIP Kid) & the smooth-fielding cocaine Keith Hernandez came over & proved to be the final pieces of the puzzle.

I remember being excited about both of these trades, especially the one that landed Hernandez because the Cardinals always seemed to be standing in the way of us finally reaching the mountain top and now we would get an opportunity to stick it to that smug flat-headed prick Whitey Herzog and his pussy style of baseball with Keith at 1st.

Then, in 1986 at the age of nine, I watched the first team I rooted for in any of the four major professional sports and my first true love win a championship.

It was their first World Series title since 1969.  Not only did they win it all after wiping their asses with the rest of the league (winning 108 games during the regular season, still an NL record) but they did it in what is still considered one of the most revered and dramatic comebacks in sports history.

Trailing by two runs and down to their last strike multiple times in Game 6 against Boston they rallied to score 3 in the bottom of the 10th and ruin Bill Buckner’s life in the process.  I was convinced that because the team was stacked with so much young talent (Straw, Doc, Sid, Darling, Nails, Strawberry, Mitchell, etc…) we would contend for another 5-10 years, then Mike Scioscia & Orel Hershiser happened and well….that’s another article. In the 27 years since then…. I have seen exactly ONE title from my 4 teams (that means you Rangers, Knicks & Jets) once again proving that you should never entertain visions of a dynasty because the sports gods are a fickle bunch indeed.

And where does Fred Wilpon fit into this whole story? Let me start off by saying that I would love nothing more than to root for & believe in Fred Wilpon.

He grew up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn and I’m a Bay Ridge kid, he played baseball at Lafayette High School where his best friend and teammate was none other than baseball god Sandy Koufax.

He’s obsessed with the Brooklyn Dodgers (an obsession he admitted went a little overboard after he designed Citi Field to look identical to Ebbets Field and dedicated all of the shrines inside the park to the Dodgers completely ignoring the history of the team that actually plays there) just like my father.

And he’s the principal owner, for better or worse, of my baseball team.

Wilpon is an incredibly savvy, businessman who has accumulated great wealth by building a real estate empire (Sterling Equities) from the ground up.   He is undoubtedly a self-made man and there is a lot to admire about Fred Wilpon & his story. He bought a minority stake in the team in 1980 (owning 1% of the team originally) and watched the team grow from a laughingstock to World Champions.

In that magical year of 1986 him and Nelson Doubleday become equal partners in the organization. Fred Wilpon’s timing was fortuitous as it has been time and time again in his countless successful endeavors.

It was always his dream to own the Mets and despite his enormous wealth he had always portrayed himself as a fan that made good on his lifelong dream, one of us, never as a cut-throat, bottom dollar narcissist who would use any means to get what he wants.

Never until now!

I would never question Mr. Wilpon’s intelligence or business acumen, what I AM questioning is his honesty and integrity.

Maybe I sound naive and I should know better than to make any distinction between the former and the latter. But from the beginning (his purchase in full stake of the team from Doubleday in 2002) Wilpon has been duplicitous in his negotiations and what he sells to his ever-diminishing ticket-buying fan base.

During the tense negotiations between Doubleday and Wilpon over the buyout, MLB commissioner Bud Selig’s preferential treatment and the great pains he would go to protect his old chum Fred Wilpon rear they’re ugly head and prove a foreshadowing of things to come.

In this instance, it was recommended by Selig that Robert Starkey – “an independent appraiser” – valuate what the team was worth hence determining what Wilpon should pay Doubleday for his half of the Mets.  After Starkey’s valuation came back suspiciously low it was discovered by Doubleday that Starkey had in fact previously been under contract to MLB and worked for several franchises including the Milwaukee Brewers, a team owned by? You guessed it, none other than Bud Selig.  So the transaction by which Wilpon attains majority stake of the team is shrouded in nepotism and deceit.  An inauspicious beginning.

If only Mo Vaughn's batting average had been higher than his weight, things could have turned out differently for the 2002 Mets.  Or not.

These affairs went largely unnoticed by Mets’ fans because we were still riding high off the 2000 Subway Series and the fact that our team had just added established superstars Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn to Bobby V’s ensemble of feel-good overachievers like Benny Agbayani and Joe McEwing.

The Vaughn and Alomar signings turned out to be unmitigated disasters and the Mets had a couple of down years, but the arrival of homegrown talents like Jose Reyes and David Wright had us dreaming of a parade down the Canyon of Heroes sometime in the not so distant future.

There are phases entered in every man’s life that he can trace back to a single momentum-changing event.

You might not consciously recognize the significance of them when they happen, but years later after all of the debris is swept away you can look back and say with certainty “Yup, that’s when everything started to suck…”.

For the Mets franchise, a moment that will live in infamy is when the unholiest of knee-buckling hooks left the hand of Adam Wainwright and put an end to the 2006 NLCS.

The promise of that season was followed by two historic September collapses in ’07 & ’08 that eventually cost Willie Randolph his job.

Randolph’s firing could not have been more mishandled by the team hierarchy.

Flying the man out to the West Coast and watching his team take two of three games from the Angels only to fire him in the middle of the night and send him back on a plane alone is inexcusable and gross.

GM Omar Minaya caught most of the heat for the bungling of that situation but I think the blame should start right at the top.

To make things even worse, Randolph was treated with this amount of disrespect after he posted the second-best winning percentage by any manager in team history.

But as you’ll see, sometimes the Wilpons reserve the same level of disdain for their employees in uniform as they do for their devoted fans. What was to follow the hatchet job on Willie is where Fred and Jeff Wilpon REALLY lose me.

Since 2008, there has been a steady stream of lies and indignities hurled at Mets fans by ownership. Jason Bay, Oliver Perez, Jerry Manuel – a total shill sellout if there ever was one – that patsy Omar Minaya getting beaten daily like a piñata by fans and media and let’s not forget the Met faithfuls’ favorite scapegoat Luis fucking Castillo.

Granted all of the aforementioned tenures in NY were spotty, some of the venom and vitriol aimed at them should have been saved for the owners and what was to come.

No shitty signings or pennant-costing chokes could have prepared the Mets’ fans for what was to follow.

Late 2008 saw the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme rear it’s grotesque head and dominate the headlines.

A large part of the story, especially here in NY, was Fred Wilpon’s close personal relationship and business dealings with Madoff.

It naturally left us all wondering how things would look when the dust from the fallout had settled.

Fred and his son, COO Jeff Wilpon, jumped right into damage control/spin-doctoring mode by telling anyone and everyone who would listen that the financial hit they were taking at the hands of their pal’s shady antics was totally separate from the Mets and that it in no way would effect the teams’ operations.

He insisted that the estimated $700 million loss he had taken was being greatly exaggerated by the media.  All this was set against the backdrop of the finishing touches being put on ownership’s new $1.6 billion dream stadium which was slated to open the Mets’ 2009 season.  It could not have come at a worse time. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was nice enough to decide that we should foot half the bill for this stadium (approx 800 million) on his way out of office in 2001.

Add to this something so preposterously vindictive and mean-spirited that you would swear it was straight out of the movie Hostel, the naming rights to the stadium were sold to….You guessed it Citibank!!! for a cool 20 million a year over the next 20 years.

It’s a good thing we gave them that loan to get them back on their feet again.

You think Fred Wilpon was worried about having tons of empty seats in Citi Field’s debut season?

You think this worry might have caused him to get out in front of this financial crisis and reassure (lie to) the fans about the team’s ability to hold onto the best players currently on the roster or sign other top free agents to keep the team competitive in the near future?

Wilpons 2

Not only would the 1 billion dollar lawsuit filed against the Wilpons by Irving Picard on behalf of the trustees in the Bernie Madoff case have a great impact on the Mets’ ability to spend, but you started hearing extremely misinformed Mets fans refer to the Wilpons’ “situation” in almost sympathetic hushed tones on sports talk radio.

It was a mass case of Stockholm Syndrome in full effect.

I like to call these fans ‘Wilpon apologists’.  Gibberish like “I know we have to cut payroll because of this Madoff thing but maybe we can sign an outfielder in 2015” became commonplace out of the mouths of these walking dead.

If Fred and Jeff Wilpon knew how tied up with Madoff the teams finances were why did they straight up lie to the fans every chance they got?

Is it a coincidence that they haven’t signed a big name free agent since Johan Santana in February of 2008?

Or that they let Jose Reyes walk without ever making him an offer after he won the franchise’s first batting title?

What about RA Dickey coming off a Cy Young?  Let’s trade him for a young catcher with knee problems and a stud pitcher in Single A ball and sell it to the Mets fans as getting younger and ‘restocking the system’ – code for slashing salary.

The Mets are currently 22nd in salary among the 30 teams in MLB. Their payroll this season is just under 74 million, down from $138 million in 2008 when they were ranked 3rd in MLB.

They have essentially sliced their payroll in half since the Madoff scandal broke in 2008 and Citi Field opened in 2009. The players on the New York Mets make less money than the ones playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins.

Do these moves seem like a gracious way to thank the loyal fans still coming to the games?

The same fans that essentially paid for their state-of-the-art new ballpark are being forced to watch a minor league team while they enjoy their Sausage and Rapini Orecchiette Pasta and a glass of Merlot.

Aaaah, nothing says Americana like a day at the ballpark.

So now that it’s been well established that this business with Bernie did effect their bottom line and they’re possible on the hook for 1 billion dollars they have to consider selling the team right?  Wrong!

To help raise money due to the financial uncertainty caused by this nightmare, the Wilpons were looking to sell minority stakes in the team in 2011.

They found a willing buyer in aggressive, young, hedge-fund manager David Einhorn who was willing to put up $200 million. After Einhorn suggested something as ridiculous as actually being able to exercise an agreed upon option to buy a majority of the team if he wasn’t paid back in full 5-6 years down the line the deal fell through and Einhorn backed out.

Don’t fret though, Uncle Bud is coming to help out his old pal once again.

SAY CHEESE: Looks like Fred and Bud are holding Mr. Met and the rest of the franchise hostage. (Photo by Newsday)

After helping swindle Nelson Doubleday close to 10 years ago, Selig found it in his heart to lend his buddies $25 million to help get them back on their feet, compliments of MLB.

Mr. Selig has shown an unwavering faith in his longtime friend to right the ship and lead the franchise out of these dark days. Why wasn’t this same courtesy extended to Dodger’s owner Frank McCourt? Instead Selig helped him out by nullifying a TV contract McCourt had in place with Fox to broadcast his team’s games, effectively ending any chance McCourt had of holding on to the Dodgers.

The Commissioner then took it a step further by criticizing McCourt in every form of media imaginable for his messy divorce proceedings and ridiculing him for the mismanagement of his team.

The Wilpons have spoken out of both sides of their mouths so many times over the last 5 years that they should seriously consider battling Biz Markie in a beatboxing contest.

It’s become almost impossible to keep track of their disinformation.

They were “blindsided” by what Bernie Madoff was doing? How could a tycoon as brilliant as Fred Wilpon not know what one of his best friends, a man that was like an uncle to his children was doing with billions of dollars, millions of it his own money? If you have even a basic understanding of how a Ponzi Scheme works you know that one this big (estimated at $65 billion) could not possibly be the work of a single person. All of the other guys at the top must be complicit at some level for it to work.

Why would the interest-free $54 million dollar loan the Madoff family gave the Wilpons in 2004 in the form of a “gift” from Madoff’s wife Ruth to help acquire the Mets’ broadcasting rights from Cablevision for their new network SNY raise any red flags for Fred or partner Saul Katz? I think it’s only fair to conclude that because of their friendship Madoff would have given his friend Wilpon a prime seat at the head of the table and that Wilpon probably knew a lot more than he’ll ever let on.

To make sure we know just how “betrayed” and in the dark they were about Madoff’s dealings the Wilpons & Saul Katz got involved in another Ponzi scheme with Samuel Israel III, another crooked hedge fund manager.  In this case they withdrew 30 million dollars from Israel’s hedge fund Bayou just months before it collapsed. They were eventually ordered to pay back $13 million of that money.  So much for lightning never striking the same place twice.

It’s estimated that the Wilpons saw an outlandish 10% return on their investment with Madoff for 15 straight years!  A consistent return of this size is practically unheard of and a titan of business as experienced as Fred Wilpon should have definitely found it a bit fishy.

Turns out the Mets were able to dole out ridiculous contracts like Bobby Bonilla’s because of the can’t miss system they had going with Bernie. Rather than pay Bobby Bo $5.9 million in the final year of his contract they opted to pay him $1.2 million annually from 2011 to 2035, even though he retired back in 2001!!  By agreeing to defer money to players they could invest what they had with Madoff, let him work his magic and then compensate the players from there.

As luck would have it, the trustees in the Madoff case settled for a lot less than the 1 billion they were originally seeking.  In March of 2012, right before the trial was set to begin the Wilpons & Saul Katz agreed to pay the trustees $162 million.  It’s possible that after all is said and done and Irving Picard has recouped as much as he can from other Madoff clients the owners of the Mets will be on the hook for far less than $162 million, they might end up owing nothing at all.

Going on the premise that they had to slash salary so dramatically because of the lawsuit, you would think now that’s it’s settled and they ended up with the most favorable possible outcome imaginable they would sink that reclaimed money back into the team again. Instead the payroll dropped about $20 million from 2012 to 2013.  It doesn’t take an accountant to realize that none of this adds up.

Is it really that far-fetched to think that the Wilpons and Saul Katz ended up making tremendous profits off of Madoff’s scheme while he rots in jail and others involved have lost everything?  Fortuitous Fred strikes again.

Shake_shack

Since the stadium opened in 2009, my refusal to go to the-team-blows-and-the-owner-is-stealing-my-money-but-they-have-a-Shake-Shack-Field!!! has led to me being chided by some of my closest friends.

I’ve heard an endless stream of preposterous shit like “don’t be a front-runner” or “you’ll go back when the team is good again”, but what they don’t realize is that my love for team or uniform has never wavered because of the record.

If that were the case I would have jumped ship a LONG time ago.

I stay away because it’s the only way I can make my displeasure known.  Sure, I still have cable and I watch games here and there on SNY so I guess the Wilpons still get my money. But I don’t ride the 7 train or sit in traffic for two hours anymore and I sure as fuck don’t spend $100 on parking and concessions, not to mention the price of tickets.  I haven’t bought any Mets merchandise since I bought a David Wright jersey when he first came up in 2005.

Some might think I’m absurd or that I should be worrying about things bigger than baseball but that’s precisely what I’m trying to say.

This is no longer about baseball to me.

It’s about the Wilpons with an assist from the powers that be at MLB, a.k.a., Bud Selig, the Pontius Pilate of sports commissioners (see his nauseating hypocrisy as he sits up on his pedestal and brings down the gavel on players abusing PEDS in the ‘steroid era’ that him and the owners made money hand over fist in), spinning bullshit to the fans for the last 5-10 years.

For me, Mets ownership, Bud Selig and MLB’s treatment of the Mets fans emulates how shitty we’re being treated by our bosses and elected officials everyday.

The greed and lying has grown to such audacious levels that it’s not enough to shake us down for our hard-earned money anymore, they have to embarrass us in a public forum while doing it.

The media must also bear some of the blame for not holding Wilpon & Selig’s feet to the fire, they’re more interested in A-Rod.

Who has greater power and the ability to affect more people in a negative way, Bud Selig? Fred Wilpon or A-Rod?

The answer is pretty obvious yet we spend all of our time criticizing the egomaniac ballplayer’s every move.  If Alex Rodriguez wants to risk his own life to break the home run record that’s his business, it doesn’t mean a thing to me.

These other men have been and continue to lie to us on a colossal scale and we willingly give them our time and money.  They insult our intelligence and from the looks of it they have every reason to.

Not only has Selig put his damage-control-handling android Sandy Alderson in place to feed us bullshit once a week on TV, in the papers and on the radio (this cyborg has perfected the art of talking loud and at length and saying absolutely nothing).

But he makes it his mission to personally soothe us about his homeboy Fred Wilpon’s ability to restore our franchise to it’s glory days.  He’s probably right about that too because every time Fred Wilpon has found himself in a mess due to his hubris and avarice, he finds a way to make us pay for his way out of it.

Before the 2013 season started the Mets hierarchy provided the fans at Citi Field with another great amenity.  We no longer have to look for an Amway office before getting to the game.  An Amway office has opened in ballpark just a few feet from the bullpen gate.  For those that don’t know, Amway is a company that’s been synonymous with pyramid schemes for years. Nobody in Mets upper management thought this was in poor taste in light of recent developments?  It’s become like the movie Brazil, absurd beyond comprehension.

I really hope everyone enjoyed the Midsummer Classic this year at Citi Field, I know I did.

While the game was dull compared to slugfests of the past, it was a gripping game in a karmic sense. A vague sense of penance hangs in the air, even if undetected by most Mets fans.

But enough of the negativity, it was also a reminder to the hardcore Mets fans, the ones whose unyielding passion for the team kept them buying tickets, merchandise, etc through thick and thin that the days of the Mets operating like a small market team playing in the biggest city in the world are almost over.

To all of these fans, the ones who took every last put-down in stride and looked past every falsehood they were fed, Fred, Jeff and Saul would like to personally thank you and reward your faith by cutting season ticket holders a break on their ticket prices until their team contends again…oh wait….

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Costa Michalakis. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 18,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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