When your ballclub is cruising toward another mid-70s win season and seeing its attendance in continued decline you try everything you can think of to get fans out to the park.
The Mets have tried promotions like fireworks nights, concerts by name entertainers, and have given bobblehead dolls out of everyone from Ed Kranepool to Joe Biden.
Nothing is working and those fireworks are pricey. So are the prices the club has to pay to bring in a Huey Lewis and those News guys. The Boyz II Men group is another one that needed to be paid like men, not boys.
So when all else fails the team’s approach has shifted to a scary less traveled path: honesty (or their version of it).
Here’s the script of a proposed promo to be read on SNY pleading for fans to come out to Mets games.
“Hi, I’m Jeff Wilpon, one of the owners of ‘your’ New York Mets. My father, my uncle Saul, and I know that you fans have been impatient waiting for our team to get good again. We sympathize and, believe me, want it even more than you do.
It’s clear to us that you would like to see our club’s payroll be higher and we want that too. But to get there we need to have more fans coming out to games. We must all do our jobs in order for us to get to the promised land, the playoffs. And the job for you most loyal of fans is to come out to the games at Citi Field and root your team on.
We want you to know that we have been listening to your complaints in the so-called blogosphere. And even though it may appear we are moving a bit slow for your liking you must admit that there has been movement in the correct direction.
For instance, you made it clear that you didn’t want to come to games to watch pitchers like Scott Rice, Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde. We heard you and now they’re gone. You must admit that we’ve punched up the bullpen from early on in the season.
And more recently you told us and showed us that you had no interest in seeing 40 year old Bobby Abreu or our free agent bust Chris Young out there. We bit the bullet on Young and will pay him for the rest of the year to not be on the team. How’s that for responsive?
So think of all this when you consider coming or not coming to Citi during the final month and a half of the season. Think of all the players you don’t like who you’ll now not have to see: Rice, Farnsworth, Valverde, Abreu, and Chris Young.
Next year with a returning Matt Harvey and hopefully a rejuvenated David Wright we look forward to your coming out to the ballpark to see people you want to see. But for now please come out to not see all those folks you don’t want to see.”