An MMO Fan Shot by Jeremy Stein
This is a rough time of year to be a Mets fan. Everybody is getting gifts, either individuals for the holiday and fans as their teams sign free agents or make trades.
But there are no gifts for us Mets fans. Signing Anthony Swarzak for the bullpen hardly qualifies as a gift. A good addition yes, but certainly not enough to make the Mets a playoff caliber team given that they have so many needs.
While the Yankees acquire Giancarlo Stanton, the Cubs sign Wade Davis and other clubs fight over other free agents, all we get to hear is how the Mets have hardly any budget left and will be bargain shopping after the dust has settled. This is just not fair to the fans of a major league baseball team – especially one that plays in New York.
As if all of this is not bad enough, last week we had former Mets general manager Steve Phillips defending the owners saying how much they care about the team and how desperately they want to win. Really? Well sorry Steve, but I can’t agree.
Wanting to win is not enough. As the owners of a team you have to invest in the team and make it happen. If you can’t do what it takes to field a winner, then it is time to let someone else take over ownership of the team. Someone without the financial constraints from the bank who dug you out of potential bankruptcy, and someone who is driven to excellence and achievement.
Now investing in the team can happen several different ways. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to throw all kinds of money at every free agent out there. It can also mean you invest in scouting and build from within. The problem is that we as fans are hearing that the Mets also don’t invest enough in scouting as some of the other teams do.
So as an owner, saying “I really want to win,” but then throwing up your hands and moaning about how much other teams are spending is really not fair to fans. Those same fans that are coming to your stadium and paying high New York prices for tickets, parking, concessions, and food.
By all accounts, the Mets owners have made plenty of money from a variety of sources the last few years but don’t seem to be reinvesting a fair portion of that into the team.
Owning a sports team is not just a money-making venture, owners also have an obligation to put a good team on the field – otherwise fans have the choice of not coming to any of the games.
I for one am on the fence as to whether or not I will attend any games this year, and I admit, love going to games. I have been a Mets fan my entire life and I will root for them through thick and thin. However, what I will not do is give money to owners who will take my dollars and put little or nothing back into the team.
I was so hopeful the last few years. I attended Game 5 of the 2015 World Series. Even though we lost, I looked forward to the team learning from that experience and getting better. Our future looked so bright and I figured we would be contenders for years to come thanks to our core of young pitching.
Well it is now two years later and we all know what happened. We still have some good pitching but without an investment in the team by our owners none of that will matter.
I am still hopeful that the Mets will make some moves before the season starts and make us feel better about the team. They still have a lot of talent and if they can prevent the amount of injuries they suffered last season they can be a very good team. But in order for them to be playoff caliber, they need some immediate help before their short window of contention with Syndergaard, deGrom and Harvey disappears.
In the last week alone we’ve seen other teams make some big improvements including our biggest rival, the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile the Mets have stood absolutely still without so much as a rumor. That doesn’t work for me.
So prove me wrong Jeff and Fred Wilpon, and make some moves that make this team better. If not then please sell the team to someone who will invest the appropriate amount of money in the team and bring us closer to another championship.
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This Fan Shot was written and contributed to MMO by reader and die-hard Mets fan Jeremy Stein. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Send your article to GetMetsmerized@aol.com or use this Contact Form. Ask us about becoming a regular contributor.