Yes, it’s true, I am a Met fan. Not really sure why though. When I do comedy, I like to say that I am not a Met fan because I am from New York. I am a Met fan because I hate myself and it’s a pretty reliable way to be miserable for at least half of the year.
In this respect, the Mets do not disappoint. I had written off this season (and probably all until Fred Wilpon either dies or sells the team) and I was not surprised by their fuckupery de la semaine that happened this week. You see the Mets traded outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. Normally, this would not be a big deal. Late season trades like this happen all the time. The timing of this trade, however, was problematic as it happened the day the Mets had set aside to be “Byrd T-Shirt Night” at Citifield. Fans who showed up all got Byrd t-shirts but he was no longer a Met by then.
OOOPS and OUCH! The Mets had to shell out for t-shirts with actual Met players and gave everyone free tickets to another game. Wow.
The Met front office stupidity is epic. I feel like most of my life has been spent watching the Mets trade decent or great players away and the deal always goes down the same way. I see someone from their front office make a perfectly reasonable case for why they traded player x to team y (they wanted too much money, they didn’t like New York, etc) only to have the very next person come on be that player explaining how they loved being a Met. Three examples come to mind. When they traded John Olerud, they said it was because his wife missed Seattle. He then told the world how much he and his wife loved living in New York. After explaining the Dave Cone wanted too much money, Cone said he would have played for free just to play in NY (particularly painful because he went on to play for the Yankees — double OUCH). And then there’s the more recent trade of José Reyes, I don’t know what the official reason the Mets gave was but Reyes said that he didn’t feel wanted by management because they never approached him. This cuts to the heart of my problem and the question I would ask Wilpon, do you even talk to your players before you trade them? No? Clearly. And clearly you should start.
Now, I have other problems with Wilpon. He lost a ton of money to Bernie Madoff but was also held responsible for the Ponzi Scheme and forced to pay $162 million to the victims’ fund. Is it a coincidence that he paid $162 million and there are 162 games in a baseball season. I don’t think so. And Citifield was built as a monument to Jackie Robinson (and Ebbets’ Field). I get that Robinson was a transformative figure for sports and society and love what he did for both but this is a MET stadium. Honor him, sure. Wilpon was a huge Dodgers fan, I get it. It doesn’t have to go over the top with it. As awesome as Robinson was and great his achievements were, his monument should be elsewhere. Maybe not the home of the most incompetent team in baseball. And the stadium was built to accommodate Reyes’ style of play and he was traded the same season it opened. Wow.
The Wall Street Journal compared the relationship Mets have with their fans and Yankees have with theirs. For the Yankees and their fans, it is a long, stable marriage. For the Mets & Met fans, it’s a tumultuous affair. We love our team, we hate them. I agree but today I am feeling like it is also an abusive relationship. They beat me up this week but during the off season they will apologize and come Opening Day, I’ll be back for more.