I couldn't get to this yesterday, but Wallace Matthews had a great piece about how the stupid things the Mets do are covered by the stupider things the Yankees do.
Because of Yankees, Mets aren't held accountable
He's right. Think about what this franchise boils down to: 1969, 1973, 1986, and sort of 2000.
Does 1988 mean anything to anyone anymore? Not to me, not in the era of Wild Cards.
2000? I'm not attached, have brought this up, and I've been surprised that a fair amount of fans agree with me.
2006? That has been ruined by 2007 and 2008. Means nothing. A random playoff appearance when the playoffs aren't that impossible to make (three divisions and a Wild Card).
For the most part there are two types of Mets teams. There are really, really awful teams managed by Casey, Torre, and Torborg...and there are eras of finishing second (Davey, Bobby, and Willie).
I'm very hopeful that the new building will bring new traditions, such as a desire to win it all...but for now, all we have is the past. On to Wallace's observations:
They build an $800-million ballpark (Troubled Assets Relief Program Field) financed in large part by government subsidies and taxpayer bailout money, and nobody gives a damn because the Yankees did the same thing, only on a bigger scale, in the Bronx.
The Mets raise their highest ticket prices to nearly $300 a seat, which in most locales would be a scandal and an obscenity, and compared to the Yankees they look like a discount store.
The Mets spend more on ballplayers than all but one other team in Major League Baseball. But because that one team is the Yankees, who outspend their nearest competitor by the value of the entire Colorado Rockies roster, nobody cares.
And when, with that $140 million roster, the 2008 Mets execute the second of two of the most disheartening back-to-back collapses in baseball history, they somehow fly under the supposedly sensitive New York radar.
All great points and all well said. If A-Rod weren't taking steroids, dating Madonna, maybe visiting hookers—if the Yankees weren't not-selling $2,600 seats, if the Yankees were still playing in the stadium on the south side of 161 then a lot of this would get killed by the sportswriters and the radio stations.
Even this blog has been distracted the last two months by the Yankees—someone even suggested I change the name of the blog, and it was a fair suggestion!
Two years running, the Mets, with the fattest payroll, the most talent, and, it often seems, the biggest egos in the division, needed to win one more game to reach October. Two years running, they couldn't do it. Why not?
And considering their history, why should we believe they will do it this season?
In a world without Yankees, those are the kinds of questions the Mets would have to answer.
Well said, Wallace. Maybe A-Rod is the Wilpon's best friend? It has been a quiet spring in Port St. Lucie. Makes me kind of miss Willie (from the blogger's chair).
Eventually someone will blow a save, or someone's elbow will hurt, or we'll find out that the hot dogs at C-Field are made of rats and we'll be able to focus on giving the Mets a hard time.
Until then—what's A-Rod up to today?