An Open Letter To Fred Wilpon
Dear Mr. Wilpon,
My name is Lou Cappetta. I'm a member of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, a father of a 10 year-old son who has dreams of being a professional baseball player when he grows up, and a life-long Mets fan.
I am still only 31 years-old, but I have been a Mets fan since the mid-1980's, when the swagger and hustle of those Mets teams made me fall in love, forever keeping me from rooting for my father's team, the New York Yankees.
In my close to 25 years of cheering on your team Mr. Wilpon, I have seen plenty of amazing moments, and also felt my fair share of heart break. In those 25 years, I can honestly say I have never been more disappointed in my favorite team than I am this season.
Maybe my opinion doesn't matter to you. Maybe you really don't care if I am disappointed in the Mets this season, or not. After all, I'm only a union carpenter, I really couldn't have the slightest idea how to manage any business, let alone a professional baseball organization.
What I am, Mr. Wilpon, is a Mets fan, and the father of a Mets fan. I grew up in Bergen County, NJ, and even after my family and I moved more than 90 miles from Flushing, to Nazareth, PA six years ago, we remained Mets fans.
I am on the Mets mailing list, receive email updates from the team on a regular basis, and watch as many games as possible, even if I have to subscribe to MLB.TV on my computer. And while I may not be able to afford season tickets, or even a season ticket plan for that matter, I do enjoy attending games in person.
My son and I have been to Citi Field four times this season. It may not sound like much to you, but with the price of tickets, parking, travel expenses, and concessions, going to one game with only my son can easily run upwards of $250, and that's a conservative estimate. That means I have spent approximately $1,000 to see the Mets play baseball in 2009, and that's not including the road trip my son and I took to Pittsburgh to see the Mets play the Pirates. Sure $1,000 pales in comparison to what some of your season ticket holders, or luxury suite patrons can spend, but for a blue-collar family man who works in an industry heavily effected by our terrible economy, it's a hefty price.
In return for my hard earned money, I have gotten to see a a beautiful new stadium that totally kills offense, a rash of injuries go underestimated or misdiagnosed, poor player personnel decisions, team executives embarrassing the organization, minor league prospects who look like they will never be ready for the big show, and overall uninspired play on the field.
And if that wasn't enough, it looks as if I will be in the same boat again next season, as all reports seem to come to the conclusion that general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will both be back next season, some of our more disappointing players such as Oliver Perez will be back next season, and the Citi Field fences will not be moved in. I have yet to hear about what will be done with the training and medical staff for next season, but honestly Mr. Wilpon, I'm afraid to ask.
I do not understand what it will take for you to improve this team. If this team standing pat is a direct result of what happened with the Madoff scam, then at the very least, us fans deserve to know. A little candid honesty could go a long way with the fans.
This season has long been over, and it's quite sad. This was supposed to be the team that erased the distaste left in the mouths of Mets fans the past two seasons. Once again, our hearts were broken.
Basically, Mr. Wilpon, I am writing this letter to let you know that I will not just blindly support your team in 2010. I will be fair, reserving judgement until after all the offseason moves and Grapefruit League games are in the books, but if it seems that this is going to be the status quo in Queens for sometime, you can count my son and I out.
We will never stop cheering for the Mets, although at times I wish we could, however, you will not get one red cent of mine next season unless things change. I will not attend any games in person, I will unsubscribe from MLB.TV and drop SNY from my satellite subscription watching only games for free on WPIX channel 11, and I will not purchase any merchandise bearing a Mets logo.
Maybe you won't miss the little bit of money I spend on your team Mr. Wilpon, but if you won't go the extra mile for this team next season, then neither will I.
Lou Cappetta, Mets fan
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