With the Winter Meetings in full swing, teams are scrambling to find pieces to add. The New York Mets held nothing back in telling fans that they wouldn't be big players in free agency, but would be bringing back players.
So far, the Mets have added backup catcher Ronny Paulino (one year, $1.3 million) and reliever D.J. Carrasco (two years, $2.5 million). They have also been in talks with the Boston Red Sox concerning a trade involving outfielder Carlos Beltran.
To say the Mets have not been involved in free agency is unfair, whether you think their signings up to this point are poor. However, Alderson never said the Mets were going to be in the running to land the bigger free agents; guys like Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee, Rafael Soriano and Jayson Werth.
This afternoon, I put on the radio to listen to Mike Francesca on WFAN New York. His opening topic was the Mets and whether or not fans would be going to the games next season after watching what the Mets have done so far.
His contention was that if the Mets are unwilling to call 2011 a rebuilding season and insist they can contend in the division, they need to show fans that they're willing to make the moves for that to happen.
A fair point.
The majority of callers said they wouldn't be going to games, buying Mets memorabilia or basically giving them a single dime of their hard earned money because the Mets aren't making the "right moves".
So, I started to wonder, what exactly are fans expecting? By all reports, the Mets only have $5-10 million to spend this offseason, which is not going to land them any high-impact players.
But are you, the average Mets fan or season ticket holder, willing to attend games and support a team that says they'll contend in 2011, but clearly doesn't have the personnel?
Let's look at each side of the argument.
If you're pro-Alderson, you're willing to go to these games and spend your money because they're your team. They've been your team for many seasons, perhaps, and you're not going to turn your back on them.
At the end of the 2010 season, in which the Mets fans watched their team finish four games under .500 and fourth in the division, the Mets clearly needed to deal with GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel.
Since Minaya took over as general manager following the 2004 season, the Mets were a combined 506-466, but collapsed and lost division leads in historic fashion in both the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Jerry Manuel, who took over for Willy Randolph during the 2008 season, managed the Mets to a 204-212 record.
Both were fired at the end of last season. The Mets then hired Sandy Alderson as general manager and Terry Collins as manager.
Alderson is going to need time in order to get the Mets back to where the fans want them to be—on top of the division and playing serious October baseball.
At the end of next season, when the contracts of Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez come off the books, the Mets are going to have a lot of money to spend.
Until then, we need to be patient and let Alderson make the signings and trades he needs in order to make the team as good as possible for 2011 and they'll eventually return to their 2006 form.
The Mets aren't going to be able to sign big name players, so they'll have to do the best they can. But, this is our team and we're going to be out in force to support them in 2011!
After watching the Mets win the division in 2006 and come within one win of the World Series, they proceeded to take massive steps backwards. In 2007, they lost 12 of their last 17 games in September before eventually losing the division on the final day of the season to the Philadelphia Phillies and were once again eliminated on the last day in 2008.
Since then, the Mets have only gotten worse. 2009 was plagued by injury and 2010 saw them finish under .500 and fourth in the division.
Though they've added big players in the last few years (e.g. Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez and Jason Bay), they've never really accomplished anything.
The tickets are too expensive to watch a sub-.500 team and, if the Mets aren't going to put a winning product on the field, we're not going to spend any money at the stadium.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a higher payroll than the Mets, yet charge their fans less for tickets and concessions.
No matter how much money they have to spend this offseason, they don't look to be getting any better and if it could actually be worse in 2011 than 2010, there is no way anyone will take the time to go to Citi Field.
Which ever side you're on, your argument is probably something like ones above. You're either going to the games no matter how bad the Mets might be because you love your team or you're not going to support them at the stadium because they're not giving you anything to look forward to.
Personally, I fall under the dummies at the stadium. I plan on going to the games and wearing my Mets jersey in public because they're my team and I've supported them through worse. At least we have a new general manager with a new direction and a new manager who might light a fire under some of these guys.
I understand they don't have the payroll to make big moves, but I actually think D.J. Carrassco was the lone bright spot in the Arizona Diamondback bullpen last season and might actually be better in the pitcher-friendly confines of Citi Field.
If you're not going to Citi Field out of spite or to protest the team, that's fine. The lines for the bathroom are long enough already.
Have an opinion, want to defend your position on the team or any suggestions for moves the Mets should make? Leave them in the comments sections.
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