Today is a very sad day in a history of sad days for New York Mets fans. While many supporters remained hopeful that Jose Reyes would re-sign with the team, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Reyes has left for the newly named Miami Marlins.
Along with a lucrative contract, the Marlins offer Reyes the opportunity to play for a team on the rise. In addition to Reyes, Miami has signed closer Heath Bell and are making a push for the much-coveted Albert Pujols. The Marlins are making it clear that they want to build a winning team and attract more fans to their new stadium.
Back in New York, it's the opposite. The Wilpons are making it clear that they cannot afford to compete due to their financial problems with the Madoff scandal and a number of ridiculous signings they are still tied to. In addition to still paying out the contracts of recent flops Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, the Mets just began paying Bobby Bonilla the $1.19 million he will be collecting from them for the next 25 years.
The Mets tried to convince their fanbase that they were a potential playoff team last season. Nobody bought in to that one. It was obvious that the 2006 team that was supposed to become a dynasty had not materialized, and the "rebuilding" process has been in place since 2009. The Mets are the only team that have to rebuild on a rebuilding project. It's mind boggling.
What seems to be lost in the news that Jose Reyes has been signed by the Marlins is the fact that the Mets could have traded Reyes last summer and received value back for him. Just like they did with Carlos Beltran. Instead, he remained and played great for the Mets down the stretch. Reyes won the batting title, but in the end, the Mets finished 25 games behind the Phillies and eight games under .500. They should have traded him for prospects.
In looking at the chatter on Twitter, it's pretty obvious that Mets fans are fed up. How much suffering can one fanbase take? Long before allowing one of the franchise's most popular players of all time to walk away without even pretending to make an offer, the Mets served up two hearty doses of heartache to their fanbase:
2007: The Mets lost 12 of their last 17 games. They went in to the last game of the season tied with the Phillies for the division title. In a must-win game, Tom Glavine gave up seven runs in the first inning and put a cherry on top of one of the worst collapses in baseball history.
2008: The Mets held the division lead by 3.5 games with 17 left to play. They then went 7-10 the rest of the way, surrendering the division to the Phillies and finding themselves tied with the Brewers for the Wild Card spot going in to the last game of the season. In what was to be the final game at Shea Stadium, the Mets came up short yet again, and Milwaukee went to the playoffs.
As if that misery wasn't enough, fans that could handle it sat through what was supposed to be an amazing tribute to Shea Stadium. As Tom Seaver threw a pitch to Mike Piazza and they walked off the Shea Stadium field together stunned and inconsolable, fans looked on. It was the perfect symbolism for the Mets season.
The Wilpons better have a plan in place to earn back the money they've lost because they are not going to make it back in ticket sales. I have a feeling there will be plenty of empty seats at Citi Field for the near future.
I will always remain a Mets fan, as it's in my DNA. However, I am not going to support the current ownership that has continually made it clear that they have no regard for their fanbase and paying customers.
What do you folks think?
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