Sunday, January 29, 2012

Will Pawn Just Leave

"I think we have to get the fans back at the stadium. That's a necessity. That's the lifeblood."
So says hopefully soon-to-be-exiled Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

That’s fascinating. We need to get fans back at the stadium. With logic like that, it’s no wonder you and your Tommy Boy-esque son Jeff got taken by Madoff.

That gem by Captain Obvious leads to the question of how do you get fans back without winning? How do you win without putting money into the payroll? How do you win in a stacked division where even the fucking Nats are making moves?
According to ESPN’s Adam Rubin, the Mets are looking at the highest drop in salary ever.
No other team has ever cut as much salary from the previous year. Ever.

Let that soak in for a minute.  A baseball team in New York should be able to print money but because of Freddy’s follies, his wanna be Trolley Dodgers are losing money hand over fist, $70M in 2011 alone.

And no, you don’t need to spend $140M to win anything.  Just ask the Rays.  Of course, the Rays drafted well, with Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Desmond Jennings, and Matt Moore (to name a few) coming up through their system.

When you’re the Mets, you overhype your prospects only to see them crash and burn. Any money you do spend results in bad luck or just bad players.

You don’t need to spend a lot to win, you just need to spend it well.  Here’s the problem: when your payroll dips to $90M and you have three players making $56M and you can’t draft for shit, that doesn’t leave you a lot of wiggle room to fill in the gaps and put a winning team on the field. 
When you replace your All-Star trio of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Francisco Rodriguez with Ruben Tejada, Andres Torres, and Frank Francisco, your already bitter and exasperated fanbase isn’t going to head to The Place That Reese Built, even with reduced ticket prices.

The Wilpons are in a tough situation, albeit one they put themselves in. It's an awful spiral - they can't draw fans without winning but they don't have any revenue to invest into the payroll to win some games. They're not just sinking, they have anvils tied to their ankles.

I haven’t seen a father-son duo with so many problems since the Skywalkers. Sell the team, escape with whatever shred of dignity you have left, and enjoy your remaining years with your stained Koufax jersey and Dodger souvenir cup.

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