Recently TRS86, my esteemed colleague here at TRDMB wrote an article which, in summary, can be referred to as The Yankee-Marlin Plan, essentially recommending that the Mets take a Yankee approach to forming their roster for the forthcoming season (buy all the best players) and, should it not unfold well, take a Marlin approach to dismantling it both during and after the coming season (sell all the best players).
It is not my intention here to single out TRS86. In his article he freely admits it was an idea born of the moment and he retained his right to change his mind.Â But many Met fans, in this forum and others, have stated point blank that they are frustrated, angry, and/or disappointed, and want the Mets to “go the extra mile” by setting aside their respect for the luxury tax threshold, to tell themselves that the second or third highest payroll in baseball is not enough, and raise that payroll to previously unseen heights in the interest of returning a championship to Queens.
Promoting a Yankee philosophy, while it may feel good, is still no guarantee of success (see 1982-1994 for example) and is unfair to the Mets and to ourselves.Â It leaves us in a bad situation.Â If the Mets did somehow spend money on the team in a Yankee way and fail, where do we go from there?Â Do we pat them on the back, content that they gave it “the old Yankee try” and say “we’ll get ‘em next year?”Â I can almost hear a fellow Met fan say in that instance “yeah, they spent $210 million, but not $220 million.”Â In promoting such a philosophy, we are asking the Mets to do the impossible, to become something they are not, and never can be.
According to Forbes magazine, “The Yankee brand (the portion of the team’s value attributable to its name) alone is worth $241 million, almost as much as the entire Florida Marlins franchise.”Â I’m just going to let that sink in for a moment.Â La la la.Â OK.Â Simply being “The Yankees” is worth $241 million.Â Furthermore, according to Wiki Answers (admittedly a less reliable source than Forbes) Yankee product merchandising accounts for 25% of all MLB merchandising sales.Â One of thirty franchises accounts for 25% of all sales.
The Mets came into being in 1962.Â The most recognizable player in the history of the franchise is Tom Seaver, whose nickname is appropriately “The Franchise.”Â There are other noteworthy players throughout Met history, certainly names recognized throughout the United States and the rest of the world.Â But nothing the Mets have ever done, no player they’ve ever had on their roster, compares on a world wide scale to the 27 World Championships and the Babe Ruths, Lou Gehrigs, Joe DiMaggios, Mickey Mantles, Whitey Fords, Reggie Jacksons, Mariano Riveras and dare I say Derek Jeters that the Yankees have put forth.Â The Yankees have been so successful throughout their history that they lay claim to both “Mr. October” (Jackson) and “Mr. November” (Jeter).Â They can even laugh off having “Mr. March” (Dave Winfield).
Armenian grandfathers wear Yankee winter hats.Â Impoverished children in third world nations wear Yankee caps.Â People seen tearing down the Berlin Wall wore Yankee caps.Â OK I made that last one up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone presented me with a photo or video footage of just that.Â Even Met fan Jerry Seinfeld made his TV show cohort George Costanza a Yankee employee.Â The Yankees have a cache that the Mets can only begin to chip away at by winning say 26 of the next 90 World Series while hoping the Yankees win none of them.Â Even if they do that, they’ll still never have Babe Ruth unless fictional characters Dr. Emmett Brown and Marty McFly show up with a DeLorean that travels through time and pick up some Met fans for the trip.
So let’s not hold the Mets to a standard they can never hope to achieve.Â Let’s not ask them to trade for Roy Halladay and Brandon Phillips, while signing free agents John Lackey, Matt Holliday, Benjie Molina and Mike Gonzalez.Â They don’t have the unlimited resources from all points of the world with which to do it.Â As fans we certainly should ask for a championship team, we absolutely should try and suss out a winning roster for the 2010 team and beyond.Â In doing so, let’s not ask them to be the Yankees.Â Let’s be realistic.Â Let’s Go Mets!