2011 has been a tough year to be a fan of the New York Mets. The year is closing on a note which can be said to be, well, not high.
It seems as though just when things cannot get any worse, ownership surprises us and shows how wrong we can be.
Recently, the NY Times supposedly acquired a sheet which purported to list a package of goodies which would be offered to potential new part-owners of the royal blue and orange, should they decide to pony up a check in the low eight figures. Among these were a parking space, a special business card, and most inane and ridiculous of all, time with Mr. Met. Yes, time with a mascot. This writer is still waiting for the Sidd Finch moment here, when we find out that this was a cleverly designed hoax. If it is real, what does this say about ownership of our favorite team?
It says that, in addition to being on the ropes financially and facing the young Mike Tyson on his very best day, they truly are among the more out-of-touch owners in all of sports. If the Wilpons really believe that captains of business and industry may be swayed by a parking space, a business card, and sports’ most bulbous-headed mascot, we really are in far, far deeper trouble than we have imagined.
Despite all of this, TRDMB’s readers continue to exhibit their exemplary loyalty and, this writer’s occasional appearance in the comments section notwithstanding, also display a rational civility that is sorely lacking at many other highly-trafficked sites.
Visiting Metsblog or the Star Ledger these days is akin to wandering into a whinefest for which there is no cheese large enough to serve as an accompaniment. Alderson’s a liar, we are the Royals, the Wilpons made all their money on Ponzi schemes, and on and on and on.
Not here though. Despite the differences in viewpoint among the readers, civility and respect still are the coin of the realm here. Stick and Ceetar may remain certain that we are just a few months away from Johan’s resurgence and Duda’s top ten MVP finish, and with just a few breaks, we surely will be in that postseason race. Darknova and Fong may be just as sure that the Met dark ages have just begun. TRS and Rusty might not be as optimistic as they once were, but the newcomer to TRDMB is always struck by the cool tone and respectful inclusion of all which have made this site’s community so very different for nearly three years now.
Stick, MF4D, Fong, Haz, NJTex, Wanny, Dark, Gategem and the rest of the diehards are all owed a great holiday thank you from the folks behind the scenes here—for your loyalty, wisdom, and most of all, your maturity, which is so often lacking at so many other Met sites.
To this writer’s generally more level-headed colleagues Rusty, TRS, Dirty, Will, Mr. N, MRose, Prismo, Paul, Peter, and the rest, a warm and sincere thank you goes out to you as well, for keeping this place alive during the darkest offseason in recent memory.
Met fans who enjoy commiserating with other diehards know they have a home here. A home which has now developed a serious base and some seniority, as it approaches its fourth season of chronicling the unique marathon which is a baseball season.
2012 does not hold out a lot of promise for most fans; indeed it could be a year of historic weakness for the Mets in many ways. But as this writer has felt for quite a while, this offseason and coming year will be the true nadir; an organization which has over the last 50 years seen the most dizzying highs in 1969 and 1986 accompanied by lows among the lowest in sports in the early 1960s, 1977-1983, and 1992-1993, may be approaching a year which will put another low point on the very up-and-down graph which charts the Mets’ history.
Regardless, at this time next year, the Wilpons will either have weathered the Madoff storm without having to pay a nine figure settlement and they will be once again readying to increase payroll as the promising group of young minor league pitchers approaches maturity, or Fred and Jeff will be going off into that good night, even if the team has been pried from their cold, broke hands. The status quo of the NY Mets having an $80-90 million payroll, filling the roster with dreck, and basically giving up cannot and will not last. Brighter times will begin after 2012, one way or another.
Regardless of the horrors 2012 might hold for the Met W-L record, it will get better. The early 1960s begat 1969, 1977-1983 begat 1986, 1992-1993 begat 1999-2000, and the recent and still-unfolding disaster will eventually be looked at as the precursor to the next great era in Met history.
Regardless, we can all be thankful for a site which will give us a place to vent, a place to find kindred spirits, a place to laugh and learn as Rusty continues to guide us through a never-ending Met history lesson as we learn of the current eating habits of a certain retired first baseman, a place to learn new perspectives from the interesting work of Mr. N, a place to be challenged by the excellent writing and thoughts of Paul Festa, a place to come every Sunday to answer the Sunday Question from Will, and once the season begins, a place to come during and after the game to spend time with rational and respectful Met fans who have become friends.
It’s been years now, and as Steve Somers might say, from us here to you there, thank you TRDMB readers for continuing to make this site one of the truly special places in the Met universe.
May all of you have the healthiest and most wonderful of Happy New Years in 2012.