I WANT TO BELIEVE I REALLY DO

I don’t know about you guys but I’m exhausted. This baseball season with the Mets has sucked the life out me. Between the inability of the organization to have depth on hand to fill positions, to Omar’s asleep at the wheel approach to the injury epidemic, to front office types having meltdowns, to ownership getting fleeced of their fortune, and becoming the laughing stock of baseball. Yesterday’s game ending unassisted triple play was the answer to “what else can go wrong”? question.

 

With all that we get word via Big Daddy Freddy, that Omar is his man and Omar says Jerry is his man and all that makes me embarrassed to be a man.

 

Make no mistake, bringing back Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel is not a baseball decision but a money matter. I bet it will come out sooner than later that the Madoff scandal has hurt the Skill Set fortune much more than was reported.

 

See this year’s $140 mil payroll? Take a good look because it won’t be here nxest year, in fact there is a good chance the payroll will go south of $100 mil. Now that doesn’t bother me that much to tell you the truth, what has me upset is, when you take a dip in payroll and need to revamp at least 75 % of your team, you need someone in charge who is bright, innovative, creative and has a grasp of what the current baseball landscape is, going young and being able to find that diamond in the rough, the undervalued player who will give you the same production as a player for twice or three times the price. When I think of the baseball executive that can compete this way the name Omar Minaya is not even an after thought in my mind. But John Ricco’ does.

 

My guess is Omar will be VP of Baseball Ops but John Ricco will get bumped up as the front man/spokesman maybe even with the title GM and a nice little raise. Omar could be given the assignment to fix the farm system, lead the amateur scouting department, and work in concert with Ricco and the sabermetric folks to form an alliance that could get the Mets back to be relevant a bit faster.

 

As for Manuel, he has one year left and an option so even if the Mets start off like shit in 2010 it would be easier to relieve him of his duties as manger and reassign him in the organization. Maybe then the Skill Sets will have a little more scratch to make organizational improvements.

 

You would think the Skill Sets are not so clueless as to raise ticket prices for 2010. If they were really savvy they would not only announce that ticket prices won’t be raised but the tier pricing that is so ridicules will be scraped. Then they should go about having their marketing department work on making 2010 the most fan friendly season they can.

 

Start by embracing the history of the team. As we saw this weekend, it’s not just the stars that Mets fans cherish but the hard working understudy’s as well. Cleon Jones, Jerry Grote, Ed Kranepool, Gary Gentry and Eddie Yost go some of the biggest reactions from the crowd of Saturday night. Next year have some fun. Bring back so old Mets like Mike Jorgensen, Pete Falcone, Ron Hunt, Craig Swan, Steve Henderson or Jeff Readon, players from the 70’s and 80‘s teams on different weekends and have them sit at a table in the concourse and sign autographs and take pictures with the fans. It would make the players feel as good as the fans to interact with these players from our childhood.

 

At the concession stands on the Promenade level make up some Kids Meals deals. Sell a meal of a hot dog, burger, or chicken fingers, soda, and a bag of chips for like 3 bucks. Throw in a little Mr. Met beanie baby thingy as well. Let Nathan’s sponsor it to off set the cost.

 

Become more New York-centric. Do some TV ad’s with Mets players taking the 7 train to work just like real New Yorkers. If the Mets were interested I have an idea for a commercial that I think would be funny as hell and resonate with working people of the city. How about having David Wright sitting in traffic on the LIE and DOT workers filling a pot hole and Wright leaning on the horn, yelling “Hey, let’s go I gotta get to work” and the DOT worker yelling at Wright, “Do I come to your job and yell at you”? And Wright says “You sure do, 81 times a year” Get some of your players to come around the town in the winter. When your 2010 schedule comes out have players and management out on 6th Ave by SNY studios and in all 5 boros, NJ and Connecticut giving out schedules and pressing the flesh with the fans. Treat the off season like a political election as you try to win the fans support. You are a big time underdog in this town roll up your sleeves and get to work Skill Sets

 

One thing to remember Mets fans, there are a lot of us. More than the media reports. There are millions and millions of us and tomorrow night the hardcore segment of Mets fandom ( what I like to call the Mets Weather Underground)  will meet again at Two Boots Tavern  Check out the details:

 

No Cure for a Depressin’ Season Like An

AMAZIN’ TUESDAY

 

Mets Fans Unite Again at Their Home

Away From Home for Road Games

 

NEW YORK — When Mets fans look back on 2009, they’ll remember the injuries, they’ll remember the losses, they’ll remember the game-ending unassisted triple plays…but most of all, they’ll remember AMAZIN’ TUESDAYS, the monthly gathering of Mets fans communing for literary readings, game watching, consciousness raising, pizza eating, Rheingold drinking, cocktail shaking, Yankee baiting, memorabilia gawking, and seven steps support as needed.

 

Two Boots’ second AMAZIN’ TUESDAY is comin’ up August 25, 7:00 PM, when the Mets are in Miami, attempting to do to the Marlins’ playoff chances what the Marlins did to theirs the past two years. It’s not much of a rallying cry, but when you’ve got great pizza and great speakers, do you really need one?

 

The co-bloggers who bring you Faith and Fear in Flushing, Greg Prince and Jason Fry, co-host the evening and will share some of their trials and tribulations as Mets fans (many of which are captured in the book of the same name). They welcome two distinguished writers who also bleed blue and orange: Dana Brand, author of the brand new book, The Last Days of Shea; and Caryn Rose, founder of the popular blog Metsgrrl.

 

No setting could be more ideal for such a spiritual gathering than Two Boots Tavern, as proven by the previous editions of this series of reading, rooting and Ray Sadecki contemplation. Two Boots owner Phil Hartman specializes in drinks and pies that pay homage to the great Mets of the past, and if his walls could talk, they’d surely shout “Let’s Go Mets!” Per Phil’s passion, not only is admission free, but so is the first beer, provided you donate a Mets baseball card.

 

The Two Boots restaurants and pizzerias have been a bastion for Mets fans for 22 years. Each of the ten locations features not only unique Cajun-Italian pizza and a convivial atmosphere but the Two Boots talisman — a framed photo of Mookie Wilson, Keith Hernandez and The Count (from Sesame Street). At the new Two Boots Tavern, highlights include a Hubie Brooks subway poster from the early 1980s, and a shrine to Bill Buckner. For AMAZIN’ TUESDAYS, the first beer is free, in exchange for any Mets baseball card (even Bobby Pfeil’s).

 

Phil’s hi-def TVs will, as always, will be tuned to the Mets game. Real Mets fans know the season, no matter how over, is never over until it’s over.

 

AMAZIN TUESDAYS

Date: Tuesday, August 25

Location: Two Boots Tavern, 384 Grand Street (@ Suffolk St.), 212-228-8685

Time: 7:00 PM

Admission: Free; also first drink free in exchange for any Mets baseball card.

Hosts: Greg Prince and Jason Fry, Faith and Fear in Flushing

Featuring: Dana Brand, author, The Last Days of Shea; Caryn Rose, Metsgrrl

Pizza of the Night: The Stork (creole chicken, wild mushrooms, cheddar & mozzarella) for 1973 reserve outfielder George Theodore

Drink of the Night: The Teufel Shuffle (martini shuffled, not stirred) for 1986 platoon second baseman Tim Teufel

 

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Comments

  1. The problem, as you note, is that they make us work really hard to be Mets fans. They have the reverse Midas Touch-whatever they touch turns to shit. And we keep coming back…Steve, you should be PR Director (I’m not kidding), but your fan-centric approach would probably turn the place on its ear. Your ideas about getting them out in the community (and the DW commercial), make such sense that they’ll never do it.

    I’m am in a state of depression over the Omar announcement. It is like a judge banging a gavel and saying “I sentence you to five years of bad baseball and no farm system. Case closed.” And the baliff comes and slaps on the cuffs and walks us into baseball prision. Ugh.

  2. HojoHiFive says:

    Steve-as always, I’m with you all the way.

  3. If they get fired it is going to be permanent non-employment by the Mets, not reassignment. Where do people keep coming up with that idea?

  4. I like your idea of fan-friendliness and getting lesser knowns but known to die-hards to sign autographs. When I went to Dodger Stadium earlier in the month, they had some guy (whose name i did not recognize) signing autographs at the pavilion that you didn’t even need to ENTER the stadium for. It was great. If Skill Sets want to take a cue from Dodgers about anything, it should be how they treat their fans…and their blog roll :)

  5. I’ve been fooled twice by this club, so going into the season, I had no expectations. I almost saw this coming (the record, not the injuries). they SHOULD do more good things for the fans, but being in New York and not Kansas City, they can probably get by without it. A new owner could really fix things.

  6. Steve, Man, I wish you were in charge, or somebody with some imagination and without a marketing degree. There is nothing I’d love more than getting a chance to shake the hand and shoot the breeze with Skip Lockwood or Craig Swan or Mike Jorgensen or any of these not-really-stars who are still in my head, and who would probably be honored to have a chance to visit with fans and relive their moments in the lights of Shea.

  7. whozgotnext says:

    Hey Steve. Great ideas for the job ahead of trying to win back the fans. I sort of feel like ownership looks at ticket sales for this year and underestimates the damage they’ve done to their relationship with their fans. With Tom and Jerry (er, Omar and Jerry) slated for a return engagement, and the stadium no longer new, I think they’re in for a rude surprise this offseason. I, for one, won’t be buying any tickets at all heading into next season, and I don’t think that I’m alone among lifelong, die-hard Mets fans. Really? You can’t afford to fix this? Great, then sell the team. Ugh.

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