Twelve months ago both the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers were cast away on the same boat, plummeting into bankruptcy and the future not looking so bright. Now twelve months later, the Los Angeles Dodgers are taking on more money than ever before, while the Mets’ ship has sunk to rock bottom.
The Dodgers took a proactive approach over the spring when the team was sold to a group of owners headed by Magic Johnson. Since then, the team has gone on a salary binge. Acquiring salaries from stars Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Shane Victorino, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and Carl Crawford.
The Dodgers look poised to compete for titles in the future with a lineup filled with all stars. In fact, Mark Ellis and Luis Cruz are the only two players in the Dodger lineup that hasn’t been to the All Star game in the past three seasons.
After twelve hard months of hard ships, the Dodgers are light years ahead of the Mets in terms of ownership and contention.
Now for the Mess, I mean Mets. After being exonerated from the Bernie Madoff scandal the Mets were considered “winners” for the small amount of money that ownership had to pay.
But that can’t make up for the storm that has effected this team. The eye of the storm came during the first half when the Mets looked to be contending for the NL East title and one of two Wild Card spots at the very least.
Then as the All-Star game came and so did the torrential down pour of the the rest of the baseball season. The team sunk like the Titanic and couldn’t even save the women and children.
Now this isn’t another article to describe how disappointing this team has been, but to point out the differences between the Mets and their predecessors, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Selling the team doesn’t seem like an option for the team now that the Bernie Madoff fiasco is under the rug. But it might be smart to sell parts of the team and create a super group just like Fred Wilpon’s favorite childhood team.
The man dedicated his entire stadium to the Brooklyn Dodgers,the shape of the Stadium resembles Ebbets Field, the lack of blue and orange in the first year (2009) didn’t really make the facility and fans feel like they were in Mets Country. Not to mention the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
Jackie Robinson was a pioneer for African Americans in baseball but never wore a Mets uniform or even played baseball in Queens and thus has no connection to the New York Mets.
Since 2009, the Mets have really played like “Dem Bums” of the 1940’s who hailed from Flatbush Avenue, as they continue to plummet to the cellar of the league.
With looming free agents such as David Wright and R.A. Dickey on the last years of their deals, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a team function with season ticket holders that he expects Dickey and Wright to be in the Mets future, but what is so attractive about the Mets? Why should Wright and Dickey still want to play in Flushing and experience the same futility that they’ve experienced.
David Wright has been with the Mets for nine seasons and should he sign a five or six years he will be the longest tenured Met and become the greatest Met of all time, but why settle? Wright has said that his priority is to win a title, and in nine seasons with the Mets he’s been to the post season once, One time. His owner doesn’t believe he’s a superstar and hasn’t had the complementary player that he so desperately needs in that lineup to protect him.
Is David Wright a superstar? No, but he’s not far off, David Wright is a missing piece that could be the difference between a team with playoff hopes and turn them into World Series hopes.
This makes for an interesting scenario, should the Mets not find extra ways to pick up some cash in their payroll, they”ll lose Wright, take that to the bank, but if the team is cashing all their chips on these young prospects of Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey, then where does the offense come from? Lucas Duda has shown inconsistency, Ike Davis is a power bat, but his average wouldn’t put a fear into any pitcher who can throw a mediocre curveball. Kirk Nieuwenhuis strikes out more times than Ross and Rachel getting back together, and Ruben Tejada is not the shortstop of the future.
The Mets have done this before, they’ve told their fan base to be patient with them, to trust the direction that they’re headed in, but at some point, it’s up to the fans to realize that ownership hasn’t stirred the franchise in the right direction since the 1980’s.
And of course the fans are always suckered back into the futility and mediocrity of the team.
The team has told it’s fan base to invest it’s interest in the young starting pitchers, anybody else remember “Generation K”, and by “K” they don’t mean the strikeouts that Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen, and Paul Wilson amassed. The “K” should stand for the swing and miss at all three players that didn’t contribute to the team at all. No titles were won because of Generation K, in fact, the team has only been to the playoffs four times since it’s last title 26 years ago.
So for the Mets to really win their fans over, it’s up to them to not change ownership, but to bring on some relief to the team’s payroll, of course the Mets have broke the bank in years past, 2001-2004, the consumption of payroll was good enough to earn the Mets the third highest payroll in the league, only to finish in last place. Breaking the bank doesn’t win championships, but the willingness to spend money on the right players will win titles. It appears that the Dodgers have taken the right steps towards being a title contender in the upcoming years. When will the Mets, how long does this fan base have to follow this team of losers, a losing ownership, and a losing product on the field.
For the team to gain any credibility, it’s up to ownership and only ownership, the Wilpons and Alderson, to step up to the plate and build a balanced team that can win in the near future.