It’s not easy being a New York Mets fan. That much is very certain. Other teams across all sports, not just baseball, are either bad or inept, occupying an easy space for 140-character or emoji punchlines. The Mets share a small apartment here with the Cleveland Browns where they probably go 60/40 on utilities.
The funny thing is, thanks to a great starting rotation, the Mets really aren’t that bad this season. Yeah, Clayton Kershaw took a perfect game into the seventh last night at Citi Field. Yes, Lucas Duda got picked off last night as the potential tying run vs. the Dodgers in the eighth, prompting boos — LOLMets is but a play away at all times.
Bear in mind, as of Friday morning the Mets are only three games behind the Nationals in the National League East and three in the Wild Card. This is an impressive achievement considering the Mets offense is 29th in runs scored and challenging the sanity of the teams’ most-ardent fans.
This tweet from Buster Olney illustrates how bad it is in Flushing …
This comes on the heels of the Pirates acquiring veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez from Milwaukee. Pittsburgh is on the hook for about $3 million remaining on his contract. Ramirez alone would not have changed the stagnant Mets offense, but he’s posted a .352/.422/.500 line in July — a significant upgrade over Eric Campbell’s season line of .176/.294/.227. Campbell started at third last night vs. the Dodgers as the team has tried five players to fill in for David Wright while he’s on the DL.
Mets fans are rightfully upset that the teams owners, the Wilpon Family, apparently didn’t want to take on that little salary in the biggest city in America. The team’s payroll, per ESPN, sits at 2oth overall at $99.6 million, sandwiched between the Twins and Brewers. New York even catches a break here, too, since its success is built on the young arms of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard who are all on cheap, pre-salary arbitration deals. Harvey and deGrom only make $1,171,000 combined, per Cot’s.
Oh right, the team is paying $1,193,248.20 again this year to Bobby Bonilla, for their ill-fated buyout.
Hovering over everything for the Mets are twin specters of the Wilpons connection to the Bernie Madoff scandal which raises questions about their ability to spend money and the constantly infuriating way the team handles injuries. The Mets finally moved Michael Cuddyer to the disabled list on Friday, calling up top outfield prospect Michael Conforto. (Maybe that buys the team about six hours of goodwill.)
Per the New York Post, when asked about adding payroll on Thursday Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson said the team could. The press probably all rolled their eyes in unison, so Alderson followed up:
“I think the answer to that is yes. OK, now none of you will believe me,’’ Alderson said before the Mets were shut out 3-0 by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw with embarrassing ease at Citi Field. “So I’m not sure why you asked the question and insisted on the answer.’’
Uhh … right. A question about the Mets finances is totally random.
Maybe the Mets don’t want give up their prize pitching prospects for a couple months of pending free agents Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis or Justin Upton, which is understandable. Adding Jay Bruce could help, but he’s also owed $12 million for 2016 so you can see why the team would stay away. Are the Mets so cash-strapped that an option like Milwaukee’s Gerardo Parra, a free agent only making $6 million this season is too much? He’s posted a 135 OPS+ and could slot into left field immediately there were rumors earlier this week, we’ll see if they come to fruition.
Looking from afar it’s a sad situation. Maybe it’s because I live in the New York area but Mets fans are indeed loyal and take their “LOL” lumps in stride. Mets fans are even more-cynical about their own team than non-fans.
The Mets haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006 — nearly a decade. Fans deserve better because there’s a word for the way the team’s owners have acted: pathetic. The worst part about this, without some far-flung scenario where MLB steps in, it’s difficult to change ownership since the Wilpons don’t appear eager to sell anytime soon.
It’s all gotten so sad and desperate that one fan is pleading through a GoFundMe page to help the team raise money for a hitter. Yep.