Tuesday, May 24, 2011
What Can We Do?
At this point, there's no need to recap Fred Wilpon's quotes that appeared in the recent issues of the New Yorker and Sports Illustrated. All Mets fans and most casual baseball fans are well aware of what was said. The question most have , is how do we interpret these quotes? After being completely sane all of his life, has Fred Wilpon gone mad? The comments he made to Jeffrey Toobin were cleared by Wilpon to appear in the article, so he certainly wanted people to read them. Ditto for the quotes in Sports Illustrated about the team's financial issues.
So, what's the deal here? Some think that Fred simply let loose during a casual conversation while watching a game. Others think he planted the quotes to attract attention to a positive story about the Bernard Madoff situation, and some people believe he made the quotes in order to set the stage for drastic player moves - to gauge the fanbase's reaction of his critique's of the team's cornerstone players before acting.
At this point, I don't give a damn why the quotes were made. I don't believe they were as salacious as they're being made out to be. I don't think Wilpon actually "ripped" his players, as the beat writers would have you believe. But I do think airing his grievances in public at this point in time was a huge mistake. A mistake that has taken the focus off the baseball field (where the Mets have one of the best records in the National League over the past month), and placed it firmly on the front office and the coming reaction from the clubhouse. Instead of reading about a team that's persevering and playing hard, we're reading about how quickly that team is about to be torn apart by trades.
If trades (most specifically the trade of Jose Reyes) are on the horizon, what can the fanbase do to prevent them? We certainly can't sit in on meetings with the Wilpon's and the front office and offer our advice. We can't reach out to Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran and David Wright, and let them know how much we value them as members of the team. And we can't call up the other 29 teams in baseball and order them to not trade for Jose Reyes and/or the other players we want to stay.
So, what can we do?
Mets fans who have partial ticket plans (I've had one for 11 years) and full season plans need to band together. This isn't meant to be a slight on fans who support the team in other ways (or from afar), but the only thing that can get the attention of ownership is the thought of more money slipping out of their hands. And money is exactly what ticket holders represent and provide. I'd imagine most of us want the team to keep Jose Reyes. I don't care what the reason would be for letting Jose Reyes go. People can speculate until their heads fall off, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that Reyes stays. What do we do?
At every game we attend, we each bring a sign. That sign should be as follows:
Account Number: 469***
Years I've had my ticket plan: 11
Amount of seats in my plan: 4
If Jose Reyes goes, my money goes with him.
...the sign is simple and to the point.
The next game I attend will be May 31st against Pittsburgh. I'll have that exact sign with me.
No one knows whether or not ownership will give a damn if we all show up with those signs. No one knows if it will change the way they're thinking. What I do know is this: There's no way in hell we can sit idly by and allow the team to get rid of Jose Reyes. We need to make our voices heard, and make ownership realize what the consequences will be if they deal Jose Reyes.