A few paragraphs into this New York Times article about the Mets owners seeking minority investors and I lost track of whether I was reading an actual news piece or something that was trying to be funny. Apparently the Mets think rich people want to give them $20 million without getting anything in return. How is “access to Mr. Met” not a joke? Mr. Met is a guy in a costume. And it’s lovely that they want to give their investors a weekend’s stay at spring training and discounts — discounts! — on MLB.com merchandise. These people have $20 million to spare on a meaningless fraction of a terrible baseball team, that comes with no control over what the team does. I think they can afford to pay full price for a hat, if they even want one. David Brown has already written a piece for Yahoo about ten things someone can do with their “access” to Mr. Met — a more family-friendly list than the one that first came to mind for me — so I’ll skip that angle and try something slightly different.
Eight More Meaningless Perks To Mets Minority Ownership that the Times article inadvertently left out:
1. Free mustard on every full-price Citi Field hot dog you purchase.
2. A Johan Santana game-used baseball, subject to availability, which is a great thing to promise since by the time he pitches again, the Mets won’t be a team, baseball won’t be a sport, and human beings will be extinct. He was supposed to be back after the All-Star Break last year, right? Which became August, which became September, which became April, and the latest is this exciting quote from Sandy Alderson: “We think he’s going to be ready, but he might not be.”
3. Your own Citi Field seat. You may as well take it home and put it in your living room, because the Mets don’t really need it anymore. No one is coming to the games. Take all the seats, they don’t matter, Citi Field should just turn itself into a huge 45,000 seat Shake Shack, because that’s the only reason to go to a game.
4. A home run apple, barely used. If you think moving the fences in is going to make Jason Bay remember how to hit, raise your hand. I don’t see any hands. I don’t even blame Jason Bay. I’m sure it’s not his fault. I blame Jeff Wilpon. I don’t know what he did, but I blame him for everything.
5. Tickets to a Mets minor league game. Oh, wait, they’re getting rid of their minor league teams to save money. Well, one so far, but I can’t help but wonder if this is just the beginning. “Minor league teams? Why do we need any of ’em? Our major league team is like a minor league team, so why don’t we just count that one and be done with it?”
6. Free commercial time on SNY. Anything but another car service ad. I may be the only person reading this who has watched a Mets game on TV since the turn of the century, but it’s like SNY and the MLB Network are competing for whose commercial sponsors can make them seem like the least legitimate network on cable. Whether it’s 5 ads in a row for the post-game show, or an ad for a taxi service advertising a July 4th promotion in mid-September, it doesn’t even seem like they’re trying.
7. Sandy Alderson will hold a press conference for your business, and try to convince everyone that everything is fine, you have tons of money to spend, you’re going to have an awesome year, and, no, your business is not completely falling apart. Okay, maybe you don’t really want to take advantage of this one.
8. One free trip to see a Phillies-Braves game. Oh, teams that are trying! You mean that’s what a real baseball game looks like?
A couple of weeks ago, a friend didn’t believe me when I said I didn’t know if I could even call myself a Mets fan anymore. “You were the biggest Mets fan I know,” he said. “I can’t anymore. There’s nothing to root for. It is now more enjoyable when they lose, for the same reason Presidential debates are more interesting when every candidate is insane and nothing they say makes any sense.” “I don’t believe you.” Does this piece prove it? How could I be a Mets fan and write this piece? Sigh. How can I write this piece and not be a Mets fan? Just the fact that I read the Times article probably means I still care, just a little. I don’t want to care. How about the Blue Jays instead? They seem like a good team to root for lately. Go Blue Jays.