With 29 other teams excited about the winter meetings, the Mets are alone giving fans every excuse in the book about how they cannot operate a competitive baseball team. While the Madoff scandal will hit the Wilpons in the pockets in some way, shape or form, it seems like fans think payroll is the only thing that needs to take a hit. Realistically, the 2012 payroll had to be reduced from its approximately $143 million it was last season. But what is the line of demarkation that separates the team that wants to compete from one that can simply care less?
To think of ways to save money throughout the organization, they may need to look no further than their front office. While paying Sandy Alderson as among the highest of MLB General Managers may be necessary, what is the positive impact in having two, well paid assistant GMs sitting on the sidelines? If the message the organization is trying to send is to let the organization run itself into the ground, then why are JP Riccardi and Paul DePodesta getting a nice paycheck when the team has no interest in improving themselves? They have no money to pay good players, but they have enough to pay three general managers as well as John Ricco. This makes for an oversized front office and in my opinion, money going to waste. And if there is no interest in making any legitimate moves, why even fly all these executives to the winter meetings. They could save a little more money. But payroll has to be slashed.
Its almost insulting to see what kind of moves will be made from this week forward. They will sign a closer, and I predict the cheapest, least proven option Frank Francisco so they save a couple more dollars. Because saving money in payroll will do "so much" (please feel the sarcasm) to offset the millions of dollars the team will lose this season when fans refuse to support a terrible product. The stupidest thing I've heard is "fans rally to support a young team that is trying." Thats if you have a young team to sell your fans on. The Mets of 1984, 1985 had something to sell their fans. Unfortunately that was after the team was among the worst in baseball from 1977 to 1983. Where was the attendance from that period of time? Very few want to support an organization thats priorities are in other areas other than winning baseball.
There has been much talk about the future of this organization. Is it as bright as some say? Is it as rosy as three pitching prospects coming to the major leagues and carrying a terrible team back into contention. Lets hope so. This has happened once before. The Mets had "Generation K," the can't miss trio of Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher. Only hindsight separates them from Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Zach Wheeler. The odds of them becoming Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez are very small. Mets fans would be ecstatic if one of those pitchers became a star. So what fans are "waiting for" is an uncertainty, to put it politely. And the Mets have very little high end, talented position players throughout their organization. Thats the formula for more years of futility. Could Alderson survive five more losing seasons? If he does, or chooses to stick around, what does that say for the condition of the franchise? That its ok to lose, even if there is no proof that the future is brighter?
The Mets are known as a losing organization. Always have been. From 1962 to 1967, 1977 to 1983, 1991 to 1996. Now it has started since 2009 and will go on until how long? At the pace of the other runs, it will be until at least 2015 when the team is back on their feet again. Every team can talk up a player they draft. Every team has prospects in their minor league systems that they expect to be solid major leaguers. How come the other teams don't shut it down. Even the Dodgers, who have worse financial problems than the Mets, have had a busy offseason. By the team's lack of interest, it is ruining what has always been a great experience for the fans of its team. Baseball fans are supposed to be happy this week, not depressed, angry and frustrated. Welcome to the future of being a New York Mets fan.