“What do I think of Met fans?” Niese said with a laugh. “That’s a good question. I really don’t know except they want their team to win, pretty much like any other fan. That is pretty much all I know.”
After that comment, the writer of the article – Andrew Marchand of ESPN – told Niese that Mets fans have stuck with their team through a lot of bad times, and Niese responded by saying the following:
“How can you say that?” Niese said. “We are not filling the stadium. Where are the Mets fans when we are down-and-out? They were here in ’06 and ’07 when we were really good, but we have struggled and they are not coming to the stadium.”
This isn’t a simple, black and white issue. Rather, there are many layers to this.
First of all, the timing of the article is odd, being that the Mets are playing some of the best ball they’ve played over the last several years, and considering that the team may be able to seriously contend as early as 2015.
Now, Niese had a right to say what he said, and his comments are not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Attendance has been relatively poor, and that’s a point that cannot be debated.
However, Niese basically made a blanket statement about an entire fan base – something that is never wise to do.
Additionally, this wasn’t just Niese saying that the stands haven’t been filled. He questioned the idea that Mets fans are loyal, which is laughable.
Niese is probably a bit naive, not understanding how fiercely loyal the majority of the fan base is, and how agitated some others are regarding the payroll and other ownership issues. He should get a pass for that.
As is noted above, this isn’t a big deal. It’s something that will pass quickly, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an ignorant thing for Niese to say.