The New York Mets must do something foreign to them this offseason. It involves spending a whole lot of money.
I have to admit, I’m writing this on the heels of watching David Wright‘s last game with the New York Mets and I’m all overcome with emotion. What an epic night for one of the most beloved Mets of all time.
It was almost perfect. From his daughter throwing out the first pitch, to the players respectfully staying in the dugout and allowing Wright to take the field, alone, to start the game. To both teams standing and applauding. Sure, I would’ve loved to have seen him get a hit, and definitely get at least one more at-bat, but I’m not going to quibble. Neither of those things ruined the night.
But, you know what struck me the most? The absolute outpouring of love displayed by Mets fans. After the putrid way this organization treats them, they still showed to honor someone who has done the exact opposite of ownership and given them his all.
Mets fans are a passionate bunch, and it was never more evident than Saturday night. Because Mets fans treat their team much better than their team treats them.
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But, that got me thinking, and the more I thought about it, the more irritated I got. I thought back to the magical runs of 2015 and 2016. I’m also old enough to vividly remember those mid-1980‘s and late 1990’s teams, and how the fans came out in droves. How Shea Stadium and then Citi Field were rocking when there was a good product on the field.
The Mets extended a lot of goodwill to the fans on Saturday night, but that was a lone exception after years of neglect.
Now, with the last remnants of goodwill, retiring, the Mets and by extension, the Wilpons, owe it to their fans to give them something to look forward to.
The Mets have to do something that is anathema to them. That’s right, they’re going to have to spend. Now, while the Wilpons read that last sentence and call for the defibrillator, let’s talk about next season.
For the last couple of years, the Mets have sold us on the belief that their dominant starting pitching would carry the team to the promised land and beyond, except they never really put a team around their hurlers which could actually achieve that goal. With the Mets, it’s always about cutting corners instead of ever just going for it. Had they taken advantage of their low-cost pitchers, and surrounded them with premier players, we might’ve already been gathering with fistfuls of ticker-tape for parades down Broadway.
Unfortunately for us, that’s not the Mets, and by that, I mean the Wilpons’ way. However, something funny happened toward the end of the season. For the first time, in a long time, I get the sense that it’s possible.
With a new regime coming in, and the stink of the last two seasons still fresh, I think the new GM has to make a splash to show the fans that these aren’t the same Mets. This team is going about things differently. They’re not doing things on the cheap and there’s a commitment to winning. I still think of the buzz when Omar Minaya brought in stars like Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Billy Wagner.
A New York team deserves stars. A New York team has to take advantage of its resources. The fans deserve a front office that shows a commitment to winning and giving its fans the absolute best product it can, every season.
So, with a fresh start looming, the onus is upon the new management team and the owners to show Met fans that it’s not business as usual.
There’s going to be a new culture and a new way of thinking. If everything we’ve read, about how Fred Wilpon is obsessed with the Yankees, then it’s time to show it. Make a Yankee-like move and bring in someone significant, or better yet, someones. No more second-tier players or shopping in the bargain bin of free agency.
It’s time for the Mets to make a statement that they’re a powerhouse and ready to compete. Whether it be trading for J.T. Realmuto, signing Craig Kimbrel, or dare we dream, Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. It’s time.
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If not, then expect more of the 70-win range teams, and another column just like this one, next year.