New York Mets fans showed their dissatisfaction with the team in 2018 by not showing up to Citi Field.
Understandably so. The 2015 and 2016 Mets went to the postseason. In 2017, there was hope they would go again and a good chunk of those tickets were sold before it all crashed and burned.
Expectations were again high in 2018, but a miserable early summer deflated any of those extra ticket sales for the latter part of the year. Fans stopped showing up when the pennant was out of reach. They did what they had to do to show the front office how dissatisfied they were with the results on the field.
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Unlike in years past, I think the disgust with the 2018 season had a lot more to do with the management than the actual players. Bad offseason decisions resulted in the below .500 finish, saved only by a very good second-half to push them closer to even.
The beauty of the 2018 season is that fans stuck with the players. All 25 men had support from those in attendance. Eventually, though, many seemed to figure the best way to support them was to watch from home.
When listing Mets villains in 2018, the Wilpons are at the top of the list. They’re the Emperor, Darth Vader, Jabba the Hutt, and every stormtrooper wrapped up into two people. Smart fans knew the only way to get them to change their ways was to hit them where it hurts: in their bank accounts.
By not spending money on the team, fans did make a dent. While I don’t think it is nearly enough to cause any major change, it’s a fine message those in charge. Empty seats in a major market like New York is an embarrassment. Maybe, if we’re lucky enough, the owners feel ashamed enough to prevent this from continuing.
If you were on Mets Twitter enough this year, you surely came across a few comments of people without avatars cursing about how they won’t spend money on the Mets until there’s a change in ownership. As noble as this is, it will take years and support from way too many fans to get anything accomplished.
Still, a minor fender bender took place. The attendance numbers took yet another step backward, finishing in the middle of the pack among all 30 MLB teams. In almost any other city, this would be acceptable. For New York, it’s disgraceful.
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If you build it, Mets fans will come. In this case, the “it” refers to a championship-caliber team.