Scott has fired me up this morning by pointing out an article in the new New York section of the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal article is called Do The Mets Need A History Lesson? and quotes several former Mets, and they sound frustrated.
There are unnamed players referring to the team as “distant” and “cold” and there’s a line in the article about the franchise history starting in 1980. Â I remember when it started in May 1998 so at least there has been some progress.
Bud Harrelson and Ray Knight express their frustration. (I want to write about Buddy later in the week, if you have any thoughts/memories email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mike Piazza is quoted as saying….wait for it….“yeah but he didn’t play for the team” about a certain entrance. Â That’s Mike “going in the Hall of Fame as a Met and a catcher” Piazza saying it, not a bunch of WFAN callers and a fat blogger.
The line from Dave Howard about Old Timer’s Day not drawing interest from fans or sponsors is mentioned.
What I hope Mr. Howard understands is that his business is about so much more than 9 guys with a bat and ball.
If I want to sit in the sun, have a hot dog, and watch some random faces throw around a ball I can go to a Ducks game and have a much better experience than I ever will at a major league game. Â Believe me my kids won’t be able to tell the difference.
This is about Tribes.
If you have bothered to read this far, you are in the same tribe as me. Â We decorate ourselves in blue and orange to identify ourselves as part of the tribe and we are drawn to others like us. Â The pilgrimage to Citi Field is part of tribe mentality.
The frustrations with Citi Field in 2009 were because our homeland was gone and the new homestead was decorated with the colors of another tribe.
Old-Timer’s day isn’t about getting Maxwell House to sponsor it. It should be about reenergizing your family members. Â When people lose their association with the tribe they’ll stop visiting the home soil no matter how good the burgers are.
The product known as The Mets isn’t just about Reyes and Wright. It’s Knight rounding third, it’s Buddy fighting Pete Rose. Â It’s the despair of 1977, and the healing of a home run in September 2001. Â It’s about the connection we all made with our fathers when we were seven years old.
My son is a Mets fan because I am ramming Mets down his throat. He loves going to games. Â You lose me, you lose a customer for the next 30+ years. You lose him and it will be Jeff’s kids that will feel the pain.
Let a kid walk around with a Banner. You let dogs walk around, why not let your most passionate fans make a sign?
Why not invite some old-timers back? As I have written before, I bet I could get Ronnie, Keith, Hojo, Mazzilli, Buddy, Wally, Alfonzo and Kranepool in Flushing by 3:30 today and I don’t have a Rolodex.
Does Old-Timer’s day have to be about a sell-out (how’s that going on the other nights by the way?), won’t a passionate crowd suffice?
The Mets have been fan-friendly so far in 2010 and the homestead has been remarked in our colors. I hope the bosses out there read both the Journal and my comments here.
I know it’s a business, but don’t forget what the business is built upon.