I’m not a Giants fan. I’m not an Eagles fan. I have no stake in this game.
I am a sports fan and an NFL fan and I live in the NYC area. Last year I rooted for the Giants because they are local and my team was out (49ers) and I don’t care about the Patriots either. I never claimed to be Captain Giants or one of these front-runners that appear every January, just a local guy who rooted against the team from further away. I was very happy for my Giant fan friends when the Giants won.
Then the Giants announced the PSLs. I looked at my friend whose family has had tickets for 50 seasons. The friend whose family somehow never gets offered Super Bowl tickets (zero for four games, do the math on that – surely someone is jumping ahead of him on line). He got a bill for $20,000.
It offends me.
So what to do? I’m going to watch this game. Mets Police Junior likes the Giants. Do I root against them? Does that change anything? The PSL’s will still happen. There’s thousands of people waiting in line to give the Giants money for nothing. Rooting for the Eagles does nothing for me. Rooting against the Giants means I’m likely to wind up with the boring Panthers in the Super Bowl.
I like to watch sports on TV, and thus I want the best possible Super Bowl . I think I need to root for the Giants and the Steelers to maximize my own enjoyments of sporting events. Damn.
The Mets signed Tim Redding. You’re probably not impressed. No he’s not C.C Sabathia and he’s not Derek Lowe. He’s Pedro and he’s dirt cheap. To be a successful Met he doesn’t need to win, he needs to eat innings.
I got killed yesterday talking about the Mets frugality , so I guess this signing is what people want, a nice cheap pitcher not one of those high priced free agents that the Yankees overpay for. That’s what comments like these are telling me:
What are you talking about? We have the 3rd highest payroll in baseball! You don’t have to throw money around frivilously just to prove yourself to be a big market team. I am, for one, glad we are NOT like the Yankees! Look at this offseason and all the signings they made. They could have had them all for much much less. They basically competed against themselves. No one was even bidding remotely close to them!
What you want is the Mets to be like the Yankees. Spend spend spend. When will you and other Mets fans realize that the Wilpons, who spent over $137 million on team salary last year, do NOT want to go over the luxury tax. You want Manny, you want Lowe, you want K-Rod, you want Tex, you want this guy and that guy. ALL that signage means the Mets will a) be compared to the Yankees as just a team who spends and b) go over the luxury tax and be forced to pay the fine. Just because we spend a ton of money doesnt mean we wont collapse again. This is a good team that has to find a way to finish at the end of the year. Plain and simple.
That post got a lot of attention and I’ll break that down tomorrow…but today I want to focus on Redding. $2.25 million is nothing. Redding doesn’t need to win. He doesn’t even have to pitch .500. He can go 10-16 and do the Mets a favor. All Tim Redding needs to do is eat innings.
Last year I had a big problem with Pedro Martinez (people go bananas when I call him “Four Inning Pedro”) but one of the problems with the 2008 Mets was that every time Pedro pitched you had to use the entire bullpen to get through 9 innings. Pedro started 20 games and pitched 109 innings….with some short starts in there let’s call it about 5 1/3 innings per start maybe even 5 2/3 if you throw out the really short ones. Redding pitched 182 innings in 33 starts. That also is 5 2/3. He’s going to need to go a little deeper. The front end of the rotation will bank the wins, he just needs to not waste the entire bullpen every fifth day. It’s the old adage that no matter what you are going to lose 60 – so lose them on Redding day but don’t let it spill over.
A guy like Derek Lowe may not win 20 games, but he’ll get you over 6 1/3 per start. (211 IP in 34 starts). Comparatively a guy like Santana, and we saw how good he was, averaged nearly 7. (234 in 34).
Redding replaces Oliver Perez who averaged 5.7 per start. The Mets save some money and aren’t those crazy wild spending idiot Yankees….but we’ll get back into that tomorrow.
This off season I’ve enjoyed the Mets frugality. The Mets act as if they don’t have all the same advantages as the Yankees. New stadium (check). Their own TV network (check). New York City area (check). They do. They still might be #2, and always will be just like the Jets will never be the Giants and the Islanders will never be the Rangers and the Nets will never be the Knicks. All that is fine, but you don’t need to act like you are Kansas City and should have taken a look at someone like Sabathia.
I find Mets fans are generally frustrated that nothing is changing with this team. Wagner for K-Rod is a wash really…so the team is as good as it was going in to August 2008, and in the same division as a team that outplayed you two years in a row you have to assume that means second place. Yes 30 blown saves or whatever it was doesn’t help. The Mets still need two starting pitchers, a second baseman, a real catcher and a left fielder (yes I want to believe in Dan Murphy but I also wanted to believe in Keith Miller and Rico Brogna).
I spent a few days trying to find real numbers to show what a small market Queens is and thought they are hard to come by but I did find a few tidbits.
Sports Business Journal says the Yankees on YES averaged 312,000 households, the Red Sox 242,000 and the Mets 239,000. Comparatively 29,000 households check out the Orioles and a measly 8,000 the Nationals. So a few more people watch the Yankees. However if you play the now-dreaded “meaningful games in September” you can get over 800,000 viewers to tune in. (Memo to Fred – let’s change the goal to meaningful games in October).
(Taxpayer)field has 45,000 seats. New Yankee Stadium has 51,000 seats. Someone with more time than I have can multiply the seats by pricing and come up with numbers. At first glance maybe the Yankees have a few more bucks (although who told the Mets to build a smaller stadium?). In 2008 the Yankees averaged 53,069 for almost 4.3 million. The Mets were #2 with 51,165 and 4 million (source ). So don’t blame the Yankees that you choose to sell 6,000 fewer seats 81 times. The Phillies were fifth and those Red Sox who are having a great century somehow manage with their 37,000 fans.
In 2008 Forbes magazine valued the Mets worth $823 million dollars. (source). The Yankees – $1.306 billion dollars. Comparisons: Boston at $816 million and the World Champion Phillies $481 million last April.
You’ve got the money. You just charged me a $40 “order charge” on my ticket plan because someone needs to stuff an envelope (and send it to me, for which I paid a $25 delivery charge). So my two tickets are 2 of the 45,000. Lets assume the Mets sell out 80% this year – can we all assume they’ll sell tickets to 36,000 people like me between all the partial plans, and we all buy rwo tickets? That alone is $720,000 in order fees and I’m being very generous with the math. Also don’t forget your $20 million in taxpayer money being used to advertise a bank. They have that too.
We all hate Boras but we need pitchers and he has them. Get Lowe and Perez in here. You have the money. Two years of choking has been awful. A new stadium is time for a new culture, winning.