I am furious with the Mets as I am basically every offseason. They got me again, on one hand we have talent and did some nice things on the other we fell short of the power move. Despite being a big market they are unwilling to go above and beyond. Yes they spend money every year and yes they try to improve the team every season and most of the times they do improve but I am always left with the feeling of “Why couldn’t they just…..” I do think that the ownership would prefer a winning team but I have come to the conclusion it is not what is most important despite what they say to us fans. It infuriating to always have talent and sign or trade for a guy or 2 to fill holes but never put the entire puzzle together heading into a season. When you operate this way you leave yourself open to much less reliable results in terms of wins and losses. Some years if things click and those few moves work you win, other years they don’t you are in 4th place squandering the actual talent on the roster. At the same time even if you add 10 guys and 200 million in payroll you’re not guaranteed anything but you increase your odds of having success. Not even sniffing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado meanwhile saying “We will do anything to win” got me thinking about their true motives because their actions never quite live up to their words.
Disclaimer anyone who has the “expert” opinion that Bryce Harper or Manny Machado being added to any team does not make them a baseball team better now and for the forseeable future and has some random bullshit stats to back it up just go fuck yourselves I am not in the mood.
So to make myself feel better about the Mets constant half in half out approach to winning baseball games and championships I had to look deep into what was really going on here. Can they be that dumb ? Can they be that cheap ? Do they just not care about winning ? None of those statements are either true or false, they are simply just part of the equation. So I am going to explain why the Mets do what they do. I am also going to play Devils Advocate on this one and defend what the Wilpons are doing. This is my therapy of sorts and being a Met Fan you need an outlet. So I am going bounce between what is going on, why its going on, why maybe its the right way to run a baseball team and whatever comes to my mind. At times it might seem like I love the Wilpons and hate fans but in reality I am just going Crazy. Who knows if this will help me or anyone but I am desperate.
The New York Mets New Motto for 2019 and beyond ” It’s Just Business, Nothing Personal”
This has taken me 32 years to comprehend fully in regards to the Mets and Baseball in general at the Major League level. This enlightenment actually made me not kill someone Friday night as I was reading “Phillies owner flying private jet to Las Vegas to Land Harper” and “Jed Lowrie has a mysterious Knee Injury”. So what did I finally understand you ask ?
The fact is the MLB is capitalism at its finest and despite how much I personally hate it as many of us fans also do the Mets have chosen their business model which is the Wilpons right as owners of a business to do. Success is defined differently depending which side of the field you are on.
Basically for us as fans with no stake in anything besides our own happiness we want to win games and championships. It brings us entertainment and joy and we all love that. Due to the majority of us only caring about ourselves, our definition of success when we think of the Mets, is Wins and Losses because that is the only thing tied directly to us positive or negative. If the Mets lose it upsets us but at the end of the day besides a bad mood and “perhaps depression for some of the older fans” the Mets winning or losing does not equate to anything tangible in our lives. Its only gives us a momentary good or bad feeling. If the Mets win or lose your salary stays the same, your bank account doesn’t move, your wife doesn’t leave you, you do not go to jail, your mortgage doesn’t go up or down etc. So if we only care about us and what benefits us, why do we expect strangers to not do what benefits them the most ?
This made me think of a homeless guy playing a guitar on the street for money I saw the other day. I like good music it makes me happy and he happened to be playing music I love. I Stopped, listened, threw some cash in his case “which already had $100 bucks in it at least) and walked away feeling good and went about my day. Imagine what an asshole you would think I was if I told you after giving him money the day before I went up to him the next day and demanded a reason he didn’t have a more expensive guitar from the money he earned from all us who listened previously. My logic being that he could play better music for us with better equipment which would make us the customers in this case happier. If we are happier he would earn more money, Right ? Maybe he would make more money but maybe paying for better equipment would hurt other areas of his life and possibly the extra cost would outweigh the additional money he got. So if I did that I would be deemed a selfish dick who only cared about what made me happier and not about what is best for that guy and his situation at the time. So what is the moral of the story here and how does it relate to the Mets? I think there’s one….maybe and it relates but I do know if you have a history of depression in your family and are about to have kids make sure they are Yankee Fans. Maybe that’s the moral ? Who knows anymore, Anywayyyyyy…….
The Wilpons run a business and any business needs to make a profit because that is why they are doing it in the first place. You can bring in 20 billion dollars a year but if your profit is $0 who cares your going out of business if it does not change. In a free market whatever strategy you employ to make that profit is up to you and is no ones right to judge unless their livelihood is tied into your business decisions directly. The Wilpons definition of success when it comes to the Mets is about profit because that is what brings them the most benefit as humans. We as fans have our definition and they have theirs and we must accept that or move on. Otherwise you will continue go crazy over why the Mets are not Signing Bryce Harper, or extending Jacob Degrom, or charge $25 dollars to park, or whatever else pisses you off about their strategy to make a profit. It is not that they do not care about winning or the fans because those things help them reach their goals and are vital. We can not however expect them to only care about what benefits us the most despite how it affects them unless you are a person who sacrifices everything you earn every time you earn something in order to benefit mankind. AKA Jesus Christ.
Summary So Far- Winning makes fans happy, Losing makes fans upset. Profit Makes Business owners happy. We all want what makes us Happy so do not hate on anyone making themselves happy because you would do the same shit. Side note, This is business and baseball logic if you are in romantic relationship do not use this type of logic, “Well it made me happy and we all want to be happy including you babe”, on your spouse to defend you banging your secretary or the mail man.
So before everyone goes nuts and says the typical, they are rich anyway who cares about their profits we deserve better lets just look at their business model practically not emotionally and decide if it makes sense or do they really just fucking hate us and are sociopaths.
Here is the Mets Business strategy in a nutshell- Wilpon’s 10 Commandments
1) Set a fixed payroll internally for each season depending on previous season income statements to ensure operating income is positive despite wins or losses.
2) Do not ever disclose any payroll restrictions even though they exist
3) Have the General Manger be the main spokesman of the team and be the beacon of hope verbally to the fans. AKA Salesman
4) Make sure the team has enough talent on and off the field to compete but not at the expense of going over budget.
5) Have at least a few big name popular players rostered even if those players are no longer the players on the field they once where.
6) Do not spend more money on players in hopes of turning a profit via more wins.
7) Only improve the team on the field if the profit is already been realized.
8) Only spend the budgeted money on glaring holes that are clear to even the most casual fans.
9) Never reinvest insurance money on players
10) Never have anyone go on WFAN’s Joe and Evan Midday show
Clearly some of these are tongue and cheek but the reality is they do have a profitable system in place. They basically make enough moves and have enough names to start every season with a chance to be good. If everything clicks and they are good they can then decide to add to what they have and make a run a la 2015. If they suck they have already positioned themselves to be profitable before the season starts so its a win-win for them no matter the outcome on the field they are running a successful business. Baseball is different from some of the other sports in that having the most expensive talent does not always mean more wins. On top of that spending more money to win with no salary cap and the luxury tax in place even if you win more games the extra cost added could actually hurt your bottom line at the end of the day. Case in point, The Yankees last year made the playoffs and brought in Revenue of $619 Million dollars. The Mets brought in $336 million in revenue and where in 4th place all season. Guess who’s operating income was higher last year, That would be the Mets.
Last point- A movie studio makes movies for fans in order to make money off them. They need the fans but if they spend $500 million on the movie and the movie does ok but not great and only brings in $500 million they are in trouble if that keeps happening. So the studio needs to stay on budget and make films people like enough so they can make money and continue to make more films. So lets say a studio puts out a few movies that cost 10 million to make has some decent actors but no huge names but they do well and are turning a big profit. That studio can then decide to increase their budget with the profit or just stay the course either way they are winning. Maybe if the studio spent more on the movies the fans would be even happier but that does not eliminate the possibly of a flop happening for the studio. Basically the Mets are that movie studio and we all are going keep watching in hopes of something good.