Mets fans living inside the bubble of the team they follow might be surprised to learn there are teams just as dysfunctional – and some even more…
The Mets can’t get out of their own way. Their ownership is a disgrace, and they have a narcissist as a General Manager who spends more time shopping for Armani suits than he does making phone calls to improve his team. Totally dysfunctional if you ask me…
Stop any Mets fan on the street to ask them what they think about their team, and that’s likely what you’ll get. And occasionally, voices will be raised.
But in a week or so, there will be twenty-eight teams besides the Mets who had a bad year. Fans in each of those cities will be as disappointed and upset with their team as Mets fans are and with the same good reasons. Want some examples? Here’s just a few…
The New York Yankees
What, Mets fans? Are you surprised to see them first on the list? You shouldn’t be. Here’s a franchise led by Brian Cashman that continues to insist they can win it all without the benefit of two First-Class A starters in their rotation.
They love the big-boppers and the roar of the crowd when one of them connects to send a ball far into the night – “erasing” the two strikeouts with men on base that preceded the at-bat. These Yankees will salivate when they add Edwin Encarnacion to an already power-laden right-handed lineup.
Then, with a straight face, Brian Cashman tells us he can’t find anyone at last year’s trade deadline worthy of pitching for the New York Yankees. And we believe him because he’s Brian Cashman – The Wiz Kid.
These are the same Yankees who spend wildly to stock their bullpen with arms, proceeding to use them just as recklessly, and only because they don’t have a single starter who can regularly get through the sixth inning.
Giancarlo Stanton just had to make it back from injuries to play in the postseason. He just had to. The Yankees wouldn’t have it any other way.
This Yankees franchise, of which I am a life-long fan, is not all it’s hyped to be. Dysfunction? Oh yes – big time.
The Tampa Bay Rays/Oakland A’s
These two teams should get married. They’re both small-market teams that regularly win 90 games or more. They usually qualify for the postseason, but it’s only for a cameo appearance.
No one attends their games. They put black tarp to cover seats, so when 8,000 fans show up, it looks like a “crowd.” They play in old ballparks and seem adjusted and settled into doing so.
Oh, every once in awhile, you’ll hear them complain to the City Fathers about a new venue, but there’s no sustained cry threatening to leave their city for greener pastures in places like San Antonio, Charlotte, or God forbid, Montreal.
In effect, all the Rays and A’s are is a feeding ground for the haves in the league who buy up premium players when their salaries zoom beyond the budgets of the home team.
Fans don’t even blink, alas, we hardly got to know you is the standard refrain when another player leaves their city.
Ironically, and almost to the point of being funny, each team has a knack for finding and developing talent in the farm system.
The Boston Red Sox
Oh, the mighty free-spending Red Sox. Most Mets fans don’t realize it, but the Red Sox have three last-place finishes in the AL East since 2012. And you might as well say 2019 qualifies as another for all the competition they gave the Yankees.
Okay, you want to talk dysfunctional? Let’s start with David Price and his seven years/ $217,000,000, all of which is guaranteed, with an annual average salary of $31,000,000.
Add Chris Sale‘s 5-years $145 million with an average yearly salary of $29 million – and you wonder why Red Sox fans are up in arms about the team’s willingness to put superstar Mookie Betts on the block – because the team can’t “afford” him.
Much like Yankees fans, followers of the Red Sox are rabid and knowledgable. They can’t be fooled. They’ll pack Fenway every night for fear of losing their season tickets, though, which have been a family treasure for decades.
But they know – they see the dysfunction at the top.
Let’s see how they dig themselves out of this self-made hole.
An Ode To Mets Fans
I’m sure it is little if any solace to acknowledge the plight of fans in other cities. But the truth is there are more teams like the Mets than not. We’ve barely touched the surface, in fact, of teams who insist on shooting themselves in the foot.
We haven’t, for instance, mentioned the Washington Nationals, who are probably on their way to a World Series win. Which is a good thing they’re doing it this year because they are the oldest in baseball, averaging 31.8 years of age for their players? Nationals fans should be asking – what the plan for the future. But they won’t – because there is no plan.
The Mets, with all their warts and acne, are what they are. The front office falls short of being what they need to be. This is common in businesses across America, where management runs the operation into the ground while the worker bees try valiantly to stall the plunge.
Occasionally, the worker bees, in this case, the players, outrun the no-nothing bosses to overachieve and win the day.
With the talent the Mets currently have, there’s a good chance that can happen in 2020 – management be damned!
An Alternate Take From A Reader: Peter Staley, Member, NY Yankees Are Here
Peter Staley This is an odd article for a few reasons. Seems the author misconstrues dysfunction for money (or, lack thereof). Money to spend and/or money NOT to spend (“to spend or not to spend; that is the question”). Does that qualify a team as dysfunctional? Hardly, bc every team faces the same question almost on a daily basis. Tampa/St Pete doesn’t deserve the Rays – never have, even during their best seasons. The A’s will figure the stadium thing out – or die trying. Billy seems to love the East Bay and any evidence that they’ll move to Vegas, e.g., is whimsy.
The Madoff Mets have had a parade of dysfunctional characters crawl thru the door over the decades, so what’s new about Brodie? A clueless bozo who should’ve remained a players’ agent. Stick to your knitting, Zippy.
The jury’s out on the Sawx, since their new GM/PBO is brand new. He seems to have experience in many of the key things GM’s should know. But, will John Henry leave him alone long enough to be effective? Who knows (and who cares?)?
And then there are the Yankees. They proved again this year that getting to the WS ain’t like horseshoes. You’re either in or you’re not and for the last decade they’re not. These days, spending $218 million seems to be baseball’s version of finishing .500 in the NBA: not good enough to be a champion, but not bad enough to get a #1 draft pick either. And still, the seats behind home plate go for a grand a pop and usually are half-empty.