Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yet another reason why the Yankees are better than the Mets - Old Timers' Day!

The Mets are at it again. The team that treated Dwight Gooden's autograph like graffiti now explains why it won't honor their team's heroes with an Old Timers' Day. Mets VP Dave Howard told the media:
“It was particularly unpopular as a promotion. We didn’t see an increase in ticket sales or interest from sponsors or even from people who already had tickets. It died of its own unpopularity in the early ’90s."
Nonsense. The last time the Mets did an Old-Timers' Day was in 1994. While the attendance was only 24,885, that was still better than the team's 20,380 average attendance at Shea that season, and represents an approximately 25% increase in ticket sales.

While it wasn't a a sellout, the Mets Police blog reminds us of how bad the team the Mets were putting on the field back then (the year before, they only won 59 games.) To not consider that the crummy team might have had something to do with the Old Timers' Day attendance back then is ludicrous. And to refuse to do another such event because of something that happened 1a generation ago is crazy.

No, there are two real reasons the Mets won't put on an Old Timers' Day again. One is that this is a franchise which is embarrassed to showcase its own history. Dodgers' history? Yes. Mets' history? Fugeddaboutit.

The second is that the Mets are also an extraordinarily cheap franchise. As Howard, the Mets VP, also told reporters:
"It wasn't popular, it wasn't effective, fans weren't responding and it wasn't selling very many tickets," Howard says. "The fans spoke volumes. It's a very expensive promotion and it wasn't producing the sales and marketing results we wanted for that investment."
This is just silly. I seem to remember there being a sellout crowd for the last game at Shea Stadium, and big attendance for Ralph Kiner Day and the 1986 tribute game, so to suggest that fans don't care about such stuff is ludicrous.

The real story is that unlike the Yankees, the Mets are too stingy to fly in their dozens of their old players, and put them up in hotels for the weekend. But in addition to being so cheap, the Mets try to palm it off as the fans' lack of interest. Unconscionable.

Every Met fan I know, including Squawker Jon, is embarrassed by their team's refusal to honor their own franchise's history.

While the Bombers aren't perfect - I'm still unhappy with much of the new Stadium - the team ownership does a terrific job with Old Timers' Day each year. Players from Aaron Small to Yogi Berra all get their moment in the sun.

Meanwhile, the only chance Met fans will be able to get to see players like Doc Gooden or David Cone or Lee Mazzilli play in Old Timers' Day game, is if they headed to the Bronx today. Yet another reason why the Yankees rule, and the Mets drool.

You know what would be icing on the cake, though? If the Bombers got Gooden to sign some place that all the fans could see today. Contrary to previous promises, the Mets still haven't done anything with Doc's signature, other than hide it from the fans!

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


jorgesaysno said...

Personally, I would love to see Joe Orsulak and Butch Huskey come to Citi Field.

Uncle Mike said...

I was at Old-Timers' Day today. It was a little weird to see Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford at the place designed to resemble their Yankee Stadium, but isn't their Yankee Stadium. And I was disappointed that my guy, Reggie Jackson, didn't play. He's 63, but he was younger than some of the guys in the game.

Last year, at age 39, Mike Mussina won 20 games. This year, at 40, he pitched in the Old-Timers' Game, and had nothing. Men in their 60s were getting hits off him. Okay, it wasn't entirely his fault, as some of his fielders were also old. But it didn't look good. David Cone had to come in and put out the fire.

No home runs hit in this game -- every once in a while, an old guy will get the ball over the fence -- but Mickey Rivers, a.k.a. Mick the Quick, had enough left in his 60-year-old legs to stretch a single into a double. Joe Pepitone, who I once saw hit a triple in one of these games in his 50s, hit a screaming liner down the right-field line, and might have had another triple if he weren't 69. (If you're a "Seinfeld" fan, this made him 52 when Kramer plunked him at the fantasy camp, before punching out Mickey Mantle.)

The defense was really hit-and-miss, with some of these old guys letting bloopers in and bobbling grounders, but three neat double plays were turned.

As for the current Yankees, they did the Old-Timers proud. They completed a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers today, winning 2-1. Alex Rodriguez hit his 572nd career home run (*) in the 4th, and Mark Teixeira hit his 226th (no asterisk, as far as we know) in the 6th, and Joba Chamberlain, who has thrown too many pitches lately, got into the 7th against the Tigers, currently in first place in the American League Central. This completed a Yankee sweep.

The Red Sox lost to Toronto, so now the Yanks are just one game behind in the AL East and leading the Wild Card by 4 games.

The Mets are proving, this time off the field, that they should be more ashamed of their present than their past. They'd better get their act together by 2012, their 50th Anniversary. Despite that, they won yesterday, and are playing the Sunday night ESPN Game of the Week as I type this -- tied with the Atlanta Braves 1-1 in the 3rd.

They're 9 games in the loss column behind the Phils for their Division and 6 behind the Giants for the Wild Card. They're hardly hopeless, but as they say on TV medical dramas, "I gotta be honest with you, it doesn't look good."

Anonymous said...

My team kills me. My Mets are the Clippers of baseball...ugh.

Michael in California

Anonymous said...

Really, who cares about the old timers game? If you are fans of a time who like to revel in their past, and remind everyone, ad nauseum, about that past, then I can understand how important it is to you.

And Grandpa, I don't know if the mets have anything to be ashamed of. Granted, Minaya should take a big hit for assembling this mash unit without having adequate back-ups, but just about any team who has lost the personnel the mets have this season would be in a similiar situation.

Anonymous said...

At least the Yankees honor their own teams and players of the past unlike Citifield or should I say ...Dodger Stadium of the East. I was there for the Yanks/Mets series and hard to figure out which team plays there..of course...this year I would guess Met fans wished it was the Dodgers ...

OTD is a fun day to relive the past memories with those who actually played in them. Seems players from both teams enjoyed it as well as the fans. Nothing wrong in celebrating the past with hopes of adding more great memories in the future. Too bad most teams don't have as an illustrious past to celebrate.

As far as the Mets ...their fans didn't have any sympathy for the Yankees when they were hit by injury after injury last year. I don't revel in the Met injuries like Uncle Mike tho'. He has an obession with the Mets which I don't understand since his team is doing so well...I noticed he mentions them in just about every post...why?

BTW ..nice sweep by the Yankees too ...


Go Yankees 2009 !!

Uncle Mike said...

Sorry, Peggy, but I gotta bust KM's chops on this one. He said, "I don't know if the mets have anything to be ashamed of."

Really. Drugs. Bret Saberhagen giving a new meaning to "bleacher bum." Vince Coleman's firecrackers. The way M. Donald Grant broke up the 1969-73 team and shuttled the greatest player the Mets will ever have out of town. Not counting Willie Mays, of course, not that they handled things right with him, either! They still treated Mays and Seaver better than they treated Willie Randolph!

"I don't know if the mets have anything to be ashamed of." That's either an atrocious lie or an extreme delusion.

He calls me "Grandpa," but he's the one sounding more and more like Dick Young. And as Dick Smothers would say, That was not a compliment.

However, Peggy, you're right, it was a nice sweep, over a good Detroit team, and they had to fight for it, too. They look ready to face anyone. But that's how the season has gone: As soon as they look like contenders again, there comes a series that knocks them back down to Earth. Hopefully, they're past that now, because the next Boston series is coming up sooner than we realize.

Anonymous said...

ya know sorry to burst ya bubble but Ya fking Yanks have the money to do this because they overcharge on their tickets and in any stadium they attend to play a game..Our stadium is much bigger and better then your SMaller Yankee stadium that Little leaguers can hit a home run out of.. a simple pop up from jeter and you got a homerun..why else do you guys have more homeruns and more homeruns given by any team ..look at the real guys cheat and steal your way to wins..go yankthese balls..everyone knows this about the Yankees but the fans in denial..who live off the past..wake the fk up

Anonymous said...

BTW Anyone can be a Yankee fan..infact most of its fans are bangwagoners..its like suddenly all these Pitts Steelers "fans" are coming out of nowhere.,.after winning their 6th Super Bowl..IT takes a true fan to be a fan of the Mets..Any of us could have said..Go Yankees but what would be the point of being a fan of a team who has to cheat and buy its players..Th team who took and made Johnny Damon look like an idiot..making him cut his hair..the Yankees are the true metrosexual team..processed and fake..A true fan is the one who roots for the underdog..when they could have easily jumped on the so many others in the NY/NJ/CT metro area.. But we Mets fan are the strongest and have put up with you Cranky Yankees for 30 years now and still going strong..You can buy anything you want and I give you that..but you have no heart..and we Mets fan have TRUE BASEBALL HEART=) and u envy us for that.

Anonymous said...

Great post Anon! True Mets fans have HEART, something the Crankees will never know, since everything they have is bought and paid for. It started with Babe Ruth and has never stopped - if you can't beat 'em, buy 'em.

Root for the underdog and show your true character, have some courage, don't just hide behind a bag of money like a coward.

Anonymous said...

I see the children have taken over the blog...

I guess those $600 seats in Citi Field aren't "overcharging".

My seats are $20.00 in the Grandstand and I have a great view of the field...the vast majority of the seats at Yankee Stadium are $100 or less. Learn the facts instead of writing drivel ...

I've been a fan for over 45 years so don't use the bandwagon garbage.

BTW ..when the Yanks were at Citi Field they had no problem hitting home runs....maybe it's just the Mets who can't...

You really shouldn't let envy allow for such childish jibberish ...


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

Grandpa, I was talking about the present, not the past. But I understand that you spend the vast majority of your time ruminating about the past. I guess when you reach your age, that is all that is left.

As for things in our past to be ashamed of, I really don't want to get into this with you, but I would encourage you to be careful of the rocks you are throwing from your glass retirement home.

Uncle Mike said...

Let's see, should I teach KM another lesson or go after the speaking-in-tongues posts? Nah, Peggy already made the necessary points with those.

KM, you have no right to talk about the past, or to talk about anybody else's talk about the past. In case you can't read, the Yankees are in first place. They've been playing superb, exciting baseball, winning the 2-1 games and the 10-8 games. So the present is pretty good for my team, and the future seems limitless.

And as for what I throw, being a Yankee Fan, I'm used to better throwing than you'll ever be.

And I don't want to hear any complaints about the Mets' injuries, either: The Yankees have had all kinds of injuries every year, and are in contention every year. Instead of whining about it, a good team finds a way to win anyway.

And perhaps when you get to be my age, the Mets will have won their 5th Pennant. Actually, you could get to be my father's age, and they still might not have won that Pennant. I'm beginning to think the only way Pity Field will ever host a World Series is if there's a water main break in the South Bronx.

But, hey, you've got 1969. And 1986. And Shake Shack -- gotta have something that's not in the past. Even October 2006 seems farther ago than October 2000 ever could. Did we as a people really once think that Jose Reyes was part of the solution, instead of part of the problem?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the yankees are tied for first place, not the same thing. And considering their record against the red sox this year, they are not in first place. ah, but who is looking for accuracy. I know you just like to spew your nonsense and present yourself as the omniscient voice of all things baseball.

As for your ability to throw better than me, you are absolutely right. Might want to wash your hands when your done throwing it though.

Limitless future. Better hope so, otherwise you got a whole lot of nothing for your $200 million investment. we have tossed $140 million into the trash, but not much is expected of us typically. Your entire worth is predicated on Yankee success. But of course, if you don't win this year, you still have your history to fall back on.

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