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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Latest Plan to Save the Mets: The "127 Hours" Theory

The New York Post's Joel Sherman has found an American League executive who believes that Met ownership should cut off their arm to spite the fans. Sherman, following up on his interviews with officials who believe the Mets should do a fire sale, quotes an exec who suggests the Wilpons could overcome reluctance to get rid of all their best players by drawing inspiration from a recent movie:

He called it his "127 Hours" theory. This executive said, "Before you kill yourself, why not cut off your arm and see if that helps you survive? No one wants to do that. But you want to die less. I have to assume the Wilpons do not want to (bleep) off their fans more, but why not take whatever opportunities you have to hold the team? I bet the banks would like it."

Let's review. You're suggesting a strategy that you admit up front will infuriate an already disenchanted fan base. And you're using an analogy that comes across as a plan to do permanent damage to the franchise. If you sell off all your good players, it's supposed to be because you eventually expect to end up with other good players. But if you cut off your arm, it doesn't eventually grow back.

You can still do plenty of things with one arm, even play baseball, as Pete Gray did for the St. Louis Browns in 1945. Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand, pitched in the major leagues for a decade. Abbott even tossed a no-hitter for theYankees in 1993. (Yes, Squawker Lisa, I realize that means that the Yankees have more no-hitters from pitchers with one hand than the Mets do from pitchers who have both hands.) But Abbott and Gray are heroic figures who overcame adversity that was no fault of their own. There's nothing heroic about the Mets' financial mess.

Then again, once the Mets adopt the "127 Hours" theory, they could go on to the "300" theory: A Spartan roster battles bravely against overwhelming odds - before being completely wiped out.

The kind of analogy I'd like to see the Mets use would be something like a "Spider-Man" theory, in which an unfortunate situation (getting bitten by a radioactive spider) results in acquiring superpowers.

But even if Mets ownership adopted a "Spider-Man" strategy, they would stumble over the part about how "with great power comes great responsibility."

Besides, the Mets have spent the last couple of years adopting a "Spider-Man Musical" strategy, in which you spend tens of millions of dollars for an injury-riddled disaster.

And selling off all your good players and hoping people will still come to the ballpark would be as if "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" tried to lower its operating costs by dropping the special effects and the U2 music.

1 comment:

Uncle Mike said...

Hey, Jon, Spider-Man is not only from Queens (well, Peter Parker has always been portrayed as such, anyway), but he's a Met fan! And I've got the proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hMRRWzACpM

Of course, when it comes to superheroes, the Yankees use the Watchmen strategy on their opponents: "I'm not locked in here with you... You're locked in here with ME!"