I was reading an article about the New York Giants recently and it discussed the miserable years of the 1960s and 1970s when “there were years of wasted drafts and lost seasons, entire generations of fans lost to the Cowboys and the Dolphins and the Raiders.” It made me think of the Mets, how their boom and bust ways have resulted in millions of lost fans.
The Mets have never really had a long period of winning. It would last a few years, followed by a longer period of losing. And during those times, there was no reason for any emerging baseball fan choose to root for the Mets.
I knew a guy back in the 1990s who was as big a Mets fan as anyone. His son somehow was a Yankees fan. My friend was brokenhearted but he understood. The Yankees were busy winning World Series championships while the Mets were floundering. The kid was really smart for picking the Yankees.
The same thing is probably happening now. Why would kids root for the Jason Bays and the Luis Castillos of the world when they can give their loyalties to the likes of Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada?
It is no revelation that you see far more Yankees hats on the streets of New York than Mets fans. Walk into any sporting goods store and Yankees merchandise far outnumbers Mets stuff.
This will only continue as the Mets losing continues. Even then, given their history, you know another losing period is just around the corner. The Mets need to build a tradition of winning, like the Yankees, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers enjoy.
Sandy Alderson is supposed to bring such a tradition to Flushing; not just to build a winner for today but for the long-term. It has not been going so well thus far, but this is purported to be the year they start winning. We all hope the plan begin to bear fruit in 2015. Not just because we are starved for a winner, but because it is necessary for the growth of the Mets and their future fans.