“Strikeout the Wilpons”
The term “disgruntled Mets fan” is tossed around a lot these days, and with good reason — there is a lot to be disgruntled about. Most fans just take out their anger on message boards or their wives, but there is one group that is actually doing something about it.
I got an email the other day from a fellow named Daniel, who wrote:
My friends and I are sick and tired of feeling powerless to do anything to help our beloved team, so we decided to call for a fan strike to “Sit Out The Season” in order to help force the Wilpons to sell the Mets by making it so financially unpalatable that they have no other choice.
They set up a website called Strikeout the Wilpons, designed to rally angry fans to boycott the Mets. This is not the only effort out there, just the latest.
They want fans to avoid Citi Field, thus taking money out of the Wilpons’ pockets. They also encourage fans to email the Wilpons to express their disgust, going so far as to include their email addresses.
Of course, this won’t work. No one will force the Wilpons to sell the team, which is beloved to them as well, except Bud Selig, but he is hesitant to push out his good pals. But it will show the Wilpons how angry fans are with them and the team. That alone could only be a positive.
I am likely in the minority, but I feel bad for Fred Wilpon. By all accounts he is a decent man who trusted an indecent man. He was victimized once; I would hate to see him have to sell the team because of a scumbag like Bernie Madoff.
However I do think he should sell. Whether because of Madoff or not, it is obvious he is unable to run the team in a proper fashion. He owes it to the fans and the city to sell the team to someone who can.
Or perhaps he is just unwilling to spend money. I think Wilpon is a bit frugal by nature. We’ve learned that former partner Nelson Doubleday had to constantly push Wilpon to spend on the team, and after buying Doubleday out, spending slowed dramatically.
The big problem was when Wilpon finally did decide to go for it and spend huge, he picked the wrong man to give the checkbook. Maybe that experience with Omar Minaya has made Wilpon wary of spending the big bucks, so perhaps this was going to happen whether the Madoff thing was a scam or not.
Either way, fans are being shortchanged. We have to put up with a team being run like a small-market franchise, a team that let its best player walk away without so much as an offer, a team that could trade its most popular player just to save money. It’s just not right.
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Date: January 21, 2012