Monday, December 14, 2009

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Comments About "The Letter" And The Response


The big story around these parts has been Dan's letter to the Mets and how Mets VP Craig Marino (Guest Experience) called him back.   You can read the recap of their conversation in-full here and I'm going to comment below.

I think this was a very important event, not just because I happen to run the blog.

The Mets responded, and they went out of their way to respond.   Dan wrote his letter as just Dan.  He didn't make a big deal about being connected to Mets Police, he didn't even include his phone number.  An effort was made to call him back rather than just throwing the letter in the garbage.

Some emails have come in complaining that the Mets are just trying to market.  So now we're going to kill the Mets for trying to make fans happy?   I'll complain all day long about things but I can't kill them for trying to keep a customer.

The Mets went on record with a fan-blog.    This ain't the New York Times or Mike Francesca or anything else we could name.  This is a street-level fansite.  I'm just a dude in the uppers (excuse me, Promenade) who started typing one day and have a few guys (like Dan) who help.   Once Craig Marino called Dan back, Dan asked if we could recap the conversation on the record - and because we believe in honor we even sent the Mets a copy of the article before posting, and although I wasn't party to the conversation I believe Dan changed a word here and there just so the Mets would be correctly represented.  We're not out to be jerks, just fan-advocates.   It's very cool that someone from the Mets took the time.

It also shows that fans like you can help change things.  All I did was log into blogger one day and start typing.  There's no reason you can't...or if you'd like to channel your energy through this site, please feel encouraged.  

Now let's go through the specifics....and again if you want to read the letter it's here, and the response it's 
here....I';m going to jump around the order of topics.

Obstructed Views.    This is the big one for me.  I don't want to bog down in the sight-line issue (a major one but it distracts from the plexiglass issue).   It was interesting to learn that, as I suspected, a lot of it had to do with modern building codes.  I have even written in the past that I think the uppers (excuse me, Promenade) would need a major reconstruction to fix it, and that's what Craig said to Dan.   We all know that isn't going to happen in year two or three of a stadium, so we all live with it.    Craig, Dave and the rest need to stop dancing around the issue and just admit that there are some really awful seats (here's video for reference).  I would suggest discounting those seats and stamping them limited view.  It's one thing to buy that just because you want to get in the stadium for Yankees or a playoff game, it's another to show up on Tuesday night and not be able to see the infield.  At least if you knew what you were buying...

I'd still love to sit in one of those seats with Dave Howard for a game.  Please Dave please.   A simple "yeah, you're right this is an obstructed view" and I'll shut up.   Section 504, row 1.  You name the game.   Here's a pic so you know where to meet.  You're not going to win this PR battle Metsies....give up on this one.  (Fans, send to if you have any nightmare views).

Mets history stuff.   The Seaver tease is interesting   I'll be curious to see what it is.  As for not having the stuff ready for Opening Day...I don't see how that happens.  Not enough staff?   The stadium opened a year earlier than planned?   It takes six months for banners to get printed?   I have no idea.    Dan made a great point that if the items were planned they should have come right out and said that it's planned.   Look less reactive.

Sunday PLUS:  they chose a poor name in 2009, admitted it, fixed it.  Yay, we move on.   As for including the weekday games we don't really want...I understand that they want to sell as many games as possible.  Personally, those extra 5 games made me for from buying 15 to zero.  The Mets may want to consider going back to the old days when a Saturday plan was for Saturday.  10 games better than none, right?

Bulk Discounts.   I also don't agree with this idea that the Mets would be attacked if they discounted the mutliple-game packages.   The philosophy seems to be something like being afraid to reward the "rich guy" who can buy 15 games rather than the poor guy who can only buy one game.   Someone needs to rethink that one for 2011.   What about the "rich guy" who paid full price and then saw seats heavily discounted during the second half...that made many of us rich folks just as sad.

Stubhub:  that genie is out of the bottle.   I agree with all that the secondary market won't be as flooded this year as in 2009, but that's ok.  There's always the good old walkup ticket.  That being said, stubhub is now the first place I look, you never know when there are bargains, especially on those Plus nights.

Ticket Price Decreases.   I don't have much to say here today.  Since they've been announced we knew that an "average' decrease meant some seats would be discounted more than others.  It's basic math.   I do have more to say on the subject thanks to a really interesting comment on Metsblog over the weekend, but that's for tomorrow.

My own suggestions.   I've talked about this might be a good idea for this franchise to occasionally have a meeting with fans or superfans and just ask questions.   Whether it's Matt Cerrone or Paul Lukas from Uniwatch, or me or one of the other billion Mets bloggers, or even Howie Rose, get some civilians in there and ask questions.  Maybe they do this, but I've never met a human who was part of a Mets survey, and if they are doing it they have been picking some lousy people.

A few folks emailed me wondering why Dan didn't ask about black uniforms.   It seems tangential to the conversation they were having.   That's a battle for another day.

We all want the same thing, a proud winning franchise.   Nice job out of the Mets engaging knuckleheads like the Mets Police in a discussion.  I hope they continue to engage us in healthy back and forth.  I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say about this exchange as I think of it.   Not all the answers are what we wanted, but at least they were answers.  In the cases where there's a mea culpa, we accept it and move on.  Piling on for piling sake is not what this site is about...the goal is change for the better.

Craig, thanks for responding to Dan.  

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