Oh Mets official, I'm so sorry. You really don't get it, do you?
Ken Davidoff has written a pretty interesting piece (which you can find behind Newsday's paywall). I'm a cheapie so I can't read the entire thing but from what I'm getting on twitter (source is the awesome @hotfootblog who you should absolutely follow), a Mets official told Ken that the Mets think fans are disappointed that the Mets didn't get Molina.
I have yet to meet one Mets fan that feels that way.
To Ken's point, is there that much of a disconnect?
The quote is also scary, "We're gonna get hammered for whatever we do right now."
No you're not.
You're going to get hammered for stupid things.
Believe me, I've become one of the leaders of the cranks and I don't wake up in the morning wondering how I can bust your chops. I want to love this team. If I didn't love this team I wouldn't spend 4 hours a day doing this.
I want your team to succeed. I want to love you.
Did you not see the love when the Mets announced the Hall of Famers?
Mets fans don't complain for complaints sake. We complain when we walk into a new stadium and are greeted by Dodgertown. We looked for a picture of our heroes and couldn't find one. We wanted to watch the game but there was plexiglass in our face, and then Dave Howard told us we were wrong. We wanted to wave at the left fielder but couldn't see him. We wanted to buy some "retro" jerseys but you put dropshadow on it. We wanted to think 2010 would be better than 2009, and it was bad enough that Beltran is still hurt but you couldn't keep the message straight that day.
You aren't going to get hammered. Treat the fans with respect. Don't try to sell us on garbage. The fans that are doing the most complaining aren't the ones who only showed up in '86 and '00 - it's the fans that were there for you in 1979 and 1993 and 2009.
Finally, please remember, we're the customers. We're always right. We didn't want Molina. We aren't killing you. It's amazing that you don't know this.
You're right in this post except for one thing -- Mets fans DO complain for complaint's sake. Not all of us, but a lot. Maybe the majority. My favorite happened last summer on the 7 train back to Manhattan after a loss. Someone said he wished the team hadn't traded Carlos Gomez -- and no, he didn't mean that in a should've-traded-someone-else-to-get-Santana way; he meant it as he'd rather they kept a bunch of unproven prospects instead of acquiring the best left-hander in the game.
Also, there are some who just won't let the Kazmir thing go. I mean, come on, the Rays gave up on him, too.
I love that the Mets are getting hammer for their "We're gonna get hammered" comment.
But that aside, I don't think it's you they're talking about. It's the media. And that's the problem. The Mets are relying on these same people for the 'fan message'. And the fact is, it's popular to kill the Mets. A lot of the media is doing it. And to an extent they're right. Look at Metsblog comments for a minor league signing and it's all rage and hammering. Guys that are respected around baseball like Gammons are hammering the Mets for this and that. The media blows things out of proportion. (The Beltran thing is such a small issue and mostly irrelevant that got just so out of hand due to the way it was reported. They didn't make it better, but they didn't cause the problem either) btw, Metsblog poll suggested there were a decent amount of people that did want Molina, and I'm sure that number would be even higher if it was Molina vs. Santos.
And that's the problem. The mainstream media is out of touch. But the Mets are oldschool and tied into the media. I don't think they're the only team/organization like this though. The world is changing. And they shouldn't all willy nilly search the internet for fan reactions either. There are a lot of bad blogs out there with raving, ranting, stupid opinions. That's an Internet problem though. There is a lot of noise and getting the pertinent info isn't always easy or obvious.
Mets bloggers don't represent the overall subset of people either. Many bloggers dislike the black jerseys and the dropshadow (I dislike neither, for the record) but those things are selling. So should the Mets listen to the sales, or the bloggers?
I'm not making a clear point here, but I don't think the issue's as cut and dry as "The Mets are out of touch". I've been musing about this for a while, and I think it'd be really interesting of the Mets had a "Board of Bloggers", ooh, "Board of Mets Bloggers"/BOMB, or some other internal surveying dept that did their own research about what fans want and how to procede with fan relations.
for what it's worth: the Mets portion of the article:
"Team-fan disconnect, starring the Mets and Bengie Molina Wednesday January 20, 2010 12:24 AM By Ken Davidoff
Spoke with a couple of Mets officials yesterday, and disappointment coursed through the organization that Bengie Molina chose a return to the Giants over joining the Mets, even though the Mets offered slightly more money (a little over $5 million, compared to $4.5 million).
"We're just gonna get hammered for whatever we do right now," one official said.
"Um, no, not for this one," I said. "As far as I can tell, most of your fans are thrilled that you didn't get Molina."
Does any baseball team have a bigger team-fan disconnect than the Mets? It's pretty darn big. It speaks, of course, to the profound lack of faith fans have, understandably, in the club's front office.
Shoot, this Mets offseason, so far - with plenty of work remaining, let's make clear - has been a pleasant surprise for many fans. "Hey, we didn't go crazy trying to sign Molina." "Hey, the Jason Bay contract isn't great, but it isn't as horrible as I feared it would be - and look how much more St. Louis gave to Matt Holliday."
"Hey, we didn't spend a lot of money on relievers this offseason."
These, of course, are all faint-praise damns. The Mets' past mistakes - moves that were generally and rightfully crushed by the fan base at the moment they occurred - will still be around in 2010. Yes, we're talking about you, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez."
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