Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Boycott The Mets In 2012

Mired in mediocrity since that fateful day in October of 2006 when the New York Mets failed to advance to the World Series, the franchise finds itself at a bit of a tipping point. With all of the financial cards stacked against them, team owner Fred Wilpon recently stated that fan attendance will be the "lifeblood" of the organization going forward. Its a loaded statement. He's trying to compel you to go to the game under the guise that your money will directly translate into a high payroll, and therefore a better product. I'm here to tell you that your money will have no effect whatsoever..and that's precisely why you shouldn't bother boycotting the Mets this season.

The idea behind any such boycott is the hope of forcing the Wilpons to sell. Its a decent idea and not necessarily one without merit, but the reality of the situation is such. The Mets averaged just over 30,000 in attendance last season in the process of reportedly losing $70 million dollars. For the record, that's only 2000 fewer tickets sold per game than during the 2010 season. Why was there no riveting financial loss that year?

The answer to that question is that the Wilpons aren't in financial turmoil because of the Mets day to day operations. And while I understand that they've recently acquired to "short term" loans for operating capital, fans must realize that the reason the team seems so poor right now, is that the Wilpons have to divert their money elsewhere. They have money going towards the SNY loans, Citi Field loans, interest payments and..lets not forget their defense of the Madoff trustee lawsuit. The other 300 pound gorilla in the room would be the threat of a nine figure settlement from that aforementioned lawsuit.

While its not my place to tell you how to spend your money, the Wilpons are bleeding cash so badly that I just don't see your $100-$200 bucks making a difference. Even an organized boycott, which at best might lower average attendance by 5,000 per night would at most filter an estimated $15 to $20 million from the Wilpons' wallet. What's another $20 million when the Wilpon's current financial commitments, even before this lawsuit is settled, are approaching nearly $1 billion dollars?

Its not that I'm not mad too. Its not even that I don't think fans should send a message to ownership that the direction of the franchise is unsatisfactory (to put it kindly). Its just that..I don't think you should deprive yourself of Mets baseball for the purpose of pushing Fred Wilpon out the door. That day is coming regardless, so don't punish yourself for his faults and poor decisions in the meantime.

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