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The Good and Bad of Being a Mets Fan

Mike SteffanosThursday, March 30, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


It's somewhat depressing for a lifelong Mets fan that opening day is right around the corner and I still have no access to SNY. I've more or less been called a communist in some quarters for what I wrote a couple of days ago about what Fred Wilpon owes Mets fans. Sometimes I write something and, after thinking it over, I come to regret it. Not this time.

I absolutely believe that Fred Wilpon does owe Mets fans a fair opportunity to see their team play. If you want to criticize me for that, fine. Yes, the New York Mets are a business, and Mr. Wilpon owns that business. Like most business owners, he has the right to make any legal choice regarding his business. There is an important distinction, however, between what a regular business owes its customers and what a sports franchise owes its fans.

If I bring my clothes to a laundry and I don't like the way they clean my shirts, I'm going to pack it up and go to a different laundry. However, Mets fans don't look things over at the start of the year and say, "the Yankees look to be more entertaining than the Mets this year, I'm going to switch." We stick with a team through thick and thin -- and there has been a whole boatload of thin with this franchise. Mets ownership owes the fans something more than a laundry owes its customers, period. And I'm not just some cranky crackpot for believing this.

Sports franchises are quasi-public entities, they're not your typical private companies, and don't play by the same rules. Fred Willpon did not invent baseball, and did not create the Mets. I, for one, have been a Mets fans long before Mr. Wilpon had any stake in this team. I always try to respect the opinions of others, but my mind is firm on this one. Fred Wilpon does not owe me a voice in personnel decisions. Fred Wilpon does not need to spend x amount of dollars on players in any given season to retain my loyalty. He does, however, owe me at least a fair chance to see my team's games. If I don't get that, I absolutely feel that it is within my rights to criticize him. Along with privilege, there are responsibilities that come with owning a sports franchise. If he doesn't like that, he can sell the team and concentrate on his real estate empire.

I doubt that anyone on either side of this question is likely to be persuaded by the other side's point of view, let's move on...

Mets DVDsOn a happier note

I received my 1986 World Series DVD set from Amazon.com today. I watched some innings from some of the games, including the game 6 comeback. Not only is it easy to navigate the DVDs to a particular half-inning, but the individual sleeves for each DVD has a clear listing of what happened in each inning. The picture quality was great for games that were recorded 20 years ago.

There are 9 disks in the set. Disk One contains the complete decisive Game 6 of the NLCS against Houston. All 7 World Series games are contained one to a disk on disks Two - Eight. Disk 9 contains the special features. When I get a chance to look them over I'll be back with a more in-depth review.

Needless to say, I'm a little down about wondering when I'll be able to watch Mets games this year. Receiving this set has put a smile back on my face, at least for now.

New York Mets: 1986 World Series
A&E Home Video
9 DVD Set

DVD Set Page on New Video's web site

1986 World Series DVD Set on Amazon.com

Comments (6)

Mike,

First time comment since I've been reading your blog since October. I have really come to appreciate the thoughtful angles you have on Met articles. Keep up the good work.

Hang in there about SNY. If you are still getting DirecTV, there is very little doubt in my mind that they will be carrying SNY shortly. I've read the company does a much better job listening to its consumers than other cable providers and I can attest to that.

I just re'upped with DirecTV for two years so I get a free DVR. This way I can watch the Mets unimpeded while the wife's chick shows get recorded -- yeah, right.

Jon, thanks for the kind words -- both about the blog and DirecTV. I have a feeling a deal will get done, too, but what I'm saying about Fred Wilpon here (and in the previous post) is something I really believe in. I try to stay away from being the stereotype of a blogger that just spouts crazy stuff.

I'm looking at that DVR, too, so I can record the Mets while Lisa makes me watch the Gilmore Girls. I can't even pretend it would be the other way around, she'd kick my a--.

Mike,

Getting Mets telecasts to you and all potential Mets fans is simply good business. You stated it well.

And totally check out the ninth disk. It alone is worth the price of admission, which is sayin' somethin'.

Greg
Faith and Fear

Hi Greg, thanks for the backup. I agree with you that it's simply good business. Maybe if I stuck with that I would been better off, but I honestly believe it's more than that, too. I believe in the corny stuff I said. Excuse me while I take a moment to sing Kum Ba Ya...

I stayed up deep into the night watching Disk 9. Got hardly any sleep but it was worth it.

Mike,

Pay no mind to that shameless self-promoting, self-aggrandizing attention whore at Metsblog. He's too busy trying to get himself press credentials and a gig on SNY to be taken seriously. Obviously, there's a hidden agenda there.

I have nothing against Matt Cerrone, and he is as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine. I enjoy his web site, and have for a long time. I don't get hung up when someone doesn't agree with me. Some stupid anonymous emails I received bothered me a lot more than anything he wrote -- shame on me for letting them get to me. Let's not get negative here. I'd prefer it if we kept personal attacks out of the comments.

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