Monday, March 30, 2020

And My Rose Goes To...

A few years ago, I tried to watch the season premiere episode of The Bachelor in a futile attempt to understand what all of the fuss was about. I don't think I made it through 10 minutes; it just wasn't for me. It's all good. The show has managed to do just fine without my support.

The cultural impact of The Bachelor is such that I have an understanding of the mechanism of the show that goes beyond what I could have learned in those few brief minutes spent watching. I learned more about the show through conversations and the memes and parodies that proliferate across the internet.

I've been following all of the drama over the Wilpons' efforts to sell the team over the winter and into this spring. While Steve Cohen is obviously no angel, I was rooting for that one to go through. At least Cohen had plenty of money, and it clearly is time for Fred and Jeff to give up the pretense that they could operate an MLB franchise in the largest market in the country. My hopes were that with Cohen owning the team, the franchise's ownership would recede into a lesser part of the story of the Mets.

I haven't written regularly about the Mets in over a decade, and I was sick of writing about Fred and Jeff then. I just can't believe that all these years later, their financial picture is still part of the day-to-day reality of thinking and writing about them. I know a lot of fans hate them. I don't, but they feel to me like guests that you were never all that excited about in the first place who have seriously outlived their welcome. Jeez, guys, could you please just go away?

Anyway, they're still trying to sell the team, apparently also dropping demands that they control the team for 5 years after the sale goes through. The difficulty now, of course, is to find someone capable of coming up with something like the $2.6 billion it was reported that Cohen was offering.

My fear, stated here a few days ago, is that the Dolan family will buy the team and do the same thing for the Mets that they've done for the Knicks and Rangers, especially the Knicks. There's little danger of the Mets becoming the laughingstock of New York sports as long as the MSG ownership remains intact.

If only I, a Mets fan with 50+ years invested in the team, could have a say in the franchise's ownership. Circling back to where this post started (finally), I imagine a reality show looking somewhat like The Bachelor, where prospective owners of the team have to line up and woo me before they are allowed to purchase my beloved Mets.

I stand there holding a single rose, doing my best to look alluring and sexy (and failing miserably at it) as I stand before a group of billionaires and wannabees who await my decision.

In the center is Jim Dolan, strumming a gentle love ballad on his guitar while he tries to look coquettish but comes across as a pensive serial killer. I walk by quickly. He will not be the one who gets my rose. That decision was easy.

But now what? The rest are all ciphers to me. It occurs to me that I'm looking for ownership love with no clue about what qualities that silly rich guy would need to possess to make me happy. I need to define those qualities before I hand out my rose. So here goes:

He/she needs to be rich. Really rich.
Hate to be mercenary, but if you want my damn rose, I don't want to spend the next 10 years worrying about your finances. If you have to ask, you can't afford it. F*** off.

He/she needs to be able to hire good people and then let them do their jobs.
Sure, any owner will have a say in any significant money expenditure, but my Big Bucks Dreamboat doesn't have any illusions that he can make day-to-day baseball decisions because he placed third in his fantasy baseball league 7 years ago. Remember, while George Steinbrenner brought the Yankees back to winning in the 70s, he almost buried them in the 80s.

He/she can make a plan and stick with it.
I get a freaking headache when the franchise seems to retool and change direction every 5 years or so. Make it a priority to hire good people from top to bottom and build a real organization that can find talent, sign it, grow it, and roll it out on a big league field. Splashy free agent signings are cool, but winning is sustained by doing the little things right.

He/she respects the past of this franchise.
If you own a team, you shouldn't have to be guilted into honoring those who have shone for your team in the past. Retire a couple of numbers. Celebrate past championships. And for God's sake, I don't want to hear about feuds between you and former players.

Finally, no Drama King/Queens need apply.
We've had more than enough of that with our exes. Let's just make it about baseball this time around.

So rich folks, if the above sounds like you, let's make it happen. The rose will be waiting.

I'm not sure if anyone who read the old blog will find their way here after all these many years, but if you do, please drop me an email or comment if you'd prefer. I'd honestly love to hear from you. Also, I will be posting here regularly if you're inclined to come back.

Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos.

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