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NY Mets Mania

I have been a New York Mets season ticket holder for a few seasons now. And initially, after having given up my grandparents’ season tickets for Shea Stadium Sunday games all those years ago, it was fun to get back to actually being there at the games.

But it has gotten to the point where I am just not into it the way I used to be. And I am seriously considering not continuing my season ticket holder status because 1) the price; 2) the experience; and 3) the product.

Opening Day usually brings optimism. It’s a new and fresh start. Every team is in the same wins and no losses. But the New York Mets have a fan base that has needs, wants, and desires. And a relentless need for criticism.

The comments on the threads of social media are filled with complaints and derogatory remarks about the Mets management and ownership. The new president of baseball operations, David Stearns, has been more maligned in his few months on the job with the Mets than he was in the eight years he spent at the helm of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hey…welcome to New York City David! Steve Cohen was already aware of what he was getting into…I mean…he was already in it and watched while the Wilpons were being hung in effigy.

My complaints as a New York Mets fan are pretty much in line with my fellow sufferers. But if I compartmentalize them, well, I can pretty much break down to different areas of disappointment and some overt nitpicking.

Part of my suffering is the in-person experience…going to the games at Citifield. And what ARE my complaints relative to my attendance in Flushing Meadows? Well here are my three biggest complaints at a season ticket holder.

Thankfully it’s over. And if I were Buck Showalter, I would want it to be over. Nobody REALLY wants to leave a managing job, or head coaching job. I know I didn’t…even when I thought it was no longer a workable situation for me. You always have that competitive spirit believing you can turn things around, that this is YOUR baby and you don’t want to let go. But sometimes it is best to move on.

A year ago the New York Mets and the New York Yankees were both in first place. Today, as we are about to enter the month of September and the stretch run…they are both in last. Should fans really have expected anything different?

Did Steve Cohen REALLY sell the Mets fans a false bill of goods as many fans are saying? Of course not.

The fact is that Steve Cohen has the money to give it the best shot even knowing that the odds are less than likely to come out a winner. He is a good businessman but he is also a Mets fan first.

What is happening with the 2023 New York Mets? This is just a BAD team.

The difference between 1973 and 2023?

The 1973 team actually WAS a good team. The team was hit with injuries to key players who would be out for significant time including Cleon Jones, Bud Harrelson, and Jerry Grote.

And the team floundered. The low point of the season was actually on August 14 following a loss that put them 13 games under the .500 mark at 52-65 and they were 8 ½ games behind.

New York Mets fans should be careful what they wish for.

Sign that guy! Re-sign this guy! You just never know. The decline of Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, and Javy Baez…should be enough proof as to why long-term commitments are a huge risk.

Not too long ago Yelich, Bellinger, and Baez were three of the hottest commodities in Major League Baseball.

Spring is in full swing as we made our first trip to Citifield for the home opener of the 2023 baseball season where New York-Presbyterian beat ADT by a score of 9-3, thanks to a second consecutive solid pitching performance by starter Tylor Megill and home runs by Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso.

Confused? I’m sorry. Perhaps if I said Chico’s Bail Bonds?

The New York Mets top prospects, while given a chance at the Major League level in 2022, will all begin 2023 down on the farm…well…not farm…Syracuse. Francisco Alvarez, Mark Vientos, and Brett Baty, have all been optioned, as was Ronny Mauricio, who has yet to make his MLB debut.

And this is where the difference is between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. A year ago, while the Mets were riding high, sitting atop the NL East, the Braves were reloading. During the 2022 season, the Braves promoted Michael Harris, Vaughn Grissom, Bryce Elder, Dylan Lee, and Spencer Strider, all of whom performed well enough to make everyone forget that Ronald Acuna, Jr. was out for an extended period of time.

The Mets, on the other hand, brought up Baty, Vientos, and Alvarez and none of them showed that they actually belonged. And now, while the Braves are readying themselves with their young talent, the Mets young talent is elsewhere.

Ya know…Jeurys Familia wasn’t exactly the Mets first choice. Nope, he wasn’t. Actually, the Mets were counting on some guy named Jenrry Mejia. Where did THAT come from? Well…with so many so-called experts counting the Mets out because Edwin Diaz is out for the year, the name Mejia should serve as a reminder.

After being groomed as a starter, Mejia had a somewhat breakout season in 2014 coming out of the pen. He made 63 appearances and pitched to a 6-6 record with an ERA of 3.65 and picked up seven saves. Mejia impressed by averaging 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Mejia was primed to be the closer for the 2015 season. But, guess what? On Opening Day…OPENING DAY…Mejia was warming up for a 9th inning save but came up lame before entering the game. He went on the 15-game DL with an elbow issue. But wait…there’s more. While on the DL, MLB announced it was suspending Mejia for 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance. The Mets replaced Mejia with Familia, who had been serving in a set-up role.

It was 50 years ago that would, in some ways, turn out to be a more amazing season than the season labeled “The Miracle Mets.” The difference is that the New York Mets were not expected to win, or do anything good, for that matter, in 1969. Because they never had before. But they WERE expected to win in 1973.

In the seasons after 1969, 1970 and 1971, the Mets were truly competitive, with consecutive 83-win, third-place finishes.

When I was the host of my first call-in radio talk show, I had a caller who said, “I think the rules in baseball are dumb.” And I asked, “What do you mean?” The caller responded, “Well, in baseball they say that if you have four balls you walk, right?” I said, “Yes.” The caller said, “Well that is dumb. How can anybody walk with four balls?”

Regardless that that caller was a crank caller…and he was just trying to get me off my game…which he did as I was unable to maintain my composure for some time afterwards…all these years later…he would be right. The rules have become somewhat odd, to the point where it is hard to recognize the national pastime.





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About New York Mets Mania

Alan Karmin is an award-winning journalist and author. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent most of his life growing up in the New Jersey suburbs. Alan's family were avid Brooklyn Dodgers fans and when the Dodgers moved west, the Mets became the team to root for. The Mets have always been a true focal point, Alan even wrote a term paper in high school to analyze what was wrong with the Mets. While at the University of Miami, Alan honed his craft covering the, gulp, Yankees during spring trainings in Fort Lauderdale for a local NBC affiliate, as well as the Associated Press and UPI. He broadcasted baseball games for the University of Miami, and spring training games for the Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos. New York Mets Mania is a forum for Alan to write about his favorite team and for baseball fans to chime in and provide their thoughts and ideas about New York's Amazin' Mets.