Thursday, December 26, 2013


The metaphoric comparison for the Mets and Yankees spending habits over the recent years are best illustrated in Ernie Palladino’s headline in his November 25th article on

What Else Is New? NYY Jump Right In While NYM Dip Their Toe in the Water

The Yankees performed their usual dazzling diving board plunge into the free agent pool so far. Brian Cashman’s Christmas came early, inking former rival outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, former Met Carlos Beltran, and power-hitting catcher Brian McCann.

All three signings helped cushion the blow of losing Robinson Cano to the Mariners.  It was also a comforting remedy for the Yankee faithful since missing the playoffs in 2013. It's important to note that it's only the second time in the last 14 years.

Anyway, this off-season splash of seismic proportions have sent ripples across the Major League Baseball. The New York Metropolitan fan base has been wondering for seasons when they will get to swim in the deep end again.

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal tweeted this:
“I think it is an absolute joke that a team in New York spends like the Royals and Pirates,” said long time Mets fan Chris Higgins.  “It is tough to be a Mets fan these days, but I truly believe they will turn it around, when though I don't know.”

It could be coming sooner than many people expected.  In June, Met’s General Manager Sandy Alderson proclaimed that the team should have a $90-100 million dollar payroll entering 2014.  Recently, Alderson finally opened the checkbook, and did a cannonball of his own.

Former Yankee Curtis Granderson traded pinstripes to rock the blue and orange for cool four years $60 million. Outfielder Chris Young inked a one-year 7 million dollar deal, and Bartolo Colon will help bolster the rotation with a hefty 2 year-20 million-dollar contract.

“It was something that had to be done,” said Andrew Baicher, a Mets season ticket holder since 2006.  “You had to restore credibility to a franchise that has been ridiculed for its frugal ways.”

In 2006, the Mets lathered with a $101,000.00 payroll, were on the brink of reaching the fall classic. They took the St. Louis Cardinals to Game 7 of the NLCS.  The Cardinals escaped from Queens with the pennant, and the Mets franchise has been on a continuing downward spiral of epic proportions ever since.

Citi Field has been a ghost town throughout much of its existence.  Nearly the entire farm system has auditioned at one time or another.  A fan can only go so many times for a tee shirt Tuesday door prize.

Much of the inability to field a competitive team can be attributed to numerous investments gone awry.  It’s hard to predict the future, but the Mets have been submerged in contract misery especially during the recent dark times.   Omar Minaya regretfully doled out over a combined 100 million dollars to out Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.  The team found themselves waist deep in financial peril after falling victim to Bernie Madeoff’s Ponzie Scheme. 

There is no denying that when Alderson took the reigns as General Manager in 2010 he was already behind 0-2 in the count.  Alderson was tasked with shedding dead weight contracts and building a winner. Building a winner isn’t a quick fix with a financially hamstrung team that finished 70-92 to close the Omar Minaya era.  Worst of all, he was partnering with Wilpons.  The duo still finds themselves submerged in hot water with a dissatisfied Met fan base. 

How can they justify not spending in one of the most valuable markets in the country? 

Lifelong Yankee fan AJ Morebito has had the luxury of rooting for a team that has sustained excellence with a free spending blueprint.   While he agrees with Met fans being distraught, he knows better than anyone that spending the most doesn’t guarantee a championship.

“I would be mad if my owner wasn't spending money on top free agents but it’s a business. If you have the money you do what you want with that money, but more money doesn't mean the best team.”

According to Kevin Wells of the Washington Times, "In the last 18 years of World Series, the team with the highest player payroll has won four times." The New York Yankees "...did it in 1996, 1999, 2000, and 2009."

The Wilpons remain in the crosshairs of that fan base; but Alderson is slowly transforming his reputation.  Money may buy happiness, but it's only temporary when you don’t win.

--Jon Pino
  BYB Guest Writer & Philadelphia Phillies Fan

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