THANKS A MILLION by Tom Brennan
Thanksgiving is upon us, so how about an article involving the word THANKS as we get ready to chow down?
I am thankful for my family, God, a great Mets season, and writing for a great blog site.
That said, on with the article.
When I was a little kid many years ago, doctors used to make house calls. One time, my father had to drop off Dr. Gedarovich and as he exited Dad’s 1953 red Mercury Monterrey, he said, "Thanks a million, Jack."
You see, back then, a million bucks was a lot of money. A million was really an amazing amount. Huge. We even had the Million Dollar Movie on TV five nights a week. The Crawling Eye and other such classics. I was riveted.
A million is not so much today. At least for Mets’ management and ownership. Why else, since 1999, has the Yankees' home attendance exceeded the Mets' attendance by an average of about a million per season, if not for their not trying hard enough?
What have the Yankees offered its fans that the Mets have not? How about a desire to be dominant whenever possible? How about fielding a team with swagger? How about an unswerving commitment to always be in the playoff hunt? How about fielding offensively muscular, scary teams?
How about a willingness to keep on spending? How about having a core of elite players come through the system (Jeter, Williams, Rivera, Posada, Cano) and with that winning hand surrounding them with more elite talent?
How about the Mets, by contrast, too often signing Sean Marcum retread types and hoping for the best? Calling up Pat Misch types? Having a chance to go boldly forth and sign Cespedes or Abreu as they exited Cuba? But not. How about playing Ruben Tejada at shortstop because, well, yes he is boring but he is kinda passable? I could go on. So could you.
Which brings us to the 2015 off season. The Mets arguably have the chance (when Wheeler returns) to have the best young starting 5 in baseball history. They could spend big, try to be a dominant squad for years....or hope (with all fingers crossed) that their Nimmos and Cecchinis will blossom into stars and make them dominant, as the Yanks were for so many years, but on the cheap.
Those 16 years where the Yanks out-drew the Mets by about 1 million per year (plus many more playoff box office gate bonanzas) likely cost them well over $1 billion (with a B) in revenues.
What to do?
The Mets now have the core elite. Great starters. Great closer. Build on that core aggressively, and draw 1 million more fans per year. For years and years to come. That's what I want to see.
The only time as a Mets fan I felt swagger with my team was in the mid-1980s.
We have a chance to again build a team with swagger, that pitches great and hits hard (so often the missing ingredient), for years to come. A team that owns the playoffs. If ownership chooses boldness, Yankee style.
If they do, I'll be saying, "thanks a million."
Thanks for reading.