It's really tough sledding being a Mets fan these days.
As a matter of full disclosure, I come from a family of devoted Mets fans, and my earliest years were filled of memories seeing the Mets at Shea Stadium. I was a huge Mets fan, but an act of heresy committed on June 15, 1977 pushed me away as a fan. You remember that: when the Franchise, Tom Seaver, was run out of town by the infamous M. Donald Grant and his minions in the press.
The Red Sox came into my life, but that's story for another time.
In the late 1970s I said I would take the Mets back when the team was sold to someone who had the first clue as to how to run an MLB franchise. And the Mets saviors appeared in the form of Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon. It seemed like a new day had dawned for the Mets, as they brought in Frank Cashen as GM, who had been the brains behind those championship teams in Baltimore in the 1970s.
The Mets won a championship in 1986, and were the toasts of New York in the mid-to-late 1980s. It was great to see the Mets on top of the city again, and the Yankees be little more than an afterthought. But it didn't last, as Doubleday was bought out by Wilpon, and the Mets went horribly off the rails in the early 1990s, and they really haven't regained any of the magic that made them special a quarter-century ago.
Today the Mets have become just a bad joke. And they remind me so much of the darkest days of the franchise of the late 1970s. Remember when the daughters of the late Joan Payson, a very good baseball person, tried to run this team after Grant? I've done my best to forget them also.
The Mets need to be saved from the savior. And right now.
A dark cloud has descended on the once-proud franchise. It will not be lifted until the Wilpons have been run out of town. I won't go into all their misdeeds, as the Ponzi scheme they were involved in is well-known. But it was revealed yesterday that the Mets were granted another loan, and for $40 million. This after they couldn't pay back a $25 million loan from MLB earlier this year. They made no attempt whatsoever to sign Jose Reyes, and let him sign with the Miami Marlins. Sandy Alderson also revealed that the Mets lost a staggering $70 million last season.
It's 1979 all over again. Is this anyway to run a franchise in the nation's largest market?
Fred Wilpon and his idiot son Jeff have run the Mets into the ground and made the club a laughingstock. But since they are good pals with MLB commissioner Bud Selig, don't bet that MLB will do to them what they did to Frank McCourt and his destruction of the Dodgers. I fear that the only way the Mets can be saved is if they lose the lawsuit by Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme victims. They might finally be forced to sell the club entirely.
New York will only become a two-team town again with the Wilpons in the rear view mirror.
It simply can't happen soon enough.