ONE LAST THING TO SAY.
I thought I was done, and was moving towards arguing over AL Central loyalties and thinking about recapping the year in baseball, when I read on Twitter that Jeff Wilpon was going to be on WFAN at 5pm. I can’t stream at work (I don’t like hogging bandwidth) but I can listen on my iPhone. I thought I would casually listen while wrapping up my day. Maybe Jeff would take the high road. Maybe they would have something good to tell us.
Instead, what I heard was 60 minutes of the most condescending, ill-prepared, arrogant, ill-informed, unprepared, unprofessional blather I have heard in my life.
My greatest fear this season was that when it finally came to an end, we would be no better off than we were in the middle of it because the organization is incapable of real change. The radio interlude on Monday afternoon confirmed my worst fear:
The Mets do not know what they are doing. Period.
Let’s just start with the unmitigated idiocy. Comparing Daniel Murphy to Kevin Youkilis? Comparing Oliver Perez to Justin Verlander? Saying things like “The criticism was unfair, but we’re going to address the problem” when discussing the lack of Mets content in the ballpark? Hey Jeff – EITHER THE CRITICISM WAS UNFAIR, OR THERE WAS A PROBLEM. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
Dave Howard should not ever, ever, speak in public. When he speaks, he is dismissive, he is curt, he is rude. He does not like fans. He does not like dealing with fans. He considers fans a nuisance. He wants corporations to buy up the whole ballpark in full seasons so he never ever has to do a promotion or deal with a fan complaint. I don’t know if my statements about what he likes and dislikes are true or not, but he certainly projects that when he speaks. Every time he opens his mouth he makes Mets fans feel terrible. He is uncouth. He is uninformed. He should not be allowed to address the media when it comes to fans.
Omar and Jeff were a comedy of errors. I don’t know if you heard it and I can’t advise you to look on WFAN to see if it was archived because it will make you put your fist through a wall. They have confidence in Jerry. He had a bad year, it is unfair to judge him because the year was bad. Jerry doesn’t think they need to change anything about the dimensions of Citi Field and Jerry thinks it suits the team so they are not changing it. There is nothing wrong with our Minor League system, we have talent there. I mean, I could go on but I hope those paraphrases of statements give you the general idea that this was the Three Stooges on the radio.
To make things worse, the trio became audibly irritated at the fact that Francesa wanted to actually ask them hard questions. I’m not quite sure why they thought this was going to be a free informercial for an hour, but the irritation when Francesa tried to ask them the questions that everyone has asked all year was even more disrespectful. Why did you bother to come? Who was supervising this visit? What did you think it would gain you? If you thought it was going to get you good will or assuage the fans, it did not. In fact, it made things a million times worse. They didn’t provide any answers, they weren’t genuinely contrite, their pseudo-apologies felt insincere and forced.
And before you try to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, in this case I do. I got my start in business working in the music industry. I watched masters handle situations for people like Axl Rose and Madonna. I understand spin. I understand dealing with the media. And even if I didn’t, even an uneducated dweeb could parse today’s radio outing and understand that it was an unqualified disaster. And even if I didn’t, plenty of people who know more about this than me and are way smarter than me had the same reactions in real time.
It is looking like we will be able to make alternate arrangements for our 2010 Mets tickets and we will therefore be able to cancel both of our ticket plans. I will very much enjoy the day I can call the ticket office and tell them why. However, at this point I am not sure I want to make a significant investment in 2010 (above what we made in 2009), because I do not believe this organization has enough intelligence to fix the problems at hand. (Please notice how I said FIX THE PROBLEMS and not DESTROY THE TEAM AND START OVER. Thank you.)
More than anything, I am sad.
Finally, and this is unprofessional of me: Dave Howard, you can go to hell for your imperious, snooty lecture on how we should continue to wear our Mets caps “with pride”. You are out of touch. You are rude. You are in the wrong line of work. In the real world you wouldn’t have a job for long with the attitude you take towards your actual customers.
I feel better now.