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Contract the Mets and Bring the Dodgers Home?



By Mike Silva ~ April 23rd, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

In one of the silliest ideas I have read, maybe in my lifetime, Tom Van Riper of Forbes suggested how Bud Selig could solve the Mets and Dodgers financial situations:

Hopefully Bud Selig was watching, because the obvious solution to his Dodgers-Mets problem was right there on his television screen. Really, it’s so obvious that it’s easy to overlook: move the Dodgers back to Brooklyn, and dissolve the Mets. Yeah, we know, as much as Angels owner Arte Moreno has been trying to make Los Angeles his solo baseball empire, leaving that big T.V. market with just one team won’t do.  No problem – the virtually homeless Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays can fight each other tooth and nail to see who gets to move in. That would leave a net contraction of one team, a result that Selig has bandied about before for his over-expanded league.

Let me break this idea down so I understand it. Let’s contract a team with 50 years of history, but keep one that has been around since 1998? Let’s make the Oakland Athletics, who have moved three times throughout their history more of a priority than the New York Mets. The best part of it? Let’s reward Fred Wilpon for partnering with a scam artist by bringing his Dodgers back to New York, and giving him part ownership. I am sure that will warm the hearts of the fan base, and lead the brand into the future.

Nothing personal about Mr. Van Riper, this is a creative idea, but this falls under the out of touch realm that is displayed in all facets of sports and business by the Baby Boomer crowd. The same people that I criticize for ruining talk radio, Wall Street, and just about every other American entity now wants to take your National League baseball team and liquidate it like a financial institution. And just like what is the new “American way,” let’s reward the poor behavior of the man in charge with another franchise. Because, let’s face it, you Mets fans are too stupid and will come to the ballpark anyway. Oh, don’t forget, move the team to a new stadium in downtown Brooklyn next to a basketball team that no one cares about. The Nets get to live, but the Mets, forget about it.

The scary part is I wouldn’t put it past Bud Selig to consider something like this. It fits all the criteria that have earmarked his commissionership: backdoor deals, keeping his buddies in charge, and the easy way out.

I hate to break it to the Boomers, but there is a new generation of fans that actually don’t care about the Dodgers or Brooklyn. Did Mr. Van Riper hear the outcry over the lack of history in Citi Field? Do you know how many people are unhappy with the fact that Jackie Robinson is the first thing you see when walking into the Citi Field Rotunda? There is lots of pain in the Mets, but the negativity is because they want the product to improve, not go away.

Let me take my objective hat off for a minute. I am a lifelong Mets fans. If this farfetched idea ever happened I would be the first in line to start rooting for the Yankees. Yes, the Raiders came home after a brief stay in Los Angeles, but you don’t leave a city only to come back over 50 years later. Things have changed, people have changed, and the roots are no longer there.

Here is the best solution. Let the Wilpon’s lose the team just like any other foreclosure in this county. This is inevitable if you follow the money trail. I have my doubts they are going to avoid criminal charges when this is all said and done. Speculation of course, but if you think this Madoff story is going away anytime soon you are wrong. If they have the money they could run the Cyclones. New York-Penn League is what is more Brooklyn’s speed anyway. You are more likely to find fans of soccer or cricket in the borough now than baseball. As for his claim that Brooklyn is hip. I lived in the place 26 years, and worked in Brooklyn Heights for nearly four. They are more interested in art shows and bars than Sandy Alderson’s three year plan.

Forbes should stick to talking about the abomination that is this country’s financial market. Think the Mets are a joke? Breakdown what goes on Wall Street and get a good laugh if you don’t cry first. That, in my opinion, is what probably needs to be blown up and contracted. Not the team in Queens.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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9 Responses to Contract the Mets and Bring the Dodgers Home?

  1. Chakrabs

    Mike, I honestly think you can make your point without disparaging Brooklyn’s sports fandom. I would hope that NYC’s most diverse and unique borough, which once used to be its own city could get behind a pro team of their own. As a Brooklyn resident for nearly 8 years, I certainly think there’s plenty of sports interest here. Remember, there are 2.8 million people here, the vast majority of whom are not hipsters and yuppies in Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights!

  2. Chakrabs

    Also, speaking of Wall Street and the Mets, here’s a quote my friend who works in finance came across while researching some company’s credit-worthiness:

    “The reality is the negative outlook means there is a one-in-three chance a downgrade will occur in the next two years, so the possibility is as likely as a Mets win, which is comforting.”

  3. Mike Silva

    Shamik

    That is a fair point. I should have been clear in saying I have nothing against the borough, but I don’t believe the “nostalgia” or “magic” we hear from the fifties is the reality it is today. More of Brooklyn is rundown and poverty than ever before. Don’t be fooled of the pockets like Brooklyn Heights/Park Slope. Perhaps other areas will revitalize thanks to the “hipsters,” but its going to take a while.

  4. Stu B

    Actually, areas like Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Williamsburgh, and Bed Stuy are being revitalized as I write this. Brooklyn has changed a lot in the last 5-10 years.

  5. Kris A.

    As a Dodger Fan, I am appalled by the idea that folks from the east, will ever think about taking the Dodgers away from L.A.! Get over it, the Los Angeles Dodgers are here to stay, the fans won’t allow it. This idea (if ever realized) would cause the whole city to riot and possibly push us all to making ML Soccer or the NBA as our pass time, for we’ve suffered too much shame with big organizations playing with our hearts.

    Brooklyn, get a new team!

  6. Claude Scales

    As one of those horrid boomers, and a Brooklynite for 28 of my 65 years, let me start by saying that I agree with your argument that bringing the Dodgers back is a bad idea, even though my partner-in-crime at Brooklyn Bugle has advocated it. The Brooklyn Dodgers were my first love in baseball; I became a fan at the age of nine while living on an Air Force base in Florida and watching them play the Yankees in the 1955 Series. I lost interest when they went west, and pretty much lost interest in baseball except for a flurry of enthusiasm for the 1960 Pirates (I was always for the scrappy underdogs against the big bad bully Yanks) and for the “impossible dream” 1967 Red Sox (I had just arrived in the Boston area for law school). In 1985, shortly after I’d moved to Brooklyn, a friend invited me to a Mets game. They beat the Cards thanks to a two run homer off what was then called the “unlikely bat” of Howard Johnson. During the game, my friend said, “What you have to know about the Mets is that they are the Brooklyn Dodgers continued by other means.” I decided this was kismet, and from that moment (my timing was impeccable, as the following year I got to see them win it all) I’ve been a Mets fan. Because of my history, I’m glad that they celebrate Brooklyn Dodger history at Citi Field, but I think that any attempt to rebrand them as Dodgers would fail. It would not only alienate their younger fans, but also those of my generation whose Mets fandom was preceded by fealty to the Dodgers’ old NL arch-rivals, the New York Giants.

  7. Russ

    Am I the only one who thought this article was meant to be sarcastic? It’s just so ridiculous, that it has to be a tongue-in-cheek thing.

    Other reasons the plan is silly include…

    How can you leave a brand new ballpark like Citi Field, built for tons of money vacant? How does that make economic sense?

    If Oakland or Tampa moves to LA, you’d have 2 AL teams in the same city.

    Contracting just one team does not work. It’s never been a viable plan because of the schedule

  8. Stu B

    @Kris A: I agree that moving the Dodgers from LA is a bad idea, but I’m fairly certain that the reaction you describe is about the same way the people of Brooklyn felt when the team moved west in ’58. Why would the fans in LA riot when the fans in Brooklyn didn’t?

  9. Paul

    Raiders came back from L.A. with a gangbanger image and have been a complete bust at the box office. Be careful what you wish for.

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