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The 2012 New York Mets a.k.a The Not Ready For Newark Players

By Russ Cress ~ September 27th, 2011. Filed under: Digest Contributors, New York Mets, New York Yankees.

Legendary Star Ledger sports writer Jerry Izenberg breaks the story and gives all the dirty details about how the Yankees had reached agreement with Essex County and the Newark Bears to move their AAA team from Scranton to Newark for ONE YEAR, as their Scranton ballpark gets much needed renovations. It would have been not only the most common sense solution to the problem, a boon for Essex County and the city of Newark, but also a nostalgic trip back to the days when the Newark Bears were the Yankees’ long time AAA home. Then a funny and pathetic thing happened on the way to this feel good story, the New York Mets blocked the move. While this is a disappointment for every die-hard Yankee fan that lives in New Jersey, the real story is that it should be cause for panic for anyone who is a Mets fan.

The Yankees AAA team playing one year in Newark makes all the sense in the world. In fact, it makes so much sense that the Yankees and Essex County agreed to a deal to improve Bears Stadium even though it’s only a one year deal. Because of the mismanagement of the Bears and the struggles of Independent League baseball, this temporary arrangement could have been the best thing to happen to baseball in Newark as it would have been a tremendous help in assuring the future of baseball in the city. It was a scenario that would have benefited the Yankees, the city of Newark, its baseball tradition and the fans. It should have been a slam dunk, no-brainer decision and for the parties involved, it was, as the deal was a done and it was a go. Then the petty party poopers known as the owners of the New York Mets decided to ruin it and they did it for the saddest of reasons.

For you see, the New York Mets decided that having the Yankees Triple-A farm team play in Newark in 2012 would hurt their attendance. Think about that one for a minute. So, the Yankees said, “it’s not permanent, it’s only for one year” and the Mets responded “no”. The Yankees called back and made the Mets what, in a logical world, is quite the generous offer. They said, the Mets can, IN PERPATUITY, move one of their farm teams anywhere in the New York market they want, including the renovated Newark stadium for one year at any time. The Mets still said “no.”

Now, the Yankees problem of where their Triple-A team is going to play in 2012 is back to square one. However, the bigger story concerns the 2012 New York Mets and if you are a Mets fan you need to be afraid, be very afraid. If they are worried that the likes of Banuelos, Betances, and Romine are going to impact the box office numbers in Queens, then what does that say about how they view the potential roster make up of the 2012 Mets? The Mets ownership is worried that a handful of MLB’s top prospects are going to be bigger drawing cards than what they are planning to put on the field in 2012. That is sad and pathetic. It’s also a HUGE sign that this team has no money and is planning to tear down their team under the guise of rebuilding. Face the facts Mets fans, Jose Reyes is gone. After he leaves, who knows who else they’ll then be trading off? By showing that they view a Triple-A team as a box office threat, the Mets tipped their hands that they are going to absolutely terrible next year, possibly to epic proportions. There is really no other way to view this decision. If they were confident in their talent and thought they were building something, then they would in no way be threatened by a minor league team in New Jersey. Vetoing this temporary move is a petty and pathetic decision that completely sends the wrong message to their fan base. Even if they truly believe that the Yankees farm team would have a negative impact on the Mets attendance in 2012 (and it wouldn’t), they still should have approved the move, simply because from a PR standpoint it’s a disaster and completely short-sighted and thoughtless. Why would you tell your fan base that you view a minor league team as a threat, especially this early before you even start selling 2012 tickets? It’s ignorant and thoughtless and creates a terrible impression to the public about how the organization views the talent of their players and your franchise in general.

Follow the money. No better piece of advice has ever been given when it comes to finding out the truth behind a story. When you do that here, it becomes obvious what the 2012 Mets are going to be and that their ownership has planned it that way. It’s a window into the minds of the Wilpons, and it shows their paranoia about the decision they’ve apparently made. So Mets fans, you can start worrying because it appears things are only going to get much worse before they have a chance to get better. If you read between the lines, they told you point blank that your 2012 season ended today.

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Russ Cress

Russ has a Masters of Useless Information and is a proud Alumni of the Old School with a major in Trivial Crap. No, seriously, it's actually 2 degrees one in History the other in Broadcasting. He's worked for NBC Sports, worked on Trenton Thunder radio broadcasts, managed a video production company and taught at a major broadcasting school. A massive Yankee fan and student of baseball history, Russ' contributions will largely be in the area of media critiques, DVD & book reviews, retro-reviews of old sporting events with the occasional column on the current baseball scene. As a rotisserie baseball player since the late 1980's, he will also contribute the occasion musing on the world of fantasy baseball. He can be reached at rcressNYY at aol dot com.

4 Responses to The 2012 New York Mets a.k.a The Not Ready For Newark Players

  1. dan l

    Curious about the Lakewood Blue Claws are they not in the Mets and Yankees territory as well?

  2. Will in Central NJ

    As a long time Met fan, as a Newark office worker, and as a minor league fan (affiliated as well as independent), I am very disappointed in this move. The City of Newark, which needs every boost it can get, loses out. This is in direct conflict with the “Mets in the Community” outreach and the public relations benefit attached to those efforts. The Newark Bears and the Can-Am League could also have received a boost from the AAA association, if even for a single season.

    Mike, are you certain that there wasn’t some history to this, such as –and I’m guessing here–the Yanks maybe blocking the Mets’ association with a minor league park at the Islanders’ proposed arena or something along those lines?

    It makes the donation of the CitiField pitching rubber to Mariano Rivera on the occasion of his 300th save in 2009, seem even more shallow and superficial now.

  3. Will in Central NJ

    Sorry, I should have addressed this to Russ, and not Mike.

  4. Dan

    Just wondering, why is it when the Mets request something from the Yankees and the Yankees say “no” it’s alright. But when the Yankees come running for help from the Mets it’s not ok for them to say “no”. Cry me a River please. Too many times the Mets have allowed the Yankees to walk free…like when they agreed to let the Yankee game to be played on WFAN this year because the Yankees were not going to be played on their own station.

    And I noticed your article and it was missing a key point (you purposely decided not to post). “The Mets declined, saying their organization would only do something like that with mutual and immediate reciprocity”…something the Yankees have refused to do.

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