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Are the Mets Forcing Scranton to Barnstorm Over ’06 Snub?



By Mike Silva ~ September 30th, 2011. Filed under: Mets Minors, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Yanks Minors.

The Yankees have announced their Triple-A affiliate will play its home games in six different locations in 2012: Rochester, Batavia, Syracuse, Lehigh Valley, Buffalo, and Pawtucket. This is due to renovation of PNC Field, which will take the entire 2012 season.

The Mets not only rejected the Yankees request to play at Bears & Eagles Stadium in Newark, but David Gershman of  Beyond the Boxscore reports the Mets also rejected the use of Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island as well.

I talked about what a bad job this is by the Mets the other day. 

Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said that he called Mets officials about a week ago and inquired about a one-year waiver for Newark. The team would offer 250k and the ability for the Mets to do the same at any point in the future. The Mets ignored the request until Trost followed up, which is when he was offered a one-year waiver in Newark in exchange for territorial rights for a minor league franchise in either Long Island or Connecticut;  an offer that the Yankees rejected.

Trenton Thunder beat reporter Mike Ashmore made a great point on Twitter earlier, as he believes this “barnstorming” tour will hurt the Yankees chances of signing veteran minor league free agents. The Road Warriors are a team that does something similar in the Atlantic League, and I know by talking to players and agents it’s a very tasking situation when you play a full season without a home ballpark. Also think about the Yanks top prospects that will be doing the same thing. Maybe it would force the organization to leave some players in Trenton. After all, there sometimes isn’t much of a difference these days between Double and Triple-A as most top prospects are now in Double-A, while Triple-A seems to be where the veteran depth and 4-A players are housed.

The aggravating part about this is that even the Somerset Patriots would have been willing to accommodate Scranton at TD Bank Ballpark. The Wilpons have caused unnecessary disruption in exchange for a negligible business advantage. I can’t see the Scranton team hurting the big league club or Brooklyn Cyclones long term for a one season waiver. If they have data that proves they would, then this organization is in worse trouble than imaginable.

Donnie Collins of the Times-Tribune believes that politics may be part of the Mets decision. He reports that back in late 2006, when Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was courting potential big league affiliates after the Phillies left town, the Mets were one of the interested teams. In fact, word on the street was that, for a time, they were the most interested team. What many people don’t know is that, while a group of Mets officials were getting their tour of the stadium, several representatives of the Yankees were in town signing their intentions to move to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on the dotted line.

I could understand the Mets being upset, but this still doesn’t make their decision a good one. There are better ways to handle the business of baseball than to carry petty vendettas for years. Do the Wilpons believe this is really good for their already bad Q-Rating?

The baseball fans of the Tri-State Area are the real losers in this situation.

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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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15 Responses to Are the Mets Forcing Scranton to Barnstorm Over ’06 Snub?

  1. VCarver

    Huh? If playing a year in Newark meant so much to the Yankees, why didn’t they give the Mets territorial rights to CT or LI like they asked for? The Mets in turn were willing to give the Yankees permanent rights to NJ. If the Yankees have nothing to fear in terms of attendance from the Mets, why didn’t they accede to their logical request to put a team in CT or LI?

    I’m sick and tired of the apologists for the Yankees who are as much or more to blame for the Newark situation as the Mets are. It was only fair for the Mets to ask for something back, on their terms which I found reasonable.

    It’s the Yankees who were unreasonable here, and now some in the media are being just as childish as them. Good for the Mets!

  2. acoustic567

    If I were a lawyer or business counselor to the Mets, here’s what I would tell them:

    “Look, they say it’s just for one year. Let’s say you go along with it and they have a great year, the fans come to the park and they love having a good Yankees minor league team there. Can you imagine the p.r. pressure you’ll face to agree to make the move permanent, or a 5-year move, *after* they’ve been there a year? The flack you’ll get now is nothing compared to what that’ll be like. My advice is that you nip this in the bud by saying ‘no’ now. After all, that’s why this thing is in the contract to begin with.”

    Is this an unrealistic scenario? Why should the Mets not try to avoid this situation?

  3. VCarver

    Again, what are the Yankees so afraid of in giving the Mets the rights to CT or LI?

    I’d really like to hear someone give a logical explanation for what sounds like petty and arrogant behavior on the part of the Yankees.

  4. Stu B

    All this drama begs the question of why they don’t simply schedule the home games is Trenton when the Thunder is on the road. No approval or extra travel necessary.

  5. LongTimeFan

    Good for the Mets.

    Acoustic567 hit the nail on the head. The long term fallout of giving the Yanks a year in AAA is obvious. The Mets could see it coming and reacted appropriately.

    The Yankees love to take, but when it comes to giving back, they’re not interested in the Mets protecting themselves from the fallout via rights to their own team locally to counter.

    The Yankees had the nerve to first negotiate a deal with Essex County and then go to the Mets, a clear sign of disrespect, to put the pressure on the Mets thereafter.

    And then later, the Governor himself got involved, calling the Mets himself twice which was totally out of line. Negotiate a deal with the County first, then get the Governor involved, all done to make the Mets cave. Glad to see the Mets held strong.

  6. LongTimeFan

    Stu B
    September 30th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    “All this drama begs the question of why they don’t simply schedule the home games is Trenton when the Thunder is on the road. No approval or extra travel necessary.”

    ————————————————————————————–
    Maybe because the league schedules were already in place and therefore couldn’t make Scranton’s schedule fit when Thunder was on road.

  7. Chuck Johnson

    I was born and raised in southwestern CT and the trip to Yankee Stadium was much easier and shorter to the Bronx than it was to Queens.

    When I was with the Eastern League in the late seventies and early eighties, the Yanks AA team was in West Haven.

    Which is in Connecticut.

    Which is closer to Yankee Stadium than Shea.

    Who’s the idiot that believes CT is Mets’ territory?

    Steinbrenner family to Wilpon family:

    “We’re playing in West Haven or Bridgeport, you don’t like it, sue me.”

    The Met’s are about to face the biggest media crush in team history by not being able to afford the defending NL batting champ, do you think they’d go to court over this?

    Forrest Gump was right.

  8. Stu B

    “Maybe because the league schedules were already in place and therefore couldn’t make Scranton’s schedule fit when Thunder was on road.”

    Maybe, but do you know this to be true? If not, it’s speculation.

  9. VCarver

    Stu B — Why would the Yankees AAA team playing home games in Trenton not constitute moving their team to NJ?

    There’s no difference from the Mets perspective between them having home games in Trenton vs. home games in Newark. They’d be moving their home games to NJ in either case, and would need approval from the Mets.

    At least that’s how I read the situation with territorial rights.

  10. VCarver

    As for Chuck … what?

    Can’t make sense out of your post. Who said CT is Mets territory?

    What does going to court have to do with anything? You do know, don’t you, that the Yankees just can’t move a team to CT if they wanted to, right? No one has permanent rights to CT right now.

    Yeah, Forest Gump was right. The chocolate the Yankees got was filled with sour grapes, and now they’re whining about it.

  11. Phil

    After the Yankees publicly embarrassed the Mets about Feliciano’s usage, the Mets should feel no obligation to do any favors.

    Forget the Yankees and their entitlement.

  12. Mike Silva

    Phil

    What did the Yankees say about Feliciano that wasn’t accurate? I agree with Cashman’s response – the blood is on Dan Warthen’s hands as he destroyed the career of John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Feliciano by not continuing the good work of Rick Peterson. I don’t see how one has to do with the Scranton situation though.

  13. Curtis

    Mike

    When Cashman signed Pedro he knew Pedro had averaged 86 appearances over the previous four seasons, and that he’d led the league in appearances each of the most recent three. And he knew the Mets let Pedro go without even an offer. With all of that evidence staring him in the face, how could he be the least bit surprised when Pedro’s arm fell off? Maybe he could be chagrined that Pedro didn’t even make it to the summer of the first season of his contract, but he HAD to expect the guy was living on borrowed time.

    I also don’t see the connection to the Scranton situation, though, unless it has something to do with karma.

  14. Stu B

    Trenton’s about 60 miles further from NYC than Newark is, and the Yankees have the Thunder there, so there shouldn’t be a territorial issue.

  15. VCarver

    Trenton is part of the tri-state area. So it’s part of the protected territory, and the Yankees would need to get the Mets permission to have their AAA team play home games in Trenton.

    Again, does anyone know what the Yankees were so afraid of in giving the Mets the right to put a team permanently in CT or LI? If they had done so, they would have gotten their Newark team. Sounds like they were being the unreasonable ones.

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