Sunday, August 14, 2011

Second-Class Citizens - Mack's Mets

Tom and I came to the same conclusion on a number of things that day. The first is that we both agree that the city will go absolutely crazy the next time the Mets win a World Series. The city still adores the 1986 Mets, possibly the most iconic team in New York baseball history. So many calamities have befallen the franchise since then that the celebration another championship would unleash would be legendary in scope and revelry.

We also agreed that this has to happen soon, or the Mets will never regain their perch as the darlings of New York City. The longer the Mets go on playing the comic foil to Yankees' track record of success, the more they risk becoming the Chicago White Sox of the Big Apple.

The Sox enjoy permanent second-class status in their own city, which remains enamored with the Cubs despite over 100 years without a championship. The Yankees have held the town without serious challenge for the better part of two decades now. The longer it goes on, the harder it's going to be for the Mets to get back on top.

Read the rest at Mack's Mets.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Waiting for Parnell - Mack's Mets

Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect eighth inning back on July 28 against Cincinnati. Three up and three down on just eight pitches, with a strikeout to boot.

The next day, Parnell was undoubtedly the subject of breathless prose from both bloggers and the mainstream media, too much of which strains credulity looking for optimism every time Parnell has a decent outing. His supporters really seem to want Bobby Parnell to do well, because they really want to believe that he is the closer-in-waiting, or at least a dominant set-up man in the making.

He isn't.

Read the rest at Mack's Mets.

Monday, August 1, 2011

More on Mets vs. Expos - Again?

The Expos were done in by the strike and two ownership groups that failed to invest in the product.

In 1990, the A's and the Royals were both in the Top 3 for overall payroll. In 1995, they were small-market teams. Montreal never spent like Oakland or KC, but like the A's and the Royals they were not the penny-pinching outfit they became after the strike.

The club was owned by Charles Bronfman until 1991 and the family business (Seagram's) helped pay the bills. The new ownership pulled the purse strings tight after the strike and eventually sold to Jeffrey Loria, who I am sure that there is already a special little corner in hell reserved for. Loria eventually finagled his way into control of the Marlins when Bud Selig decided that Washington DC deserved a third shot at supporting a baseball team more than Montreal deserved a competent ownership group.

Meanwhile, the Expos had never captured Montreal's fancy the way that the Canadiens still do, and after the strike there was a lot of bitterness toward MLB. Olympic Stadium remained a terrible place to play. Ownership made it clear that it was unwilling or unable to put a quality product on the field. The results were predictable: fans stayed away.

Montreal can still work as an MLB town, but only with an ownership group willing to do the dirty work to get a new stadium built. I suspect that Selig would be more than happy to threaten Oakland, Kansas City or Tampa with relocation the same way he once threatened Montreal.