Friday, November 18, 2011

50th? 51st? All That Counts Is That They're Doing Something Right...Right?

No Mets activity, no matter how small, would be complete without at least a little controversy.  In all the hubbub surrounding the teams 50th anniversary plans, there has been some talk over what anniversary this really is.  The Mets say it's 50 while others say it's 51.  So who's right? Can it be both? 

Looking around all of professional sports you will find teams that celebrate the number of seasons played while others celebrate calendar years like birthdays. The Jets for example, celebrated 50 seasons in what would appear to be their 49th year (1960-2009). It really seems to be the choice of the franchise.  

The only thing that confuses the issue is that the Mets seem to have had a policy shift regarding what constitutes an anniversary.  Back in 1986, the Mets celebrated their 25th anniversary commemorating 25 seasons (62-86), but for some reason when it was time for their 40th, perhaps at the discretion of new ownership, the team opted to go with calendar years (62-02). 

Personally, I'm just glad they're doing anything at all, and as an added bonus they seem to be doing it right.  Let's forget about the roster and those issues for a moment and just look at the small stuff.  

First of all, the team seems to have gotten up off the mat after being soundly and rightly thrashed for that disaster of a uniform patch in 2009 and come back swinging with a really nice simple "Mets" design.

Secondly, there's the uniforms themselves.  I am on record as a lover of the black jerseys and am certainly not as critical as my colleagues over at Mets Police, but even I have been wanting the Mets to tone down the number of choices and combinations.  Yesterday afternoon, I dropped by Citi Field to donate some canned goods (presumably to the Wilpons) and check out some of the 50th Anniversary merchandise at the Team Store/Hall Of Fame. I got to see the "new" drop-shadow-less jerseys and they do indeed look great.  Losing all that noise really helps the blue and orange pop.  The fans spoke and the team listened.  But fortunately they also listened to people like me who like the black and kept that around as well for limited use.  A win for Generation Piazza I suppose.

Thirdly, there's banner day.  Now I personally only know one guy who wanted banner day back but I guess people were asking for it.  Banner day was a part of my youth at Shea but I am not as nostalgic about it as say, this guy.  Either way there's no harm in bringing it back. It doesn't cost a damn thing so why not give it a try?  The fans spoke and the team listened. 

Add to that, a year long celebration of past Mets players & history and it would seem that the powers that be have finally opened up to our feedback. This can only be a good thing for those of us who still enjoy live Mets baseball no matter what the record of the team is.  You even got your bleeping blue walls.

"But Randy, of course they're doing this, they're desperate for your money."

-Just about any cynical Mets fan   
I can't really argue with that point.  I'm sure declining ticket sales have led to this but I'm not in the business of caring.  As cringe-worthy as it sounds, the Mets are a business that has to make business decisions to survive.  I am in the business of attending baseball games.  I pay money (pay, not invest) to the Mets for seats to watch these games.  Whatever the reasons are, if the Mets want to do some things that I'll enjoy next year, I don't particularly care why they're doing them.

So happy 50th Anniversary...or Happy 51st or whatever.  I am just looking forward to what should be a fun Summer of excitement and nostalgia at the ballpark in Flushing.

Do you agree with me?  Am I completely full of it?  Should I stick to photoshopping heads onto other people's bodies? Leave me a comment and let me know or follow me on Twitter @readtheapple and tell me where to get off.

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