It’s a noble gesture, but one that will have little sting or impact.
Tonight, fans are to meet for the “Citi Field Sit Out,’’ in which the organizers got their message across on the Internet to meet at the ballpark to express their displeasure at the Mets organization by boycotting the game.
The gesture is symbolic and won’t create change simply because management has shown no inclination it wants to change. Management will laugh off the boycott because it already has their money.
As the Mets become more irrelevant heading into September, it should be realized there is little to be done to energize an alienated fan base for the remainder of the season. There is only one gesture symbolic enough for the fans to appreciate there could be a real change and it’s not the firing of Jerry Manuel or Omar Minaya, which could be soon enough. The only gesture the Wilpons can make to the fans that will be symbolic enough to bring about a genuine hope for change would be cutting Oliver Perez.
It will say things will be different.
Manuel and Minaya could be gone, but if the same group of underachieving players is around, what good will it do?
And, all indications are things will be the same because without spending a dime on new players to get better, the Mets have $130 million committed to salaries for next year, with roughly $50 million earmarked for Perez, Luis Castillo – the poster boys for the Minaya regime – Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez.
The Mets are notorious to not wanting to throw money away, which is why they’re still paying Perez and going with a 24-man roster. The message sent to the clubhouse in keeping Perez at a time when the season was still salvageable was that of surrender.
With a trade almost impossible, next year will likely be as frustrating as this season. Any enthusiasm the team can muster for the 2011 season will be tempered by Perez’s presence, as it will signify nothing has changed for the better no matter how they dress up a new manager or youth movement.
Perez leaving might create a large enough buzz among those thinking of going to Citi Field in September, and even more importantly those on the fence about renewing season tickets, to believe there is sincerity in wanting to change.
Perez is going to get $12 million from the Mets next year either way, so it might as well be in the form of a public relations gesture.
Because without real change, the season ticket base will continue to erode, spending will be further cut, and there will be more symbolic boycotts _ and losing.
There will be more of the same.