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Ladies and Gentlemen: Your First Place New York Mets

Apr 28, 2010, 9:36 AM EDT

Mets high five.jpgThere aren’t many people who have ragged on the Mets more than I have over the past few years. But if you’re going to be negative, you have to be fair, and fairness demands that the Mets be given their due. Correction: fairness demands that the first place New York Mets be given their due. Because there they sit, at least for now, alone atop the National League East. How did they get there?  A bunch of reasons really.

  • The starting pitching has been excellent, with Mike Pelfrey and Jon Neise stepping up behind Johan Santana admirably. Doubters may cite the less-than-impressive offenses of the Cubs, Braves and Dodgers on which the Mets have recently feasted, but are they bad because they’re bad, or are they bad because they faced the Mets’ pitching?
  • Ike Davis has been a godsend. No, I don’t expect him to post a .980 OPS this season, but first base has suddenly gone from a sucking black vortex to not a problem.
  • Little stuff:  The defense is better than last year. The rains have come at the right time. The bullpen has been getting them out of jams that, statistically speaking, a team shouldn’t always get out of. They’ve also had the good fortune of playing 15 of their 21 games at home thus far. You can call all that luck if you want to, but last I checked wins due to good luck still count in the standings.

It’s still early so it’s not worth either (a) making sweeping pronouncements or (b) analyzing it to death, but the fact is that everything is coming up blue and orange lately, and it should have Mets fans feeling pretty happy right now.

And it should have them showing up in greater numbers.  Early season attendance has been pretty pitiful so far this year. I’ll grant yesterday’s day game was a lost cause because of the previous night’s rainout, but after averaging over 38,000 per game last year, the Mets have only cracked that total twice in 15 home games this season, one of which was Opening Day.  In that time the team has set the record for the lowest attendance in Citi Field’s brief history — 25,684 a week ago against the Cubs — and have had more games in the 20,000s than the 30,000s.

Time to step up Mets fans. Your team is winning. If an avowed hater like me can give them their props, the least you fans can do is to start showing up.

  1. Simon DelMonte - Apr 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I will note this about Mets ticket prices: by many standards, they are too high, and some of stunts they play to increase ticket sales are annoying. But by NYC standards, Mets tickets are a relative bargain. I think that in general, Mets tickets (and even Yankee tickets) are cheaper than tickets for any other pro team. They are cheaper than concert tickets. Or theater tickets. Or most seats for the US Open.
    The food is a bit of a ripoff, but the price for a soda is in line with the prices in most movie theaters. And while movies are still a bit cheaper (for now), I will take the theater of a ballgame over most of the things in the cinema.
    This isn’t to say that a day at the ballgame is cheap, or that getting from certain parts of the area to Citi is easy. Or that people who want to see baseball care about the cost of tickets to The Lion King or Justin Bieber. But it’s all in how you look at things. And I look at the $20 ticket to some games and say, “not that bad.”
    Never mind that unless you want tickets to the Subway Series, StubHub has a good selection.

  2. Steve Zissou - Apr 28, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Maybe if it didn’t cost a thousand bucks to take the family out to a game, I’d go.

  3. YankeesfanLen - Apr 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Ya gotta love goin’ to baseball in NY. Through any channel of commerce, would love to go to a game of the subway series, just to possibly see a repeat of 6/12/09!
    Captcha: out televise- still like radio better. Vote Luddite Party!

  4. Braves Suck - Apr 28, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Suck my balls Craig. You blog for shit. You forgot to mention that Reyes is back and getting better. You also don’t like it but, when healthy, this team can compete with anyone. Will it last, I hope so. Isn’t this why they play the game?

  5. Simon DelMonte - Apr 28, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    I am with you there. Gotta ask, though, what you think of Sterling and Suzyn. I haven’t been able listen to a Yankee game in a long time, and I know some Yankee diehards who agree with me. (Those personalized home run calls really annoy me.)

  6. Chris Simonds - Apr 28, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Not to give Craig conniptions, but I think Jeff Francoeur contributes to their success. Not because he’s a drastically improved player from his Braves days, but because he seems to love talking to the New York press and he comes across as such a “I’m-really-trying-hard-to-be-a-good-guy” DOOFUS. That’s gotta be therapeutic for what David Wright and company have suffered through for the last couple of years.

  7. michael klein - Apr 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    A couple of points:
    1.) When does Carlos Beltran come back? Is he in the last year of his contract? He better play well if he thinks he will be well compensated in the future.TRADE HIM…….
    2.) Why don’t the Mets hire Valentine, and fire Manuel? Manuel is not the reason for the Met’s recent heroics. What he did for the ChiWS cannot be duplicated in New York City..He is not a baseball genius. (Where are you Dave Johnson?).
    3.) Gen. Mgr. Minaya must go!!!…What has he done to make the Mets a contender? Keeping the GREAT SOUTHPAW Perez?? Is that an example of good judgement? Well, the Mets have money to burn. They been burning money for quite some time. Remember Mo Vaughn. Watch, they will now go after David Ortiz…
    4.) Lets get Orlando Hudson next year…Castillo is finished.
    5.) Met fans are just plain tired of the current ball team..Just look at the attendance figures. Mark my words Mr. Wilpon, it’s going to get worse. Perhaps you can charge more for hotdogs, or perhaps parking???
    6.) At least management, (Manuel), could say that Reyes is only batting third temporarily until Beltran gets back. Does Manuel speak or understand English?? Minaya talk to him in Espanol and tell him what to say to the fans. Reyes is a leadoff hitter.
    7.) And finally, who was the brillant person to create such ridiculous dimensions for Citi Field? And, who in upper management approved them? Learn a lesson, FIRE THE GUY!!! Imagine a hitter’s ballpark where offense shines. Man, the Yankees would then have a hard time competing with the Mets. What a PR disaster…Nobody studied this aspect of the team. I wonder why? Did they think they have Good Pitching??Where is Seaver and Koosman?
    And finally….LISTEN TO THE TRUE FANS>>>>>>>

  8. Jim - Apr 28, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    F the Mets

  9. airedale - Apr 28, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    When did that happen???
    …oh, Mets fannies…take a photo of the standings…it ain’t gonna last….

  10. Mike from NY - Apr 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    What a brainless unintellectual response.
    You’re a simpleton, and too simple to realize it.
    Get an education and maybe a vocabulary too.

  11. YankeesfanLen - Apr 28, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Simon, I know I’m answering long after the fact, happen to think John and Suzyn high camp, especially over-the-top home run calls. While reading a fairly intruiging book or conducting a phone conversation, you can tell from the tone that something may be happening. The hounds (Harley and Barney) pick up their ears during “It is high….it is far….”etc. It’s also interesting to compare what John says the score is vs. reality.
    Yanks 5-0, didn’t someone say earlier that it would be a 10 run win?

  12. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:16 PM

    Mets take their seventh in a row. BC is scarce regardless, either because he’s in little blue pill withdrawal, future shock, or just embarrassed by the revelations on the Pirate joke thread. In any case you know he’s enjoying this – kinda like being on a honeymoon with a centerfold girl who has managed to keep her PMS and her spending habits hidden from you while you were sober.
    .
    The Feesh hit .500 with a dull thud today. Look for them to make one or two good runs at a winning streak but then fade back into the water. Remember how Moby Dick rose one last time so Ahab could beckon? Think of the Feesh rising once or twice so Fat Freddy can beckon before Scrooge McLoria makes him the scapegoat for the owner’s own niggardliness. Or better yet, remember the way Godzilla came up for one last breath before Serizawa’s antioxidants got to him? (Fortunately Serizawa burned the papers with the formula before anyone could figure out that there was nothing in that cylinder but acai berry pulp and pomegranate juice.) So far the floor hasn’t given way beneath the Feesh; the Gnats make for a sturdy substrate in this division.

  13. Make Love Not Hate - Apr 29, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    Craig thinks diving on the Mets team bandwagon while taking shots at their fans is being fair. At least he was honest about his hatred towards the Mets. But now he seems to want to spread that toward their fans. Does Mr.Calcaterra realize that baseball is in the early stages of big trouble financially and that baseball attendance is down almost everywhere? He could have written this piece about any team’s poor attendance, but sometimes the facts don’t mean much when you’re blinded by hate. We haven’t lost hope in you Craig. Eventually you will write something objectively and informatively. We know you can do it!!

  14. Lefty - Apr 29, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Team Green Card has played most of their games at home, none against the Phillies, and it’s not September yet. Remember 2007 and 2008!

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