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The Mets: “They’re undesirable … nobody wants them”

Jun 4, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Image (1) Mets%20Logo.png for post 3109

Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal has a good article up noting the challenges Mets prospects face playing in Las Vegas. A park thousands of miles from Queens and on a different baseball planet once you figure in the climate and park effects.

And he asks the one question I’ve wondered about since they agreed to move their Triple-A team there last year: what are the Mets doing in Las Vegas in the first place?

The answer is partially due to the musical chairs relationship between major league and minor league teams, with affiliations changing every few years and leaving one or two teams scrambling to find a lasting match with the minor league clubs. The Mets have been that scrambling team.

Why? The answer is blunt, but not necessarily surprising: “They’re undesirable … nobody wants them.”

Who said that and why did he say it? Go check out Costa’s article to see.

  1. chill1184 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Personally I rather them be in Vegas than the hell hole that is upstate NY.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Dude, the Adirondacks are a sweet hike. Furthest thing from hell.

    • thebadguyswon - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      Haha! I live in the Adirondacks. Trust me, I’d rather live here, thanks!

    • dondada10 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Don’t shit on upstate. I went to school in Syracuse and loved it. Plus Binghamton, an hour south, is a beautiful city and home of our AA team, the B’s.

      • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        And the home of spiedies, a utopian delight which should be served in every ballpark in America. Auschlanders from the lowlands don’t know this, but in primordial times the gods, knowing that there would be spiedies some day, bestowed the secret of brewing malt and hops on mankind so that the firkins and spigots could be up and working by the time the first skewers were laid across the grill.

        Also, the Adirondacks are home to some of my favorite boyhood after-the-rain red newt trails. You can have the desert, where the horned toads are disappearing so you can’t even walk around barefoot anymore.

    • dbs0011 - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      I’m from NE Ohio, Adirondacks and upstate NY are beautiful. I had my bachelor party in Lake Placid, it was awesome. Saratoga Springs and Cooperstown are great too. Give me upstate NY over Las Vegas 100 times out of 100.

  2. missthemexpos - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Blue Jay hitters tore it up at Las Vegas over the years, absolutely crazy numbers, and then reality set in once they graduated up to the major league.

    • jwbiii - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      And the Dodgers at Albuquerque and the Angels at Salt Lake City.

  3. yahmule - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    The Padres had a long run with the Las Vegas Stars as their AAA team. About 10-15 years ago, some marketing jagov convinced them to rebrand the franchise as the 51s, after Area 51. Since the Padres left town, the Dodger, Jays and now the Mets have been the parent club. As noted, the PCL is a hitter’s paradise and Cashman Field is one of the best hitter’s parks in the league.

    I enjoyed the games I saw there, but I haven’t been to many minor league ballparks. The Dodgers, in particular, complained a lot about the facilities, so I was halfway expecting a renovation or a new stadium at some point. I guess any plans for a new structure are complicated by the pipe dreams some city planners share about a future major league franchise.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      Just a question, it crossed my mind last week.

      Is it “ya mule” , like you were insulting someone by calling them a mule.

      Or “YAH, MULE!” like in a classic western cattle drive vernacular.

      I’m hoping for the latter.

      • cur68 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        While we’re answering questions, what do you have against “blue”, anyhow? Doesn’t bathe? Rolled in something? What?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        It’s actually a homage to a friend of mine. He literally got the stare down from the home plate ump down in Washington, way back when they drew more Phillies fans than Nationals fans, It was a bad call, Kerwin Danley behind the plate. we were 8 rows up off of third base and the following went down:

        Kerwin makes the call

        ” Hey, Blue! Blue!”

        Kerwin looks

        ” You stink! ” Pointing

        Kerwin looks away, removes mask and stares right at my friend again

        ” That’s right Blue! You Stink!” Pointing again

        The stuff of legends, the fact that he could hear us from where we were should give you an indication of the attendence that particular game. After that, we went to the Georgetown area and had a good time. Passed a pizza joint where there were a bunch of college kids passed out on the sidewalk outside with plates in their lap, got challeneged to a friendly fight from a guy straight off the boat from Ireland. Was ashame smart phones were in their infancy and I didn’t own one.

      • yahmule - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        Cattle drive vernacular. I actually got it from an old Looney Tunes cartoon, courtesy of the legendary Mel Blanc. I also root for the Broncos so it kind of fits.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        That’s why it’s ringing in my head. now I can picture it. Thank you, I’ll be you tubing that when I get home later.

      • yahmule - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Here’s one example, but Mel used this line with other characters besides Yosemite Sam. My favorite was with a bunch of ants at a picnic carrying away a string of hot dogs.

  4. sdelmonte - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    The solution is for the Mets to buy an east coast Triple A team. Indeed, I don’t really get why every major league team doesn’t own more minor league clubs.

    • chill1184 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Because owning the minor league team also puts more responsibility (and more of a financial burden) on the parent club. With mutual agreements, the minor league team takes care of promotions and other day to day operations while the big club (more or less) just supports the talent.

      Not saying your wrong because the Mets do own a few of their minor league teams but Im just stating the reason why. Kinda why the NFL has never gone forward with a farm system other than college

  5. sincitybonobo - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    With a new stadium, and legit grounds crew, Vegas could be quite a desirable affiliate destination. There are non-stop flights to every MLB city. This mitigates travel time. Sin City is 2,000 above sea level and could benefit from a humidor. But, as a feature in the local paper noted, Albuquerque is almost a mile above sea level and has one of the premier venues for minor league baseball in the country.

    The current ballpark is a relic in a tough part of town. The team was just sold to some deep pocketed owners who want to shake down the LVCVA (Convention and Visitors Authority) and county government to kick in some $. The new owners own the land in a very tony part of town about 15 miles NW of the strip. Easy freeway access, potential mall and housing construction, etc.

    Would the Padres choose to re-up with Tucson over a state of the art park in Vegas? Many other West Coast teams seem fairly entrenched with their affiliates- LAA-SLC, SEA-TAC, OAK-SAC, COL-CSP, ARI-REN, SF-FRE. But, a team from the AL or NL Central could certainly take a look.

    I’ve attended nearly 100 games at Cashman Field and while the article is accurate, I have some great memories of attending games there during the past 11 seasons.

    If the stadium is done correctly, LV won’t have to wait until the music stops in the biannual game of musical chairs.

    • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      I agree. Especially a team with Pete Rose as its general manager.

  6. makeham98 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    You would think the Mets could get the Rochester team. Which was a Baltimore affiliate for decades. Which is now in Norfolk, where the Mets were based for a long time.

    Rochester is a Twins affiliate. Which makes little sense geographically, other than their not being far from their AA team in New Britain. Which makes no sense.

    Yankees have AA in Trenton, AAA in Moosic. Red Sox have AA in Portland, AAA in Pawtucket. Phillies, Reading and Allentown. Mets have Binghamton and Las Vegas. Even the Marlins have New Orleans and Jacksonville.

  7. thebadguyswon - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Once the 2-year deal with Vegas is done, the Mets will move east again. Buffalo was pissed because they felt the Mets sent rejects there – which they did to a large degree. But Buffalo wanted Toronto anyway and now they can lose with Toronto prospects.

    You can’t argue with facts. And the facts are the Mets have one of – if not THE – best collection of pitching talent in the entire minor leagues. So, someone will “want” them in two years, have no doubt.

    • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      I think that’s hilarious. Buffalo ought to ask Flushing what they think the Mutts have sent there.

  8. mustbechris - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    The Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox sort of have a monopoly on the Northeast + Florida. The cities that would be interested are occupied, leaving the Mets without many options.

  9. brooksandstreams - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    I think the OP buried the lead a little bit here. The Mets are in this ridiculous predicament primarily because of the mis-management stylings of one Jeff Wilpon. In a little over 3 years Little Jeffy was able to completely undo the amicable 38 YEAR relationship between The New York Mets and the Norfolk Tides. Let that marinate for a second or two…the Mets were with the the Norfold Tides for 38 years, including such stunningly poor periods as the late 70’s and early 90’s. Why would The Tides choose not to renew their contract with the Mets the season they won the NL East? The short answer is simple: While the Mets franchise is in the hands of EITHER Wilpon, they will continue to flounder, fumble and FU__ it up…and we Met fans will continue to be made to suffer for it.

    • uuddlrlrbastart - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM

      Hearing that Jeff Wilpon was responsible was not the least surprising. I really wish the Madoff settlement had been worse for the Mets forcing them to sell.

  10. shanabartels - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Part of the problem — and this applies to all teams, not just the Mets — is that there’s a disconnect between the distribution of Major League teams (14 of which are in the eastern time zone) and the distribution of AAA affiliates, of which 14 are in the International League and 16 are in the Pacific Coast League.

    If you look at a map of Major League teams, you’ll notice the very large distance between some of the Central teams and the ones out west. Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and to some extent Las Vegas and Reno are not within easy driving distance to any Major League city. That’s not a big deal for flying prospects around when they get promoted, but I mean if you’re in Albuquerque and you go to Isotopes games sometimes, you’re not going to casually drive 12 hours to go to a Dodgers game. But I digress.

    The point I’m trying to make is that there is always necessarily going to be at least one Major League team that is unhappy with the distance of its AAA affiliate. It could be mitigated if some of the Central teams that are farther west would agree that it’s more “fair” if they take the Vegas partnership as opposed to an east coast team. For instance, if the Twins weren’t hogging an International League affliate in Rochester or if the Brewers weren’t hogging one of the farther-east PCL affiliates in Nashville, either of those cities is a hell of a lot closer to Vegas than New York is.

    But obviously, if those Central teams are happy with their current arrangements, they’re not going to make life easier for any of the unhappy teams unless they’re forced to, like if the next Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that all AAA affiliates must be within, say, a three-hour flight or drive (I’m just picking three hours arbitrarily) of their parent team to make roster shuffling less of a headache. That’s probably not going to happen.

    As a Yankees fan, I can certainly understand the benefits of keeping your affiliates within close range. I’m a little over an hour from the Bronx, but just 25 minutes from the AA team in Trenton, and I haven’t been to a Scranton game yet but it’s only like two hours from me if I ever feel like making the schlep. Likewise, the flight to Charleston or Tampa is also not too bad if the big club needs to fly anyone there for rehab or what have you. Every team should have that kind of convenience.

    Quick related note: there are three AA leagues, but none of them have any affiliates farther west than Texas. I get the impression that the Giants often let their big prospects skip from High-A San Jose to AAA Fresno, largely because those prospects’ names aren’t going to get butts in seats in Richmond, VA, and also because Brian Sabean and his crew want to keep a closer eye on them. I’m sure they’d rather have some kind of AA league within closer range of the west coast, because it would make the development process easier. But I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    (Sorry I’m so verbose. I tried to edit it down, believe it or not.)

    • jwbiii - Jun 4, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      I don’t think the location of minor league affiliates is a CBA issue.

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