Tuesday, September 2, 2014
The Mets' recent firing of the vice president of ticket sales is just the latest in a long line of mistakes the organization has made, cementing its status as New York's second team. Apparently, the dismissed executive is to blame for the Mets' woeful attendance -- 27,036 per game this season, a 31 percent drop from the club's Citifield high water mark of 38,941 in 2009 -- despite a poor 65-74 record.
This dismissal is just the latest in what has been a long line of mishaps by the Amazing Mess, but from a pure baseball standpoint it pales in comparison to the team's decision to keep first round pick Michael Conforto at short season Brooklyn despite the former Oregon State and Team USA star being far too advanced for the league. Conforto, a left-handed hitting left fielder, slashed .331/.403/.448 in 179 plate appearances and proved early on that he was ready for a stiffer challenge than the one offered by the mediocre pitching in the New York-Penn League.
The Mets' justification for keeping Conforto confined to Brooklyn was they believed the 21-year-old's presence would help the Cyclones reach the playoffs (which it didn't). We should also mention that the Cyclones are Mets owner Fred Wilpon's baby. He hails from Brooklyn and owns the franchise, a set up that is uncustomary as most minor league franchises are owned and operated by independent parties. So, it's evident that the Mets owner has once again placed his personal agenda above that of the big league club.
The Mets' refusal to move Conforto up the chain this summer will clearly hurt both the club and the young slugger's development. In Kevin Plawecki (Triple A), Brandon Nimmo and Dilson Herrera (Double A), and Gavin Cecchini (High A), New York has a slew of exciting position prospects that will all be ready to join the parent club's young pitchers at the big league level by early 2016, at the latest. Promoting Conforto to High A a month ago would have made it easier for him to catch up with his organizational peers and accelerated the Mets' much-needed rebuilding effort.