Remember back in 2008 when the Mets asked their fans to select a song for the eighth inning sing-along? They were supposedly Rick-Rolled when five million write-in votes were cast for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up".
That was no ordinary Rick-Roll. That was the Wilpons' doing, hiding behind the scenes, trying to get the fans to commit to Clay Aiken's biological father.
They tried again this year by asking Astley to change his look to appeal to fans of much hipper 80s favorites, INXS. The first live concert at Citi Field was not supposed to feature Sir Paul McCartney. It was supposed to be INXS, fronted by Rick Astley. He may have tried to look like the late lead singer of INXS, but Rick Astley was no Michael Hutchence!
After the latest Astley rejection, the Wilpons got fed up with the constant badmouthing about their British boytoy. They figured something had to be done and so they fired Tony Bernazard.
Meanwhile, back at Ebbets Central, Studious Metsimus found a way to get into the offices of the Wilpons, looking for anything that could explain why they have such an infatuation with Astley and his music. After almost knocking over their comic book collection full of old issues of Jimmy Olsen comics (hmmm....young redhead again. Interesting...), we hid behind their autographed Sandy Koufax life-sized bobblehead doll (sorry, no photos of the bobblehead were taken so that the flash wouldn't alert the Wilpons to our presence), and heard a familiar voice singing this song:
Never gonna give Rick up
Never gonna let him down
Even if the fans don't like how I insert you
Never gonna make him cry
Never gonna stop my tryin'
You'll have that Santana cap and his shirt, too.
Okay, now I was intrigued. Apparently, there was something deeper going on here. Was Rick Astley blackmailing the Mets for Johan Santana memorabilia? Wasn't Bernie Madoff enough? Now Rick Astley was trying to get money from the Wilpons, too?
As we were considering our next move, something unexpected and unfortunate happened.
It tripped off the SBD alarms all over the Wilpons' offices and we scurried to find the nearest exit. We accidentally knocked over an urn that appeared to contain the ashes of a late Brooklyn Dodger, but darkness prevented us from investigating which player it was. Although we could hear footsteps behind us, we were faster.
Then we pulled the old Scooby Doo trick where we'd go down a hall with many doors, entering through one door and coming out another. Our pursuers tried to do the same thing but they ended up using the wrong doors, crashing into each other face-to-face while we made our escape. Jinkies! It actually worked!
So we made it into a lobby area that we were unfamiliar with, but we were no longer being chased. After reprimanding Joey for his flatulent moment, we decided to catch our breath and sat next to an older man who appeared to be waiting for someone.
We struck up a conversation and he told us his name was Rafael. We discussed many topics, like what would hit the ground first if dropped from a third-story window, a pound of feathers or a pound of rocks? After getting a few confusing looks from him, the conversation switched to something Studious Metsimus knew a little something about, the 1986 Mets!
Rafael spoke about that team as if he knew them personally. He recalled wonderful moments about that World Series and even said that he popped a little bubbly in celebration himself.
When he started talking about being upset that Omar Minaya had brought in so many Hispanic players to the Mets but never gave him a call to represent the team, that's when it all hit me.
I asked Rafael about Rick Astley and he said that he knew him. Astley was a big fan of Dominican shortstops from his heyday in the 80s such as Tony Fernandez and Alfredo Griffin and collected memorabilia from those players. He was here to present the Wilpons with his autographed cap and T-shirt in exchange for a position on the team.
I was talking to Rafael Santana, shortstop for the 1986 World Champion Mets. He was the Santana that was being sung about off-key, not Johan Santana.
Soon afterwards, we heard a voice say "Mr. Santana, the Wilpons will see you now" and we snuck in behind Rafael, unbeknownst to the attractive young receptionist dressed in Dodger Blue.
When Mutt (Fred) and Jeff (Jeff) introduced themselves to Rafael, I noticed the bruises on their faces from their collision during the Scooby Doo chase and I knew I had them!
I sprung out from behind the plastic plant and screamed out "I know what you're up to!", producing stares of bewilderment from Mutt and Jeff.
I told them that I knew about their secret love of Rick Astley. Because of that love, they gave Rafael Santana false hopes for a position within the team when all they wanted from him was a signed cap and T-shirt to present to Astley. They never gave a dang about Santana and were just using him to add more fuel to their unusual love affair with the "never-was" crooner.
When they finally admitted their not-so-secret love for Astley, I encouraged Santana to pursue legal action against the Wilpons for discrimination, but he respectfully declined, saying that the Wilpons had suffered enough this year. As we left Citi Field, we couldn't help but overhear Mutt say to Jeff under his breath,
"We would have gotten away with it if it weren't for that meddling kid and that farting bear."The case was solved. The Wilpons not only had a love of the Brooklyn Dodgers, but they also had a secret bromance going on with Rick Astley. Astley wanted to become relevant again and the Wilpons were planning on using any means possible to put him back in the national spotlight, even if it meant using former Mets players from championship teams.
Because of all the time and effort put into the seduction of Rick Astley, the Wilpons did not try to help the team in 2009. That will change now that their secret is out. Expect the Mets to improve in 2010 now that the Wilpons will be able to focus more on the betterment of the franchise.
There will be no more Rick-Rolling here, thanks to the work of the Studious Metsimus staff, the bowels of Joey and the incessant cartoon watching we did as children. Everything is safe in Mets-ville and if you click here, you'll see the exclusive Studious Metsimus apology by the Wilpons.