Mets’ non-prodigal son, Jeff Wilpon, was on hand to give the first public tour since Citi Field began experiencing shrinkage. Little Jeffy, no stranger to the hereditary foot-in-mouth condition passed down to him by his father, gave his two cents on why the moved-in walls will make for a better experience for the dozens of fans in attendance at Citi Field this year. Given the team’s current financial state, perhaps he should have kept those two cents to himself, especially when these were his words:
“I think fans are going to like (the new dimensions). People would rather see a 9-7 game than a 2-1 game, for one thing. And I think players are going to perform better, and they’re going to like that, too.”
So let me get this straight. Little Jeffy Wilpon believes his customers would rather see a 9-7 game at Citi Field. Now, I’m assuming he wants the Mets to score the nine runs in this scenario, but since he’s a Wilpon, that assumption can’t always be made. Therefore, he’s saying that fans want to see Mets pitchers give up seven runs in a ballgame.
For most teams, giving up seven runs in a game means taxing the bullpen (been there, done that), while causing the starting pitchers to lose confidence in their ability. It also leads to demotions and early promotions to minor leaguers who have no business being called up so soon.
Who wants people to say Johan Santana came off the DL too soon because he allowed a handful of runs in five innings? How much more of Mike Pelfrey getting shelled can we handle? If R.A. Dickey starts giving up run after run, will we start seeing #BlameMountKilimanjaro hashtags on Sandy Alderson’s tweets? No one wants any of that to happen. Well, almost no one.
Little Jeffy Wilpon would have no problem with any of that because he’s in tune with his fan base and knows we want 9-7 games instead of pitchers’ duels. Right. He knows us so well. In fact, we would have invited our good buddy over for dinner by now but we’re afraid he’d take our silverware home.
This is what Little Jeffy should have said if he didn’t want to stick his foot in his mouth:
“People would rather see us score nine runs instead of two.”
(No mention of how many runs the other team will be scoring. Perhaps it’s a 9-7 game, but it could also be a complete-game 9-0 shutout. What fan wouldn’t like the best of both worlds?)
“People would rather see 400-foot bombs land behind the fence and not in opponents’ gloves.”
(He’d get an “Amen” from the blue and orange congregation who are tired of Jason Bay still chasing Richard Hidalgo on the Mets’ all-time home run list.)
“People would stop asking us to sell the team if we won a few more ballgames.”
(Okay, that has nothing to do with his 9-7 quote, but at least he wouldn’t be sticking his foot in his mouth with that response.)
The fences at Citi Field will be lower and closer to home plate than they’ve been since the park opened in 2009. Until the season starts, there’s no way of knowing if this will benefit the Mets or their opponents more. Jeff Wilpon is counting on the cosmetic changes helping the Mets in both the standings and in ticket sales. In fact, he’s sure his patrons are going to like it. After all, he knows exactly what we want.
For his sake, Little Jeffy better be right. His father has already stuck his own foot in his mouth on multiple occasions. This is one family tradition that doesn’t need to passed down from one generation to the next. Isn’t that right, Papa Smirk?