|Did Jon Niese's mouth turn him into a Royal pain? Did he make a Giant mistake? I say no! (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)|
Welcome to the latest edition of Broken News, where someone else breaks the news and then we break it some more. In today's segment, we'll discuss Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese, who shared a few interesting thoughts about Mets fans with Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
In the article, Niese claimed Mets fans really want their team to win, but also questioned their loyalty. The 27-year-old southpaw noted that Mets fans showed up when the team played well at Shea Stadium, but have largely been absent at Citi Field, where the team has mostly struggled since the park opened in 2009.
Many fans didn't know what to make of Niese's statement. My opinion on the matter can be stated in three words: GOOD FOR HIM!!
Niese is the third longest-tenured player on the Mets behind David Wright and Daniel Murphy. And no pitcher on the roster has toiled longer for the Mets than Niese. That, my friends, makes him a veteran. And that also gives him the right to speak his mind if he sees something that bothers him. Niese has been there, seen that. And he's just stating what everyone else has already seen with their own eyes.
Attendance at Citi Field has dropped steadily since the park opened its doors for the first time five years ago. Half a decade of less-than-mediocre baseball will do that to a fanbase. Sandy Alderson said earlier this year that if the fans come to the park, the team can generate more revenue which can then be reinvested in the team.
But what is Alderson giving the team right now? Why should fans come out to see a team that is not good right now? Would you pay top dollar for a Broadway show in 2014 if you knew that the best actors weren't going to appear on stage until 2015? Of course not. But that's what our general manager wants us to do. Jon Niese knows we're not dummies. And he knows fans will not come out to see a struggling team.
Sandy Alderson is a patient man, and wants Mets fans to follow his lead. Jonathon Niese is more of a realist, and knows that fans in general - not just Mets fans - don't have the same type of patience his general manager has.
I have no problem with anything Jonathon Niese said. He spoke from the heart and he spoke the truth. And that's what veteran players are supposed to do. But now it's up to him and his teammates to make sure the fans eventually come back to cheer them on. A little more winning will make Mets fans, true or otherwise, make their way back through the turnstiles.