Posted by Rick Laughland Posted on 12:04:00 AM with 4 comments
The New York Mets were founded in 1962 as one of major league baseball’s first expansion teams. With the relocation of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles and the New York Giants to San Francisco in 1957, New York was left without a National League team until the arrival of the Mets in 1962. The Mr. Met mascot debuted in 1961singing and dancing to the “Meet the Mets” theme song; creating a memorable character and promotional tool to help build the Mets brand.
During the first two years of the franchises existence, the team played at the historic Polo Grounds, and in 1964 moved into newly constructed Shea Stadium, named for William Shea an attorney who lobbied for the inclusion of the Mets as a major league expansion team. The team won world championships in 1969 and 1986, winning National League pennants in 1973 and 2000.
The Mets have lived in the shadow of the New York Yankees who have won 5 titles since 1996, to the Mets zero. Currently, the team is re-branding and re-indentifying itself following a slew of disappointing seasons. New York’s former general manager (2004-2010) Omar Minaya was aggressive in his pursuit for top flight talent, often times overpaying for marginal players, or players who were past the prime of their career, much to the ire of ownership. In 2006, the Mets won 97 games, reaching game 7of the NLCS, only to see their magical season come up an extra base hit shy of a World Series berth.
In the subsequent four seasons, the Mets would miss out on the playoffs despite boasting a top five payroll in baseball. Ownership put the reins on general manager Omar Minaya, limiting his autonomy in personnel decisions insisting he exercise frugality while targeting new players. The Wilpons’ were reportedly impacted by the Bernie Maddoff’s Ponzi scheme, as they lost millions in securities and investments. Citi-group’s stock plummeted with the economy mired in a recession, as Citi unsuccessfully tried to back out of the naming rights deal for the Mets new ball park.
Following back to back losing seasons, Minaya was ousted and the Wilpons chose Sandy Alderson as his successor. Mr. Alderson brings a wealth of experience and shrewd business tactics to an organization that has floundered to excel on the field, while managing its finances. Aldersen was in the front office when Billy Bean started the new wave of “money ball” whereby smaller market teams could stay competitive by stockpiling their farm system and not paying for overpriced free agents.