Things are going pretty well for the New York Mets this season. The club is in second place in the NL East, and with a victory over the Phillies on Tuesday, the Mets raised their record to 15-11, the first time they've been four games over .500 in nearly two years.
But despite the team's strong play, the Mets are still struggling to attract fans to games. Playing in one of the nation's largest cities, New York is just 19th among MLB clubs in average attendance.
With the Mets set to take on the New York Yankees in the Subway Series on May 12-15, the team sent out an email asking fans to pledge support to the club by signing a letter.
While the club had good intentions with this push, its effort has been met with mockery by the media.
This #Mets email is beyond insulting to their fans, who already are more invested than ownership is. It's a loyalty oath, and disgraceful.
— Mike Vaccaro (@MikeVacc) April 29, 2014
This Mets letter sent by the team asking the fans to support them is a Wilpon hail mary. They are getting desperate - can't afford this team
— Mike Silva (@MikeSilvaMedia) April 29, 2014
The New York Daily News called the letter "cringeworthy" and beat writer Kristie Ackert wrote that the marketing department "struck out."
Below is a full text of the letter:
To True New Yorkers -
The victory you earn is sweeter than the victory you’re given.
When we won in ’69 and ’86, we, the players, didn’t do it on our own.
We made history together — players and fans — through a gritty, even stubborn, belief in this club against all the odds.
When we’ve won, we've proved through the way we did it that true New Yorkers are Mets fans.
So today we’re issuing a call to all Mets fans: Show your New York Mets pride — stand up and say you’re a true New Yorker.
As players, we can tell you that what happens in the clubhouse and what happens in the stands — players and fans together, believing in each other — makes a tremendous difference with what happens on the field.
Your support matters; we wouldn’t have won without you. So we’re calling on you to give today’s club the same chance we had.
If you agree that the fans have a role to play in making amazing things happen, add your name to this letter: Mets.com/TrueNewYorker
One fan -- maybe you -- will present the signatures on this letter and the messages from fans to the team, before the Mets’ first Subway Series game at Citi Field. If you add your name, it could be you.
We'll see you there. Let’s Go Mets!
– Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Cleon Jones, Ed Charles, Jerry Koosman, and Doc Gooden
There seems to be an inherent contradiction with the letter. If the team is looking for true fans, it wouldn't need to bait them with the opportunity to present the letter to the team. And will these virtual signatures actually mean anything to the players?
In truth, the Mets are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to fans in the New York area. A recent New York Times study of Facebook likes noted that the Yankees beat out the Mets in every New York zip code, including those across the street from Citi Field.