FLUSHING, NY – As we all pine fervently for wind in our hair, the sound of cracked bats below and 747’s above us at CitiField one question has lingered in my head since September: What could the Mets do with the 17 million-a-year that they are paying Jason Bay? So, I thought I would play GM for a day and lay out some options.
Pay Off Some Debt: Since the Mets had to beg for 100 million from Selig during the off-season, it might make sense to start paying that down with 17-a-year that would free up the team in 5.5 years to actually invest in the team.
Sign A Free Agent Or Ten: Right now the whole roster is laughable, minus the defensive abilities of Ruben Tejada, and Mr. Wright over on the 3-bag. The outfield might as well be empty. With 17 million a year they could sign Aaron Miles at second, Xavier Nady or Casey Kotchman at first, and any number of outfielders. On the mound guys like Edwin Jackson, Jon Garland, Joel Pinero, and Jeff Francis are always looking for third chances.
Now to the more fun options:
Free Beer Day: Two free brews for everyone in the park over 21. If there are 30,000 fans over 21 at each game then the Mets could afford to spend 566 dollars per fan over the course of the season. That’s 2 beers a game per fan over 21 plus money left over assuming their actually cost for the beer is less than a dollar beer.
Buck Night: This promotion I am quite fond of that the Royals do once a month. Peanuts, soda, and hotdogs are all 1 dollar. Enough said. The royals could lose every game but dollar night is always a Tuesday or Wednesday sellout.
Flood The Phillies Day: Use all the money to buy up every seat in Philly for one Mets vs. Phillies game. The only problem is that there wouldn’t be enough money left over to litigate all of the Philly hooligans that would start raping and pillaging all the Mets fans as they leave the stadium.
Host the Winter Classic: I’m sure that the NHL wouldn’t refuse a check for 17 million to “heavily influence” where the next classic will be held. Cheesy Bruin won’t be too happy though, because they would have the Islanders play the Devils instead of Bruins vs Rangers.
MTM Holliday Party: Why wouldn’t the Mets give their largest supporters a day at the ballpark? We could all take BP then head up the Acela Club for some drinks and dinner. Fred Wilpon himself would be our server because he doesn’t want to pay the wait staff. After dinner, the field turns into a rave with Cookie and Lori Levine in some sort of baseball themed outfits dancing on platforms. I’m sure Jay-Z or 50-Cent would show up to headline as long as we gave them first shot at the dunk Keith Hernandez booth.
Any way you shake it, I think teams are learning more and more that the all coveted “No Trade Clause” is a double-edged sword. You can either lock down a franchise player or you can lock down the equivelant of a 4 year timeshare that you talk about every summer but never get your money out of it. Right now the Mets are screwed. It will only get worse if Bay gets 600 plate appearances in a season or two 500 plate appearance seasons. Then his option automatically gets extended for another year of 17 million wasted.