It’s Official: Mets Are Irrelevant

ESPN has released their Sunday Night Baseball Schedule for 2012 — and not one game features the Mets.

Do you know why? Because the Mets are irrelevant.

Go ahead and check the ESPN schedule yourself — do you see the Royals, the Pirates, the Orioles, the Astros, or the Padres? No. Why? Because those teams are irrelevant. No one outside of their respective home cities is interested in watching them play.

And now, it’s clear that the Mets have joined that elite club.

Of course, the Mets have been irrelevant for some time now — being shunned by ESPN’s programming schedule merely makes it official. But when, exactly, did the Mets become irrelevant? When did the snowball of irrelevancy begin rolling down the mountain? Was it when Carlos Beltran‘s knee buckled in October 2006? When Tom Glavine wasn’t devastated a year later? When J.J. Putz blew out his elbow in 2009? When Jose Reyes blew out his hamstring around the same time? Perhaps some time before, or at some point after, those events?

This much we know: the Mets became relevant when they signed Pedro Martinez on December 17, 2004; we know this because everyone said so. At some point between then and today, the Mets became irrelevant. When? Can you pinpoint the date?

Answer in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Eric Schnipper January 19, 2012 at 7:09 am
    They are worse than irrelevant. They are being shunned by their own fans who refuse to subsidize ownership and their delusional, selfish gambit to retain control in the face of hundreds of millions of dollars of debt that they will never be able to repay.
    • Brian January 19, 2012 at 10:53 am
  2. DonS January 19, 2012 at 8:44 am
    I agree. Every fan who cares about this team should not put one nickel in the Wilpon’s pocket. Bankrupt them. Don’t go to the games, dont buy the crappy merchandise until these guys get out. They dont have a birthright to own this team. They need to leave, now.
    • Brian January 19, 2012 at 10:55 am
      Agree. However, I got called a troll over at amazingavenue for saying so, so I guess you’re not allowed to have that opinion there.
    • Steve S. January 19, 2012 at 11:05 am
      I agree, as well. And if the Wilpons are ever forced out, let’s not buy any crappy merchandise then either.
  3. METS62FAN January 19, 2012 at 8:45 am
  4. Pedro January 19, 2012 at 8:47 am
    The conversation is irrelevant. Anyone who puts any stock in the opinion of ESPN is, to quote a phrase “a useful idiot”.

    Anyone that shuns their own team is no fan of said team. The real fans are the one’s that will show up and support them regardless of popular opinion or how good or bad they are.

    Obviously the Mets are not irrelevant for two reasons.
    1) They are a NY team

    • Brian January 19, 2012 at 10:56 am
      Really? Because to me the ones who are the real “useful idiots” – at least to the Wilpons – are the ones who show up regardless of what the Wilpons do to try and put a product on the field worth watching. A competitive product. With interesting players. Or, at the very least, good ones.
      • Pedro January 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm
        Brian- You have mislabeled the Wilpons and “Useful Idiots”.
        Outside of their money they are Useless Idiots.

        That said I didn’t know teams were judged as good or bad until the season was actually over. Projections are all well and good but until the games are played on the field it all speculation.

        I guess the Mets are relevant since we are having this conversation 🙂

    • Mike B January 19, 2012 at 11:11 am
      Hey Pedro I guess you didnt read Joes blog ” Because those teams are irrelevant. No one outside of their respective home cities is interested in watching them play.”

      The Wilpons will never make me not be a fan, I just will not invest any of my hard earned money into thier business unless they change.

      Anyway my opinion is that whenever the Mets decided to let Reyes walk was the day they became irrelavent. I understood K rod, even carlos, although I would have resigned him or replaced him as he was the teams best hitter.

    • Joe Janish January 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm
      Pedro, I think you misconstrued my point. If the Mets were not relevant to ME, I wouldn’t bother with this blog. The irrelevance pertains to anyone who is not a Mets fan. Simply put, if one is not a diehard Mets fan, they don’t care to watch the Mets — ergo, the Mets are irrelevant.
  5. cc January 19, 2012 at 8:57 am
    here here!
  6. Izzy January 19, 2012 at 9:17 am
    I have to disagree with you on several points Pedro. First your claim that the conversation is irrelevant. If it were, you and I and the others would have ignored it, so it isn’t irrelevant. Second, your claim that anyone that puts stock in ESPN’s opinion is an idiot. Well, you got it all wrong, because ESPN doesn’t have an opinion on this. They only have a pocketbook that tells them that they don’t make money on Met games anymore because viewership is down, in the toilet. That is not an opinion Pedro. That is a fact. If the Mets still drew, they would be on Sunday night. Your total mis interpretation of a Met fan. Yes, Pedro, you can show support for the Mets by going to the games, giving Fred Wilpon your hard earned money and telling him its ok fred to ruin the team to feed your ego. Or you can be a SMART FAN Pedro and say, I’m staying home until the Wilpon’s are gone…Because the Wilpons don’t deserve to own the Mets. We are being abused by Wilpon and by Bud Selig . dodger fans boycotted the games in great numbers making Dodger Staduium a laughingstock and they are getting rid of LaCourt. We are being punished…. We need to stay home until even Selig has to tell Wilpon you’re out. You are also wrong about the Mets not being able to be irrelevant because they are in NY? Were you here in the 70’s when the Met fans ignored the Mets after dumping Seaver? You certainly can be irrelevant in NY, just check the past. And lastly, what do you want Mr Janish to do. Close up his site? Write infantile cheerleading posts every day? Tell us that Nickeas will blossom into Johnny Bench or Ronny Cedeno is now ready to blossom?
    • Pedro January 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm
      Izzy (one of my best friends is named Izzy) I’ve been here since 1968. I’ve pretty much seen it all; good owners, bad owners; good gm’s bad gm’s; good contract, bad contracts and I still went to the games, watched on TV, etc…

      The point of this article and whether ESPN carriers the Mets or not is irrelevant. The fact remains the Mets are relevant. Perhaps they won’t be very good but never the less they are Relevant.

      That’s why I’m a fan…A GOOD FAN and so are all of you or you wouldn’t be reacting the way you are. If the Mets were irrelevant there wouldn’t be post after post; page after page; blog after blog and article after article.

      The point of Joe’s article is that the Mets are allegedly irrelevant and I couldn’t DISAGREE more.

  7. Pete January 19, 2012 at 9:19 am
    The Mets became irrelevant the day Bernie Madoff was exposed. I believe that was in the middle of the Oliver Perez negotations. After that the money faucet was sealed shut and Bobby Abreu was left stunned that he never even received an offer. He then ended up signing out west for something like 5 million. The only signing was Jason Bay which was done because the dreadful sale of season tickets. Everything since then has been a salary dump. I believe the dumping started with Billy Wagner.
  8. DaveSchneck January 19, 2012 at 10:09 am
    There are several points in time that have driven the Mets to the current depths of despair, so I will go with today, based on the proclamation on this site. Sandy’s done, like it or not, and the team will need everything to go right just to avoid a terrible season. This seaons’s ticket sales will ultimately be the deciding factor, more than ESPN, or even the blogoshpere. Last year they did sell almost 2.4 million tix, so they were still relevant. I disagree with Pedro and agree with Izzy in that a decision not to support the current ownership financially does not reflect in any way one’s fandome. Yes, we all whine, too much, because we are fans and customers, and this ownership has mismanaged its business as well as misled its customers, all while maintaining its premium pricing.
    • Joe Janish January 19, 2012 at 11:53 pm
      Maybe a graphical timeline is in order?
      • DaveSchneck January 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm
        More depressing visuals but we Met fans are gluttons for punishment.
  9. Joe January 19, 2012 at 10:40 am
    I don’t see the Giants on that list.

    “No one outside of their respective home cities is interested in watching them play.”

    Right. I’m sure there are no NYC transplants, including down in Florida, that care about them. Pedro is right.

    Also, I’m sure some outside of NYC would want to watch Santana’s return. That sort of thing gets some interest.

    • Mike B January 19, 2012 at 11:18 am
      What? I guess if your not a fan of baseball you dont care about the Giants but I will be tunning in to watch lincecom into Wilson, its about as good as it gets.
      I dont think the point was there was not one met outside of NY but rather there is not one fan of another team that has any interest in the mets or the only interest is when we play them we are going to spank them and improve our record and stats.

      Any interest in santana will last about 3 innings, if he last that long.

      • Joe January 19, 2012 at 11:39 am
        If fans of other teams are the point

        “No one outside of their respective home cities is interested in watching them play”

        is a strange way to put it.

        And, even your way is a bit much. As to three innings, again, not so much. The team survived Tom Seaver (who I remember as an announcer … right big boy?) leaving, they will survive Reyes. The Yanks survived losing a (then) “no hitter,” the Mets will survive this.

        This to shall pass. Meanwhile, fans will watch. Many Mets fans are pessimists anyways. Them sucking will provide some sort satisfaction.

        Lots of “Mets suck” posts to come … never gets old!

        • Mike B January 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm
          I think the point was holding national interest, much like sunday night football these networks arent broadcasting these games for two cities. I dont know why thats so hard to understand.

          DId the Mets really survive the Tom Seaver trade? It set the franchise back for at least 10 years and if the most casual fan can recall that trade but maybe not one from last season. Signing Reyes was a risk especially for a team with no cash, but if he doesnt get hurt and plays to what we have already seen. Its going to be a long 5 to 10 years.

        • Joe January 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm
          I did not dispute that there isn’t some huge “national interest.” I made a specific point — there are fans outside of NYC that care about the Mets. In fact, though I’m sure not that many, some who aren’t even fans of the specific team.

          Florida alone has a large retirement community. Some there are Mets fans. To cite but an example. I don’t know what the problem is there. What’s the confusion?

          Yes, the team survived the Seaver trade. Note he was traded in 1977. They won the WS in 1986. The fact the Mets will have an extended uphill battle — though two wild card slots and watered down competition will help somewhat — is not the same thing as it being dead.

  10. John D January 19, 2012 at 11:14 am
    This is great news!! I am so sick of my Mets being shown on ESPN and Fox Saturday at off-times and being commented on by announcers who are reading and parroting whatever they were told in the few hours they were given to prepare for the game that week. Give me Gary, Ron, Keith and Kevin any day of the week. I’ve been a Met fan since the early 70’s and I swear that half of the reason I tune in and make sure to watch every single game is the home announcers. I’m familiar with them, I know I’ll be entertained even when the team blows, and I know there is a continuity to the season and a story line that the announcers are familiar with.

    This off season has been a ridiculous mess, but this is the best news I’ve heard all winter!

    • Joe January 19, 2012 at 11:40 am
      Lol. Be sure to watch Ron on TBS and during the postseason.
    • Joe Janish January 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm
      Agreed – I hate having to stay up late on Sunday night to watch a Mets game. Sundays are built for 1pm ballgames.
  11. Tandy January 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    ESPN isn’t opining on the Mets’ irrelevance, they are making a business decision based on how many eyes will be on the screen if the Mets are playing.

    In another words, Janish is saying that no one will be watching the Mets, ergo, they are irrelevant. ESPN is in the broadcast business. If no one watches, they don’t get paid.

    I disclose that I am a Yankee fan and a citizen of Queens. However, my personal opinion of the Mets is that they are not irrelevant, they just have terrible owners. It is very important as a fan to keep in tune with what’s happening. It can happen to any franchise. It’s happened to the Yankees. It can happen again.

    So buck up, Metsies. Root for the “laundry.”

  12. Seth January 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm
    I’d say they became irrelevant once Reyes signed with Miami, confirming that we are now small-market and going into 2012 without any compelling impact players.

    I mean, I’ve got my Ike Davis crush and all, but he’s a question mark like so many others (Wright, Bay, Murphy, Santana, Pelfrey, Torres, and so on).

  13. Kojin January 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm
  14. Josh Z January 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm
    i always find espn to be hilarious how they bash teams or give no attention and once they get hot they act like they knew it all along. Example: Tim Tebow they said he wont make it and now he is god to them
  15. Glenn January 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    One, the Mets are not irrelevant because people keep talking about them. The Mets have not won a single postseason game nor signed a single big name FA and still people talk about them all the time. True they are the butt of jokes but they are still talked about all the time. Two they are not irrelevant because of the anger. Things you don’t care about do not make you angry. you ignore them. It’s why a nasty comment from your wife hurts more than some joe down the street. You people are mad right now so you’re saying a lot of things you don’t mean. The Mets are bad. I get that. But they have been bad before and shall be again. But they have been good before and shall be again. And when they are good all this vitriol will turn to joy.
    • HobieLandrith January 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm
      No one outside of New York is talking about the Mets, and when they do — i.e., national broadcast like MLB Network — it’s to point out how embarrassingly inept and broke they are.

      So yeah, I guess they’re not irrelevant if they are the butt of everyone’s jokes. I think I’d prefer irrelevant.