Until I’m used to it, I think the Mets for a while, will feel like a new expansion team, playing in a new park that was lifted from some other Major League city and mistakenly dropped in the location next to the big blue stadium that I always connected so closely with the Mets’ franchise.
That now seems to be a fitting sentiment after the Mets unveiled their Inaugural Season patch for the first year of Citi Field this coming Spring.
Let’s just say that the patch doesn’t conjure up the slightest imagery of the type of fanfare that a certain other inauguration had in our nation’s capital this week.
A simple blue diamond with the white letters “INAUGURAL SEASON” along side a small orange rectangle very simply encrypted with the white numbers “2009.”
That’s it. Seriously. I wish I could tell you that I’m joking, but I’m not.
Nope, no mention of the Mets, of Citi Field, or anything representing the architecture of the new park which was modeled after the famed Brooklyn Ebbets Field. No, just very plainly, “Inaugural Season, 2009.”
With a patch like that, there might as well be a new expansion team moving into Citi Field next year, since that type of “slogan,” if you want to call it that, is exactly what you might expect to see for a team playing its first-ever game in the majors (actually, make that the minors, it’s so bad).
Did any thought whatsoever go into this? Apparently not, since it was often compared in the media last week to the Dominoes Pizza logo (though, I personally think that even that one has slightly more pizzazz than the patch the Mets chose to represent their newest of eras).
Then again, should we really be surprised? Not really. Remember, this is the same franchise that prior to winning their last championship in 1986, with one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, posted the premature message on its own Shea Stadium scoreboard that read “CONGRATULATIONS BOSTON RED SOX.”
It’s the same franchise that as much as I honestly do love him, gave us the very uncreative giant baseball head on top of a Met uniform for a mascot; the same franchise that brought us the horrid Mercury Mets in 1999; the same franchise that believes cheesy slogans like “The Team. The Time. The Place.” or “Your Season Has Come” actually brings people to the park; and, it’s the same franchise which enters its shiny new park named after a company which is being bailed out with billions of dollars coming in part, from the same Met fans who will pack Citi Field starting next season.
This was the Mets’ chance to put the promotional embarrassments of the Shea Stadium era aside and start fresh, with a new direction, a new ball park, and a new image. And yet, it ends up being the same old embarrassing thing for the Mets marketing department.
Of course, all that Met fans like myself truly care about is winning. But, when the Mets don’t win, it’s the continued botched marketing disasters like the new Citi Field patch that make all Met fans want to hide the fact that they bleed orange and blue, and which keeps the Mets in the shadow of their storied New York City rival, who for all their faults with often spending too much on players that don’t win, do things in a much classier manner. And, if you don’t believe me, check out the new Yankee Stadium Inaugural Season patch, and compare.