Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Mets Are Downright Terrible....My Reaction to the Yankees & Man City as Joint Owners of a New MLS Team

Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a championship
I am a Mets fan....there I said it. It's along the lines of being an alcoholic and going to AA and standing up in front of strangers and admitting your weakness. It's rough, but it's the truth.

Being a Mets fan is hard and often not a lot of fun....but Mets fans are the best baseball fans in New York as they are "real" fans and not "plastic" like at least half of the fan base of the crosstown New York Yankees. Unfortunately, being a Mets fan comes with hardships and often a lot of humiliation. Take this year's team for example. After seven weeks of the 2013 season the Mets are absolutely HORRIBLE. They flat out STINK.

The statistics thus far are UGLY. The team have scored more than 4 runs just once so far in the entire month of May. Their first baseman is a nice guy, but an automatic out and the outfield is filled with misfits and has  beens. When the team does hit for power, there's never anyone on base. Three fifths of the starting rotation stink and the bullpen overall is a nightmare.

As a former ticket holder I receive emails from the Mets on a regular basis...and I can tell they are freaking out based on the crazy offers they are sending out to fans.

The Twitter conversations among Mets fans are hysterical and reflect the complete frustration they have with the seemingly unending futility of this club.

Of course the season is long and you never know what's going to happen. For that reason, us Mets fans remain loyal and optimistic but deep down we're not expecting much. Okay, I'm done venting about the Mets.
Ike Davis has been stinking up Citi Field

MLS makes a deal with 2 Evil Empires
Now it's time for a vent of a different sort. The official announcement today that the New York Yankees and Manchester City will be joint owners of the newest MLS franchise, New York City FC, makes me sick to my stomach.

I have been a fan of proper football for close to 15 years and have followed the growth of MLS with optimism. The United States has made great strides in making football (not soccer) a major sport but the country has a long way to go to truly be competitive with long standing leagues in Europe, South America and the rest of the world.

Since the league's creation, New York's team has been the Red Bulls and they have slowly and organically grown the team and its fan base. With stars like Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Juninho the Red Bulls have brought some true world football experience to the club.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber's quote after the announcement of the Man City/Yankees join venture was:
"This is a transformational moment for Major League Soccer and soccer in America." The Commissioner added that the Yankees-Manchester City partnership combines "two of the most respected brands in sports."
Come on Mr. Commissioner, we all know it's all about the "Benjamins". The partnership of the 2 evil empires is paying the league $100 million for the expansion franchise NYCFC. In a league that was built on the "single entity structure" which imposes a salary cap of just $2.95 million per team, it seems strange to allow two franchises that are about buying championships to own an MLS club.

The rule is meant to allow all teams to compete evenly for players at the financial level. With the involvement of Manchester City and their oil baron owner Sheikh Mansour, it's a joke to think that his never ending financial resources won't come in to play for his MLS team.

Here is an excerpt from Euronews that explains how the MLS salary structure and the "buy a championship" mentality of Sheikh Mansour are at odds with each other:
While MLS clubs are allowed to sign three ‘designated players’ largely from outside the salary cap, allowing the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry to move to the league, the average annual salary in the league is close to a modest $150,000 according to the MLS Players Union.
 Sheikh Mansour, the billionaire from Abu Dhabi who owns Manchester City, has spent unprecedented millions on players since taking over the club in 2008 but his staff will find a very different ‘transfer market’ operates in MLS.
“Regarding the salary cap, we know very well the rules of the MLS and we think we can build a winning team within these rules,” said Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano.
“We’re going to make extensive use of our expertise, our knowledge, our people. We have very high-calibre people in Manchester City that have been very successful building winning teams”.
The article goes on to discuss the New York area fan bases that already exist for EPL clubs and how these fans will not automatically buy in to a club financed by Manchester City.
While the link with City will undoubtedly allow access to a network of scouts and coaches to help the new club, the close association with one particular Premier League club could create some marketing problems.
Premier League clubs, including City’s rivals Manchester United, have developed significant fan bases in the United States, including New York, and while they would appear to be a natural core support for the new club, it will be a key task to persuade them they are not supporting an inferior replica of the English team.
For me the Manchester City of today and the New York Yankees of the Steinbrenner era represent all that
is wrong with sports. For close to 20 years, and until 
just recently, the Yankees have been all about buying the shiniest and most expensive players, whatever the cost, to ensure that the Yankees are crowned champions every year.

Before Sheikh Mansour sunk his oil money from the United Arab Emirates in to Manchester City, they were a moderately successful club with a loyal fan base. They were always in the shadow of their more famous neighbors Manchester United. While I don't like Man United, I at least respect them for continually growing on their club's history. Manchester City, on the other hand, purchased their current history (check out this article from Forbes about this). For that, they should not be respected.

In short, two Evil Empires that represent greed and winning at all costs are not worthy of my support regardless of the fact that New York City FC will be playing in my home town. It's like your partner cheating on you with your two worst enemies....completely sickening. As long as those two clubs are owners of MLS's newest franchise, I will never support the MLS club in my own city.

My allegiance will remain with the New York Red Bulls that happen to play in New Jersey.

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