According to the New York Times, as of midafternoon Friday the Mets Clubhouse Store on 42nd St. hadn’t sold any of the team’s new home jerseys, released just in time for the biggest shopping day of the year.
Ad sales in the offseason make up a big part of the Mets’ annual revenue, and so a complete lack of interest among fans — foreboding, presumably, less interest from advertisers — is the type of thing that could prompt the front office to push to make a “splash” this winter.
That could be a good thing, for sure. Some of the potential cannonballs in the offseason pool — Matt Holliday, for example — are great players who could help the Mets in the upcoming season and those to come.
But making a splash for the sake of making a splash, especially for a team shrouded in uncertainty, could turn out terribly.
I’m not saying that fans should buy more jerseys to keep Omar Minaya from doing something silly, nor am I saying one day’s worth of bad merchandise sales will affect the Mets’ offseason outlook. But the team competes for advertising dollars in the market with the reigning world champions, and that creates a lot of pressure to grab headlines and fan attention this offseason.
Sometimes it seems like Mets brass are more concerned with improving the perception of the team than with improving the actual team, and more concerned with winning airtime on talk radio in March than winning games in October.
But offseason headlines, lucrative though they may sometimes be, are short-lived and unsustainable. Even if it means taking a one-year hit in offseason revenue, the Mets need to focus on creating a perpetual winner, something that will eventually earn them a whole lot more than a new look or a rash move.