Beginning in 2019, New York Mets fans can enjoy a first-hand look at the team’s future when their Triple-A team begins to play in Syracuse, NY.
It never made any sense for the New York Mets’ Triple-A team to play in Las Vegas, nearly 3,000 miles from Citi Field, where a good portion of their fanbase lives. In 2019, Mets fans will enjoy the opportunity to “see the future” four hours away in Syracuse, NY. Applaud the Mets for a wise business and fan-friendly decision.
Imagine the Mets playing a night game that will be followed by a day game against the Nationals in June 2018. Jerry Blevins goes down with an injury that is likely to land him on the DL. In response, general manager Sandy Alderson dials his counterpart in Las Vegas where the Mets Triple-A team is scheduled to play later that night, say 7:30 p.m. PT.
‘I need so and so here by 12 p.m. ET,’ Alderson barks. Ah, sure Sandy, coming right up. Alderson’s counterpart, Chuck Johnson, immediately sends a text to so-and-so who is mowing his lawn before heading to the ballpark. Except he’s going to the airport instead, where a six-hour flight to New York awaits him.
You see where I’m going with this, right? Because if all the stars are aligned just right, so-and-so will be lucky to catch a flight leaving in 90 minutes or so, fly across the country, be picked up by a Mets’ flunkie—probably at the airport in Newark, NJ—who will drive him to a hotel in Manhattan somewhere, check-in, and then try to fall asleep when his body clock says it’s 11 p.m., but real-time says it’s the middle of the next morning. In the end, Alderson has himself a body but not necessarily a pitcher for the 1:10 p.m. ET start the next day.
Mets close to home, closer to heart
No more. The Mets have firmed up a deal, and their highest-level farm team will be playing in Syracuse, a mere four-hour drive or 90-minute flight from Citi Field. As a bonus, their Double-A team plays in Binghamton, which is a Michael Conforto home run from Syracuse (use your imagination).
But that’s still not the best part. For most major league teams, the future is just as important as the present. And fans want a glimpse into what the future holds for the team they root for. Beginning in 2019, Mets fans will have the privilege of watching tomorrow’s stars today. A family will be able to pick a Saturday afternoon game, for instance, leave their house in Brooklyn—let’s say at nine in the morning—watch the game in Syracuse and have the kids tucked in bed by nine that night.
It works in reverse too for Mets fans living in Central New York who follow the team in Syracuse. A trip to Citi Field for them becomes more likely, especially when they hold bragging rights to claim, ‘I knew him way back when he used to play for the Chiefs’.
For the city of Syracuse, it’s been a long journey
Interestingly, the Mets Triple-A team once played in Syracuse. According to Lindsay Kramer, staff writer for Syracuse.com, this is the second time the Mets have been affiliated with the ‘Cuse. In their inaugural 1962 season, the Mets shared an affiliation in Syracuse with the Washington Senators.
The franchise in Syracuse has been a sick puppy for some time financially and, according to Kramer, the franchise has struggled to turn a profit and is staring at a total of $1 million owed to cover a bank loan plus another loan that Chiefs First, a group of investors, made to keep the team afloat in 2014.
The Syracuse franchise is backed heavily by community support. And ‘each of the Chiefs’ nearly 12,000 individual shares, many of which were sold for $10 apiece when originally offered in the 1960s, should wind up being worth about $1,300 each now.
So, this could be win-win for everyone. But most importantly, fans of the Mets win a chance to see the next tier of the team’s makeup close-up and only a few hours away from Citi Field. Kudos to the Mets organization for making this move.