Can the Nationals Change the Public Opinion of the Mets?

What I'm about to write doesn't mean anything, to anyone. So if you are one of those people who will read this article, and give the basic response, of “this doesn't matter on the baseball field”, well I agree with you. This means nothing. I, personally, find the psychology of sports and construction of meaning from subjective opinions of objective events really interesting, and just thought I would share with you what I was thinking about this morning, instead of studying for my Physics final.

The Mes have always had this stigma of being the “lovable losers”, which is the underlaying cultural definition of why we have became the laughing stock of the league. If I had to pinpoint though an event that started to turn the lovable part off, and then just turn us into those losers, it would be when we started to spend money. Spending money to win, while there is nothing wrong with it, comes with a certain connotation. There is something that feels dirty about spending money because it seems like an easy thing to do. Essentially, think of the view that Yankees got in the 90's, with the difference of course that they actually could spend and win.

This also brought another “set” of Mets fans. The win now fans, who came on in 2005 and 2006, and then became increasingly negative in 07, 08 and so on. The fans who didn't quite understand the Mets pedigree of losing.

Well now the Mets are starting to shed this cloak. With Sandy, the Mets are trying to spend smarter than spend more, and bring back that idea of a balance team, one that doesn't need to rely on reshaping its entire roster based on the most prized free agents every off-season.

As the Mets do this, the Nationals enter the opposite side, and there's nothing wrong with that. They overspent for Werth, and they will probably overspend for Pavano if they don't get Lee. It feels like they are trying that same type of strategy the Mets were using in 2005 and 2006 (if you feel like replacing players on their roster like Zimmerman and Strasburgh for our then and now homegrown darlings Wright and Reyes).

I guess what I am curious about is this. Up until this point in the Nationals history, they have been the lovable losers, just like the early Mets. Now that they have entered the spending ring, if they don't succeed next season, or don't significantly improve, what will the public perception be?

Take the Cubs for example. They are always the lovable losers, except of late. Remember back in the day, even as recent as the turn of the millennium, there was some compassion/sympathy/empathy in a conversation when talking about the Cubs? That feeling is practically gone now. I would argue it's because they over spent for a group of players, that didn't work out, and now they are not desirable.

In conclusion, in the great scheme of things, especially on the baseball field, this means nothing. It's just something to think about instead of worrying why a capacitor moving a constant velocity has decaying magnetic field, thus a decaying displacement electric field when it suddenly stops moving and why this emits as a plane wave and can be explained within its Maxwell Equations.

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