It wasn't the injuries that sunk the Mets season. It wasn't Omar Minaya's failure to address the team's depth nor Jerry Manuel's ability as a manager that turned a bad situation into a cesspool. It wasn't the deeper fences at Citi Field, the Wilpons losing money to the Madoffs or the placement of Venus in relation to the Earth, either.
As it turns out, the real villain in the 2009 Mets season was the shade of white used in the Mets' home uniforms.
Betcha didn't see that coming, huh? According to Adam Rubin of the Daily News, the team is planning to change from a bright white to an off-white, "retro," look on their pinstriped duds next season. Reserve those playoff tickets now!
The Mets offered only a vague confirmation that they're considering making a change, although given their penchant for playing mix and match that could mean they're adding tie-dyed jerseys, hats with propellers on top and capri pants to the options for next season. One thing that appears to be remaining is the color black as part of their look. The blog Mets Police spoke to Paul Lukas of Uniwatch about that issue, one that's been a bone of contention to many Mets fans over the years.
Since the Mets mostly wear all-white, no-pinstripe uniforms when they're playing in Queens, you've got to wonder what the point of making this change is in the first place. The idea that it's a return to an old look doesn't hold much water when you actually see the style worn by the team in the '60's. The off-white color would likely wind up looking a lot like the style currently worn by the Giants, which should certainly tick-off the people who hated how much the new ballpark honored the two teams that preceded the Mets as New York National League teams.
Manufactured history clearly isn't a problem for the franchise that calls CitiField home, but it's hard not to see the cash register playing a role in this move. That's why black appeared all of a sudden several years ago, even though it had no relation to the "classic" look the team claims to be going for now.
This isn't meant to rehash the debate about how much money the Wilpons may have lost to Bernard Madoff because it is true of just about every team that changes their jersey. It's about selling new jerseys to fans who feel the need to look like their favorite players, no matter that they may already own a slew of other merchandise with the team's name slathered all over it.
That's all well and good so long as the team uses the money to upgrade the guys wearing the uniform, which is going to wind up mattering a lot more than the shade of white underneath the pinstripe.