The Great Graffiti Scandal of 2009 has come to an end. Late on Monday, the Mets agreed to preserve a patch of wall in one of Citi Field's bars autographed by Dwight Gooden. They'll actually move it from that exclusive spot and put it somewhere that all Mets fans can enjoy.
If none of the above makes any sense to you, clearly your Monday wasn't spent on the right issues. Gooden, at the urging of a worker in the bar, dropped his signature on the wall of the bar. That didn't please the Mets, who vowed to scrub the wall and chastised Gooden like he was a third grader writing on his desk. The reaction from Mets fans was far different, mostly because they already felt the new stadium did more to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers than the Mets.
The vow to erase Gooden's signature, which happened at the Ebbets Field Club, became a rallying point for fans who felt that way, and the Mets handled it terribly. You'd think a stadium as comfortable with sponsorships as Citi Field would have had Sharpie sponsoring a signature wall before the day was out. Instead, their prudishness was the latest sign that the Mets ownership and Mets fans have a disconnect somewhere deep down.
The Mets' fetish for the Dodgers is born of Fred Wilpon's Brooklyn breeding, but its also because the Mets, quite naturally see themselves as part of New York's National League lineage. What Wilpon doesn't seem to get, however, is that kind of nostalgia has run its course after nearly 50 years of Mets baseball. Anyone who cared about remaining a National League fan already transfered their loyalties from the Dodgers or the Giants to the Mets, and there are a lot more fans at this point with no memory or care for either one of them.
No one would say that there shouldn't be a spot to honor Jackie Robinson at Citi Field. There shouldn't be an Ebbets Field Club, though. It should be Casey's Bar or the 1969 Club or something evocative of the Mets. These things can change, and the best part of this whole silly saga is that the Mets finally listened to their fans and made the right decision.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.