The New York Mets missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season in 2011. Their string of collapses and disappointments has become a running joke in professional baseball, and now it seems the Mets are getting in on it too.
Jeff Wilpon, Chief Operating Officer for the team and son of owner Fred Wilpon, tried rallying his players with a little gift placed in their lockers on Monday. He purchased each Mets player a blue and orange t-shirt with a large “U” on the chest, playing off the symbol of 1960′s cartoon character Underdog.
Unfortunately, the gift did not go over quite as well as Wilpon likely hoped. David Wright, the Mets’ starting third baseman, felt like the gift was more degrading than motivational.
“I don’t really like using the whole underdog thing,” Wright said. “I don’t like really playing that card. I think it’s just a way to remind everybody in here that the outside expectations aren’t the expectations that we have for ourselves.”
Wright has a point — plenty of baseball fans make underdog jokes at the Mets’ expense and it seems the front office guys are unknowingly getting in on the ribbing. As well-intended as the gifts likely were, Wilpon’s purchase is only adding fuel to the fire.
Photo via Twitter/@Mets