I recently returned from a family vacation to Disney World. As I attended three separate parks at “The place where dreams come true” I observed two things:
1. Mickey couldn’t keep his little rodent fingers off my wallet.
2. Time spent waiting in line and meandering around each park provided an unofficial way to gauge who the public is supporting in the NL East.
On any given day you may encounter over 40,000 people at each park. Those not drinking the Walt Kool-Aid and sporting their favorite Disney apparel, come dressed in a wide variety of fashions. Obviously, the baseball fan was represented in this large sample size.
No shocker here, but Yankee apparel seemed to take the top spot in my informal survey. There were plenty of various jerseys and hats supporting the other New York Franchise.
I even witnessed a gentleman wearing what at first glance appeared to be a Oakland A’s hat. The yellow bill and green cap were obvious indicators I was approaching an A’s fan. However, as we got closer to each other I was surprised to see the Yankee logo on the center of this odd hat.
This concept has always baffled me. You have the most recognizable and timeless team cap and you decide to wear a Oakland hat with a Yankee logo on it?
The Disney Survey did not bode well for the Amazin’s. The fact that I observed more Phillies apparel than any other team did not shock me. The multitude in which they outranked the other teams initially stupefied me.
It seemed like I would pass by a Philly fan once an hour, sometimes traveling in hordes. I chalk it up to the significant increase their bandwagon has had since the Cliff Lee signing. Their stellar play the last few seasons probably has something to do with it as well.
Needless to say, it made me want to vomit.
The Washington Nationals came in a distant second. There were a number of Nat hats flying around the home of Donald Duck. Interestingly enough, they all looked brand new. This may be a sign of how optimistic Washington fans are this year. Spending money tends to have this effect on some fans.
Another surprise was the fact that the Atlanta Braves came in third place. This is a tad bit surprising based on the fact that they literally play their spring training games at Disney World. Considering their history of having trouble selling out playoff games I guess this could have been predicted.
This leads us to the Mets. Excluding me, I encountered a miniscule two other Met fans during my three days at Disney. Three if you count Louis from Long Island, who worked at one of the parks and upon seeing my hat quickly commented, “Let’s Go Mets! With or without Piazza I will always be a Met fan!”.
On one hand, I was happy to meet another member of the family. On the other hand, the comment caused me to pause and wonder if Louis hasn’t made it off the reservation since Piazza’s last season as a Met in 2005. It may come across as a conspiracy theory, but I truly have to wonder what working for the insatiable mouse does to one’s mind if you are there for a prolonged amount of time.
On to the Marlins…
The most melancholy observation during this quasi-experiment was that I didn’t see a single piece of Marlin’s gear. Come on Florida! Support your home team. I know you are full of retirees looking for today’s early bird special from all over our great land, but some of the natives need to step up. I’m sure Jeffrey Loria has had the same thought countless times.
What Does This Mean For The Mets?
It is just another piece of evidence that the popularity of the Mets has plummeted since 2006. I am the eternal optimist as there is only one way to go from here.