The Woes Of The Mets In An Alternate Universe
Beware of the consequences of running an expansion baseball franchise in OOTP 13.
My main project is the expansion Mets of 1962. In real life, they won only 40 games in 1962. In my universe, they nearly doubled that, going 71-91. But it came with some steep prices.
All the trades I made were without any care to the budget, which meant I could only spend frugally in the coming seasons. So my 71 win season in 1962 got followed by 67, 66, and 56 win seasons the next three years, which I speed-played. Not to mention the fans won’t come and see a losing team, so my team loses money whenever I have a home game, and makes money when we play on the road.
Casey Stengel saw the writing on the wall and left in 1962. That was also the year in this alternate universe that Ralph Houk was fired by the Yankees as their skipper. So I spirited Houk cross town, but he only last a little over a season with the Mets. Some manager the game made up was the skipper in 1964-65, and he was even worse.
Probably the biggest humiliation to date was getting no-hit by Sandy Koufax at Shea Stadium…on the opening day of 1965.
So needless to say, changes had to be made.
I stopped speed-playing the games and started watching was happening again, and no longer let the manager set the 25-man roster. That’s my baby now. Pinky Higgins, the ’66 Mets skipper in this alternate reality, wanted Jim Palmer to toil in the minors a bit more, and I couldn’t allow that.
I got some real talent in the draft, although the scouting director loves first basemen for some reason. It encouraged me to draft Tony Perez for 1964, then Lee May and Nate Colbert for 1966. Thinking I’m going to have to trade one of these guys away soon.
The pitching staff is really beginning to take shape. I acquired Mike Cuellar in that 1962 season I was trading for anyone who could play and play well. In the draft for the 1965 season, I picked up Mr. Palmer. So my starting rotation looks a lot like the real life 1960’s Orioles who the Mets beat to win the real 1969 World Series. The bullpen is in pretty good shape, with Al Worthington (the only All-Star the Mets have had in my universe) leading the way.
My team is still hemorrhaging money, because fans won’t come to see a losing team, and I don’t blame them. I cut my ticket prices down 10% below the average rate, so I’ll see if that boosts attendance that significantly dropped off in 1965. If I make a trade, it must either keep the budget as it is or improve it.
Currently, I’m 4-7 in ’66, but I’m seeing signs of life in the franchise. Not giving up on it just yet.