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Fame On Them

Let's move on to something else that the Mets have screwed up royally, and I use that word for a reason.

The Royals returned home after the All-Star Break and those who showed up got something extra for their dollar.

The chance to go to the newly-opened Royals Hall of Fame.

I went to Monday's game and figured there would be some sort of recognition regarding the plans to "Met-up" Citi Field, that I'd read about not too long ago. There were none.

Forgive our impatience, but the lack of a Mets Hall of Fame in Citi Field is a joke.

The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a great tribute and its presence is appropriate. The Mets Hall of Fame should have been given priority on the same line.

In fact, as we've documented before in this space, there are a lot of issues with the Mets Hall of Fame, or lack thereof.

In regards to the comparison to the Royals, it's worth noting that this is a franchise that has been in existence for seven years fewer than the Mets.

There are 12 players in the Mets Hall of Fame.

The Royals Hall of Fame includes 16 of their players.

The Mets have made 2 inductions since 1998.

The Royals have made 7.

The Mets did not induct anyone into their Hall of Fame from 2003 to 2008.

The Royals have made 5 inductions in that time period.

The Mets Hall of Fame appears to have been an afterthought, brought to mind only after some bad PR about the lack of Mets history in their own ballpark. But there was no hesitation to auction off historic items such as Tom Seaver's locker.

The Royals renovation of Kauffman Stadium includes a 6,800 square foot room to house, among other things, the original scouting report for Frank White and the George Brett pine-tar-home run bat.

Greg of Faith and Fear and I recently compiled top-of-our head lists of who else should be included in a Mets Hall of Fame, and the names were a near-match. To summarize his thoughts (which he's previously done in his blog) and mine:

If you can sell Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry t-shirts in the clubhouse shop, and hire Howard Johnson as your hitting coach then it's time for them to be enshrined in Metsietown, regardless of any issues with their past foibles. You can also make very good cases for Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and Jesse Orosco from the 1986 teams, as well as late-returnee Lee Mazzilli. Davey Johnson is a no-doubter.

The Mets waited until Tommie Agee was dead to properly honor him. That could be avoided with Frank Cashen if there's a willingness to expedite the process.

I have a feeling that the Mets are going to do the right thing on August 22 and enshrine the entire 1969 team (memo to Mets: it's a good idea, if you haven't already thought of it). That takes care of Donn Clendenon and Ron Swoboda, if you feel strongly about their presence.

Jon Matlack would probably have already made the Mets Hall of Fame had he won Game 7 of the 1973 World Series. He won 82 other games, which ranks 7th-most among Mets pitchers. That qualifies him as legit.

David Cone and Al Leiter both went over to the dark side (the other NY team). That shouldn't disqualify them. John Franco seems to have stayed in the family, regardless of some recent comments he made. Two hundred seventy six saves earned him a spot. Edgardo Alfonzo is a top-5 guy in Mets hits and RBI. He belongs.

Mike Piazza...duh, although I'm wondering how the Mets will react if he ends up on a potentially dubious list of tarnish.

I know Greg has a few other names on his list, but you get the point by now. I've also got an idea for a "Hall of Very Good" in which you could put the likes of John Olerud and Ron Taylor, and a "Fan Fave" wing in which the Bruce Boisclair's of the world could receive recognition. But we'll save that for another time.

The Mets could easily induct one person per year (that's how the Phillies do it...by fan vote) for the next 15 years, and have a few names to spare. But given the tepid response to the idea of bringing back Old Timer's Day, I'm not convinced that the Mets marketers think in this manner.

The actions of Mets officials the last few days have been worthy of the Baseball Hall of Shame (a great series of books, by the way).

Showing that a Mets Hall of Fame is worthy of their time and immediate attention might be a way to eventually undo some of the damage caused by the unfortunate actions of a misbehaving few. They've spoiled the experience for many, over the last couple of days.

The last few words of the Fan Ground Rules announced by the players on the jumbotron (I'm not calling it by its corporate name) prior to games are "We want you back."

Actions speak louder. Memo to Mets: Act Now.

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