Mets Selling Fan Cutouts for 2020 MLB Season, and It May Be the Worst Value in Sports Merch History

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With how everything the Mets touch turns to crap, their fan cutouts for the 2020 MLB season might be the worst value in sports ever.

How does one get involved with supporting their favorite MLB team if they cannot physically attend the games? Why, send in a cardboard proxy, of course! Per the Mets website:

“Mets Summer Camp is underway in Queens, and the 2020 60-Game regular season will begin on Friday, July 24. In accordance with local health and safety guidelines, fans will not be permitted to attend games at Citi Feld. However, Mets fans can still be represented in Flushing with the Fan Cutouts Program.

“*Cutouts are $86 each. Net proceeds will be donated to the Mets Foundation.”

The Mets have developed a genius marketing strategy to take advantage of the lack of fans in attendance. Through this page, they are allowing fans to reserve a seat that will be filled with a cardboard cutout photo of the purchaser’s choosing. For a price of $86, Mets fans will be able to claim that their spirits actually cheered each Pete Alonso home run and booed each time Luis Rojas pulled Jacob DeGrom in the seventh during a one-hit shutout. That sounds worth admission just for conversation topics the cutout will inspire years from now after you display it in your Mets superfan den. Or perhaps serve as the one true friend Mets fans have needed all along.

Lars and the Real Girl Style

One problem: The Mets will not be allowing fans to take their cutouts home after the team is done with their fake crowds. The site specifically says “Please note fan cutouts will not be available to claim following the conclusion of the program.” Presumably, the Mets are just going to use and abuse these living, breathing, cardboard people and then toss them into the furnace after the Mets finish in fourth place and miss the playoffs.

Not only is that heartless, it’s downright cheap. Yes, I know the proceeds are going to charity so the Mets are not taking advantage of suckers for personal gain. But still, the cutouts are going to serve no purpose after the season is over. What’s the harm in allowing fans to lay eyes upon their investment in the flesh? When it comes down to it, the Mets are charging fans $86 for someone to print their big, dumb face on some cardboard for the vague chance that they might catch a grainy glimpse of said face on TV. By all means, take my money.

This reminds of the Packers being “fan-owned.” Yes, technically a random Packers fan “owns” a share of the team, but they get no say in business or team decisions, no benefits an owner would, and the only thing signalling their “ownership” is a piece of paper. It’s handing over money for neither good nor service. The only reason this Mets thing is better than the Packers is at least the Mets money is going to charity. It’s really more of a donation from fans than a business transaction.

But hey, the Mets have generally put a lousy product on the field for the better part of 10 years, so why not offer one in their team store?

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