Mets' letter to 'true New Yorkers' gets mixed reviews from fans

A view from above Citi Field in Flushing, A view from above Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Photo Credit: AP

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The Mets say "true New Yorkers" are rallying around the team in response to an email sent to fans, but many who received the letter this past week have been less than enthusiastic.

The email asks Mets fans to "stand up and say you're a true New Yorker" and add their name to a website, saying they "agree that fans have a role to play in making amazing things happen."

The Mets say they are trying to bond with their fans. "We continue to explore new ways to engage with current fans and attract new fans," a Mets spokesman said. "This campaign -- featuring some of the greatest players in Mets history -- celebrates our fans and their shared passion for the Mets."

The Mets would not say how many fans had pledged their allegiance online by Saturday night, but a spokesman said that of the people who have signed the letter, 25 percent previously weren't in the team's database. The spokesman said it's "the most successful digital marketing campaign in club history."

Some fans said the letter did not bother them. "I didn't really think much of it," said Rob Southard, 18, of Oceanside. "I understand there was some backlash but personally, I took it with a grain of salt."

Many fans, though, were offended by the letter, which they believe questions the fan base's allegiance.

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"I think it was ridiculous. There was no reason for it," said John Rattoballi, 47, of Bellmore. "What team asks their fan base to sign a letter like that?"

Rob Leunig, 24, of Wading River, thought the letter was "unnecessary.''

"Many [fans] are tired of losing," Leunig said, "and won't start watching again or coming to the stadium again until they feel that the front office is dead set on providing a winning team."

The Mets ranked 13th in the National League in attendance last season and have not made the playoffs since 2006.

They are 15-14 after Saturday night's heartbreaking 11-10 loss in Denver, and some fans say on-field success is the way to get fans back to Citi Field.

"As long as the team keeps winning, fans will show," said Avi Nenner, 19, of West Hempstead. "I don't think they needed to send out a letter."

Said Peter Germain, 20, of Lynbrook: "The way to get people at the park is performing, not begging. People don't show up because of press releases."

Fans can sign the letter at mets.com/truenewyorker for a chance to win two tickets to a game against the Yankees on May 14.

"I'm a Met fan, good or bad," said Julie Marks, 81, of Westbury. Marks said the issues at hand do not concern him because his approach is simple: "A fan is a fan."

With Marc Carig

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