Cougar Life is a dating web site for older women to find younger men. Last month, the site asked their members which baseball player they’d most like to score with, and NY Met David Wright came out on top (pun intended…or not).
A staff member in the Mets marketing department thought they could use this prestigious award (or something) to get Wright more All-Star votes. This year’s ASG game is at Citi Field, where the Mets play, so it would be a slap in the face if Wright could not start at 3B.
The Mets are currently second to last in the NL East with a paltry 24-38 record and need all the positive PR that they can get. For what it’s worth, Wright is batting .297 with 9 HRs and 35 RBI.
Anyway, this staff member sent an email to Cougar Life, asking if they would be willing to partner with the team on a campaign to get Wright more votes. The emails were leaked to Deadspin, which has published all of them.
Cougar Life wanted to also give away a date with Wright, should he become single. Wright is engaged to model Molly Beers, and the Mets ultimately decided that this was not the right way to garner votes for one of their players.
Via Deadspin, the Mets did release a statement:
"Cougar Life voted David Wright as the hottest cub. In our effort to expand All-Star balloting to wider audiences, so as to increase votes, we did reach out to Cougar Life. Last year there was a big swing of votes at the end that cost David the starting job. We decided to do everything to make sure that doesn't happened (sic)again this year. We ultimately elected to pass. We thank whoever leaked this to Deadspin for increasing awareness of #VOTEWRIGHTNOW AT METS.COM."
According to CBS NY, even Wright has asked the Mets to tone it down:
“It’s nice when the organization is trying so hard to do something for one of their players, and I can’t thank them enough for that,” he said.
“At the same time, I’ve asked them to kind of back it down a little bit, especially with the stuff in-between innings. You appreciate what they’re trying to do and they’re very goodhearted, but to me this is a team game. As much as I’d like to be here to represent this team in the All-Star game, we can’t let this become an in-between inning, one-player production.”
This whole thing is a lesson in PR gone wrong. Dangling a 30-year old engaged man in front of NYC’s finest cougars in attempt to get said man into a game that ultimately doesn’t even matter does not seem like the best idea. Someone high enough in the Mets organization surely realized this and put an end to this ridiculous idea. When the player you’re trying to promote isn’t even on board, you know you need to adjust your strategy.