FAN PAYS FOR ANTI-METS OWNERSHIP BILLBOARD

Mets fans haven't been shy in sharing their discontent with the team's ownership group and now one fan used the power of outdoor advertising to get his message across to folks enjoying some Spring Training baseball.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. (AP) -- A New York Mets fan has put his displeasure with the team's ownership on full display.

Gary Palumbo, a 39-year-old from New Hampshire, paid to have a billboard with the message "Fred, Jeff & Saul, Ya Gotta Leave," erected on Interstate 95, about eight miles north of Tradition Field, the Mets spring training home.

The billboard is blue with white and orange lettering - Mets colors. The message is aimed at owner Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.

The Mets last made the playoffs in 2006 and have not had a winning record in six straight seasons.

"Most Mets fans really dislike the Wilpons and don't feel they're capable of running a team in New York properly," Palumbo told The Associated Press. "I completely appreciate that it won't convince them to sell the team, but I hope it will add pressure."

Palumbo says he raised $7,000 for two similar billboards near Citi Field in Queens. Those billboards cost approximately $5,000, so he used the remaining money for the one placed in unincorporated St. Lucie County, between Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie.

The billboard is scheduled to come down on April 2, the final day the team will be in Florida for spring training.

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