Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mets Baseball: The Day After Wilpon’s Comments Became Public

We’ve all read, heard, seen, etc the comments the Mets owner, Fred Wilpon made about his team. There were such comments that the Mets are a sh!@y team, Carlos Beltran was overpaid at $119M and the person who signed him was a “schmuck,” David Wright is not a “Superstar,” and Jose Reyes isn’t going to get Carl Crawford money.

I didn’t regard Wilpon’s comments as inflammatory as most of the press, but what I did take from it isn’t necessarily positive.

The least inflammatory comment was the one he made about David Wright. Nice kid, good ballplayer, but no superstar. All comments are very true. Problem is that Wright has been the biggest “Yes” man since Dave Howard and Jay Horwitz.

Wright is the face of the franchise, and although he isn’t a “Superstar,” he has portrayed a clean image, is amenable to the press, and does countless good will and charitable functions. Why would the Mets risk that? Wright’s response (in part) saying Fred is a good man and he is going through a lot speaks volumes – especially when Wright said he would offer no further comment. I have never thought much of the Wilpon’s as owners of this team, and have thought less of their understanding of the Mets and their fans.

Jose Reyes: To my knowledge, there have been no formal contract meetings between Reyes and the Mets. The press has concocted the Carl Crawford contract comparison. Would Reyes like that money? I’m sure he would, but has he actually asked for that kind of scratch? Who knows? The Mets are alienating their best player, who always gives his all, despite some lapses in judgment. If they are looking to trade Reyes and “all his injuries,” why make a comment that could harm his trade value?

Carlos Beltran: Beltran has been nothing short of classy and professional not only during his tenure in Flushing, but throughout his career. No, he isn’t the player he was in 2006, but he has battled injuries, played through them, and has had some solid seasons. He has earned the right not to be treated this way, especially publicly.

Remember the collision with Mike Cameron in 2005? Carlos played with fractured bones in his face because the Mets were competitive. Even with his disagreement with the organization on getting his knee operated on prior to the 2010 season – he had been injured since the summer, and the Mets, their doctors, and medical staff did nothing. It’s his knee, so he had every right to get the problem corrected. He is playing well this year. Would he have if he hadn’t had the surgery? Doubtful.

The second part where Wilpon says “some schmuck” – although he intended it to be self deprecating, I believe that was a shot at Omar Minaya. Problem is, when Omar was courting Beltran, he was in constant contact with Jeff Wilpon, who along with Bernazard and other’s visited Beltran in Puerto Rico.

Fred has been in hiding since the article by Jeffrey Toobin became public, but he sent his son Jeff to reach out to the three Met players mentioned in the piece. Why didn’t Fred do that? Why didn’t Fred offer a statement like Ken Davidoff wrote in today’s Newsday?

I’m sure the senior Wilpon will address his dysfunctional family today in Chicago, but as usual with this ownership, they have no clue how to deal with people; not their players and certainly not their fans. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow – there’s no difference. This ownership is brain dead when it comes to understanding what it takes to communicate effectively with the players, the press, and the fans. There is no hope. Whether it’s building a beautiful stadium to commemorate the team that left Brooklyn after the 1957 season, hammering his players that have been loyal to him, to allowing this sinking ship to take on water, this ownership is beyond clueless.

They have done well, and are second to none in charitable actions, and have been better this year in offering fans free tickets to games attended in the inclement weather over the last week, but that hardly makes up for this mess that they are tied up in.

Do I feel sorry for them? Not one iota. They created this PR nightmare years ago, and haven’t learned. What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results? Oh yeah, that’s insanity.

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