The owner of the New York Metropolitans and often target of this blog was in Met Camp and spoke.
We have not heard directly from our majority owner in quite sometime; maybe a year give or take.
I, an admitted Fred Wilpon antagonist, heard what he had to say (and what he didn't say)..
Fred Wilpon was in camp which is not uncommon. Fred spoke with the media and through them, to us the fans, which I have never accused him of ignoring us. Quite the contrary, "he" "they" the "Mets" monitor what we say on the talk shows all the time. In Fred Wilpon's case I believe it's a little (a lot) paranoid. However, it is good business policy to do so and I do not begrudge him/them for doing so. They may have done so regardless, but we fans hold a belief that the Wilpons are a little paranoid about criticism anyway. An example of that is 2 seasons ago Fred/LiL Jeff banned newspapers from the clubhouse because he/they didn't want the players being brought down by negative columns and reporting.. Don't take my word for it. You can look it up.
Before I continue about what he said, which is the whole gist of this post, because I like what I heard...Yes I did - imagine that....Just wanna let you know Sandy Koufax was in Met camp too. Ordinarily I'd be taking cheap shots at Wilpon for something like this because of his transformation of the Mets into the B'klyn Dodgers.
Fred Wilpon went to Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn; my neighborhood. Fred Wilpon was a pitcher for the high school team. The first baseman for that team was Sandy Koufax. Fred and Sandy are childhood friends. Sandy Koufax always comes to Met camp and having Sandy in camp can never be a bad thing. I just wish I could use this as ammo against Fred. But I can't...can I? Then I would just prove to everyone that I was just brainless (if you don't think that already). So that's why Sandy Koufax is always at Mets' spring camp for a few days. But I want you to keep that in mind as just a small fraction into the how, why, and to Met fan's frustration (a large segment of us), Fred's continuing efforts to delete Met history (exaggeration....put your fingers together..almost touching....take that much away from this little rant about Met history).... Moving on..
I'm summarizing the portions important to me regarding what Fred had to say yesterday. I paraphrase:
The off-season was torture...Very difficult to endure.
(Thank You Mr. Wilpon. Welcome to my world.)
...Expect no financial constraints on this team. There are no Madoff effects. "we will have the third highest payroll in baseball" (me - the truth is we will be about 5th behind NYY, BOS, CHiC, and I think PHILA. The Mets payroll will be in the neighborhood of $130Mill +/- in 2010).
He spoke about the Met's plans for inductions into the Mets Hall of Fame this August. I already stated my displeasure with our HOF situation in a previous post. I won't do it again here.
He said he wants the Met's fans to be comfortable in their own park and the team is making efforts towards addressing the lack of a Mets-centric atmosphere.
Fred Wilpon said he knows people want to love this team but things haven't gone to plan lately. He is very optimistic about the upcoming season. He believes the Mets have "some great players" but that it didn't translate to a great team. He wants that changed this year. He senses"a difference in the team's attitude than that of the media's", which is to say Fred believes the team is ready and he's "hopeful".
On the Medical Staff's current perception as being incompetent: ...."there's a process and procedures that should be looked at" but he maintains and firmly believes the Met's staff is one of the best. That is a claim that before the last two years was without denial. That's why at current, the recent gaffes by the Medical team and their string of misdiagnosis' is befuddling to us. That insight is all Fred offered when questioned about the Carlos Beltran series of events.
This is when Fred Wilpon started to get cryptic because the questioning was becoming more focused toward the weightier issues; Omar and Jerry Manual.
I am not saying he dodged any questions. He was getting the hometown treatment because the Q&A was the Met's own channel SNY-TV. The issues just weren't pressed upon him moving forward.
He would not address the status of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. To me THAT quiet spoke the loudest. Fred is not a dope. Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya are joined at the hip. If the Mets get off to a sloppy start, look for the Wilpons to make a move. That's the part that scares me. I've eluded to all those anxieties before. But the Wilpons it is my guess will make a move none-the-less. I believe the Mets record going into mid-May will go a long way towards determining both of their futures.
Fred Wilpon spoke and I am satisfied with what I heard. I have no want to criticize him today after speaking. I only desired he speak to us sooner than he has. Folks this is not to say that Junior...LiL Jeff isn't on the scene. He's a horse of another stable right now. I'm happy Papa Fred was on hand and in a speaking mood. I really am. And to show you I have a soft spot and I'm not all pitch-fork and torches with Fred, - as I listened, I heard it for the first discernible time, he's getting older. Yes, it's evident when you see him. He's aging well, but because like I said, we haven't heard from him in a little bit, his voice now matches the image.
Fred Wilpon is a Brooklynite from my own neighborhood. I like the idea my favorite hometown team is in the hands of a Brooklynite. No, I think it's rather special actually. Fred Wilpon came in as a partner with Nelson Doubleday to purchase the New York Metropolitans in 1980; 30 years ago. I was 13 years old. We're in this symbiotic relationship for a long time. Yea I have my issues with Fred. There's no hiding that right?
Mr. Wilpon is not cheap. He cares very much - He listens.
You have to love someone first in order to hate them.
Mr. Wilpon, I don't hate you. You're looking good.
Be well my friend.
In other Met developments:
Carlos Delgado, while no longer a Met, although I wished otherwise, is going for a second operation on his hip. The first one, not performed by the doctor who performed ARod's surgery, apparently didn't go well. Carlos was noticeably struggling in winter ball. That news kinda bummed me out.
Then this news hit me today like a piano falling out of the sky....
Jerry Manuel said,
"In the evolution of Jose Reyes as a hitter, batting third is the next logical step forward for him."
I have no particular want for Manuel to be fired. It's never really crossed my mind (YET). But I am not an active supporter of his. Does that make sense? I don't mind him - wouldn't be sorry to see him go.
If Jerry Manuel wants to bat Reyes third until Beltran comes back...that's fair. You can talk to me about that. If he feels Reyes is evolving into the logical 3rd spot hitter and this is his natural progression as a hitter, and 3rd is where he belongs....
I want him fired now!
It's too easy for me to really load-up and rain insults here. I'm just not entertaining that kinda talk. I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that. We heard it last year too. This isn't new. Manuel has talked like this before, last year he threw it out there. I'm not listening. I'm hoping Jerry gets fired before he ever gets to implement that plan. I'm not politicking to get him fired. That kinda talk and plan would constitute a fireable offense if you ask this Met fan.
Here's the question of the day.
Most people/Met/baseball fans won't admit this, and when I'm not suffering from moments of clarity
I wouldn't admit it either.....
Name me the best lead-off and two batter combos in baseball going into 2010.
I will say when healthy Reyes and Castillo are one of the best. What say you?
Reyes third?! Really? I'm open minded. I've digested it. I don't want anything to do with it. - Not if he's healthy and Reyes can run like Reyes.
...And Finally, in the never ending saga which is METropolis, Kelvim Escobar, whom Omar signed to a minor league contract, and was being eyed to be the 8th inning guy, has a sore arm. Can you imagine that?! At first the rumor was he couldn't even grip a ball.
The Mets only offered
"His spring training will progress very slowly".
...this just in over the radio.. - The Mets just signed ROD BARAJAS, catcher.
I'm running to get my left over bottle rockets I have from the RYOTA IGARASHI signing
and light them in the yard.
Say Good Night Gracie!