NEW YORK METS: There's No Need to Fear...!
"They shouldn't be concerned about us owning the franchise because we intend to own the franchise for a very long time. Whether they're happy about that right now or not, I don't know." - Fred Wilpon.
How do you feel about that Met Fans? He's always maintained that position before. So saying it again isn't the issue. The issue is Fred Wilpon himself and if he has indeed delivered this team to it's ultimate low point? Or, does that distinction still rest with our former Lady Linda De Roulette who inherited the responsibilities of running the Mets upon her mothers' passing. She will undeservedly be remembered for asking if the team could just clean off and reuse baseballs, as well as something to the effect of not buying anymore office supplies; much less free agents..
If you experienced both eras like I did, then what say you? Was the period between 1977-1979 worse than the present era of the Saul B. Katz Dilemma?
I say this era is far worse. Very simply, the current ownership drove this organization into the ground due in large part to their own mismanagement, no coherent plan, and an overall lack of Baseball acumen. It took a Commissioner's intervention and imposing an executive in Flushing for the express purpose of saving Baseball's National League Club from themselves. Another way of saying that is Sandy Alderson was tasked with getting a very dysfunctional house in order. Where as Linda De Roulette stripped the team down with the full intentions of selling them. And there's the rub. Fred Wilpon said emphatically on numerous occasions, he'll never sell if he can help it.
Woe is us.
SNY-TV, PON the Elder, and Son of PON, are among the buyers of multiple Mets' $20 million dollar cupcakes. And in light of other legitimate risk takers, this just screams SHAM to me. One might consider what the Wilpons are doing as quite noble. After all, they are dipping into their own pockets in order to save their franchise. There's something admirable about that regardless of what we want to see happen. But as far as the contingent of cupcake buyers, and any REAL capital these shares raise for the team, it's still a case of Fred, Jeff, and SNY robbing Paul to pay Peter. Had the the prospective parties all been outside of the sphere of organizational influence, I might have more respect for the process today. But when you get right down to it, an organization in deep financial trouble is partly getting bailed out by two individuals in particular (Fred and Jeff), whom are under intense financial stress. That does not compute. Nor does it bode well. A dollar in the left pocket is just as valuable in the right pocket, and therefore, the Wilpons are still exposed in the wallet. In my eyes, they've achieved nothing other than getting bill collectors off their backs for exactly one year, and no more. And it also tells me there was not an overwhelming interest in Fred's cupcakes to begin with. If these cupcakes were bonds, how do think Standard and Poor's would rate them? You know the answer. You know as well as I do, with all joking aside, they'd be rated Junk. That's Wall Street's term, not mine.
It's a shame these issues overshadow some of the actual sense Fred has spoken in camp thus far. On the one hand, the Mets took a lawn mower to their pay role. Yet, the owner is right. What they hacked away were unproductive players. Point, Wilpon. And quite frankly, for reasons I'll address as we go along this Spring, I like the openly non-committal tone he's taken regarding David Wright. As a matter of fact, the way he's been sauntering around camp so far, he gives off the impression Picard ain't got a damn thing on him. AND..., I'll be honest with you, in what could be his darkest moment (in court) coming up, he's following his General Manager's cue and popping jokes; as in reaching into his pocket and pulling our a small wad of cash. As if to say...... You know, the old Brooklyn way.
Damn Fred Wilpon! Because as much as I (and we) want him to sell the team, I still have a level of compassion for the guy.
BUT...! The kid is another story.
The Boss's son; Lil Jeffery, the Day Manager of Mets-R-Us. C'mon! I couldn't be in more agreement with David Wright over these Underdog t-shirts. And only the Boss's kid would come up with such a thing. Why don't you just rename the team The Squirrels? This is precisely why I treat him as the Boss's kid, and "Mets-R-Us" him to death. And it's nothing short of a shame too, because truth be told, Jeff has never really said or done anything (outwardly at least) to embarrass himself or the club; if you're being fair that is.
Instead, he's handled the media at times rather impressively. Remember that day in Atlanta when he gave the Media the - "I'm not here to fire anybody guys!" routine? That was a good day for him. The way he stepped up for Omar Minaya during the Beltran Operation-Gate and the Adam Ruben fiascoes were other exceptional days for him. But I think the idea of an Underdog t-shirt is a feeble way to find common ground with fans and unify the team. I think it falls woefully short. Because if it was meant to give the players a common cause, it's only embellishes collective shame.