Met Fans Are Soooooo Over Jeff Wilpon

The MLB General Managers’ Meetings are starting to wrap up down in Orlando, and – color me shocked! – the Mets haven’t done anything visible. I know…I know…It’s the GM Meetings, not the Winter Meetings: there’s very little in terms of actual player movement that gets done in this go-‘round, the meat of which goes on at the Winter Meetings in December. We fans have to keep reminding ourselves of that, while we rail at the Mets’ “inactivity” this week. It’s not always easy to remember.

As stated, these GM Meetings are generally where the groundwork for deals gets put in place. Traditionally, the paying public has not been privy to these talks, but nowadays – the age of Twitter, Facebook and the 24-hour news cycle – the talks are talked about. Everybody wants their scoop, they want to be the one who “broke” whatever story is out there, so leaks abound and information and its evil twin, “misinformation” fly about, untethered by gravity or truth. When you have an owner who has a propensity for the grand public gaffe while suffering from pedal-oral inversion as the Mets do, there’s no need for leaks: the misinformation writes itself.

To wit, Jeff Wilpon’s statement yesterday: that the Mets were working “late into the night” on Tuesday and will probably “hopefully” have an announcement late on Wednesday. “We’re juggling a lot of balls, right now,” he said. “We just need to see which one falls.” Setting aside the obvious “circus/clown” snark for a moment, the online Mets community immediately went ablaze when Wilpon’s words were transmitted. “Jhonny Peralta!” we all speculated. “Maybe it’s Curtis Granderson!” came a shout from another quarter. Another source told us the Mets were going “hard after” Nelson Cruz. We got all kinds of giddy.

When the working press got hold of GM Sandy Alderson, however, and apprised him of Wilpon The Younger’s comments, he looked at them all as if each had four heads. “No, no… Nothing is imminent,” he said. Another round of speculation online followed: “Why would Jeff Wilpon say something if nothing is imminent? Wait! You don’t think…?”

wilpon-metsIn the end, of course, we did think, and that thought was sadly borne out: there was an announcement made by the afternoon. Was it about Peralta, Granderson or Cruz? Nope. Was it about any free agent/trade candidate headed to Queens? Nope. It was the most underwhelming news that Huey Lewis & The News and Boyz II Men would be playing post-game concerts at Citi Field next summer, that there would be a t-shirt promotion every Friday home game and of course, several new ticket packages for the 2014 season would be available. Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued – even the usually even-tempered Matt Cerrone could be heard seething behind his pixels after that. Several hours after that, it came to light that Mets actually had sat down with Peralta “in secret.” In his heart-of-cynical-hearts, your intrepid columnist can’t help but look at this news as nothing more than a “Wag The Dog” operation: let’s plant a story that we’re meeting with the guy “they” – the fans — all want. That way, the heat is off the owner for his buffoonery earlier, and “they” can focus on a shiny thing.

The takeaway here is that Jeff Wilpon should never be allowed near an open microphone. He seems to have a natural tendency to screw things up, and loudly. Not only did he send what’s left of “his” fan base into an unnecessary tizzy, he hung his GM out to dry in the process. This columnist was raging so much yesterday that he Tweeted that Alderson should resign today and compared the date 11/13/13 to other dates in Mets infamy, 7/15/77 6/15/77 and 9/30/07. The other takeaway, of course is that all this ballyhooed “money coming off the books” will not, in fact, go into the pockets of Peralta, Granderson, whoever. No. More and more, it looks like it’s earmarked for the crushing debt service looming in June 2014, and fewer and fewer of us will be watching the likes of Eric Young, Jr. , Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda for another season as Jeff Wilpon tries to hang onto his family heirloom by his fingernails.

And ultimately, Citi Field remains Citi Morgue.

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31 comments for “Met Fans Are Soooooo Over Jeff Wilpon

  1. November 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    And Fred Wilpon should never be allowed to speak to a reporter, either. Period.

  2. Jon
    November 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Is that really the lesson you take out of yesterday? That Jeff should button it?

    Look, maybe he should, but to me the obvious screwups were Kristie Ackert and the other writers who couldn’t be bothered to deliver any context while passing along his remarks (and said as much later), and then of course the fans who ought to know by know how to interpret such comments even when they get by the gatekeepers but instead compete with one another to be Charlie Brown to Sandy Alderson’s Lucy.

  3. November 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Any day they don’t overspend on Cruz or Granderson is a good day.

    • Steve S.
      November 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Maybe so, but they will have to spend on someone. How high do you think clubs will go for Peralta? Hopefully, the Mets will find upgrades (via trade or free agency) for SS, LF, and RF, and sign Hawkins for the pen.

      • November 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

        I guess it depends if Peralta is more interested in maximizing dollars per year or length.

        I could see him getting in the neighborhood of $50 million for three years. Or I could see a 5/$70 type of deal.

        My opinion is that the Biogenesis thing isn’t going to hurt him and the fact that he does not come with draft pick compensation is going to help increase his salary, too. Teams have extra cash to spend and I think it’s going to make all of the top players get more than they would have two years ago.

  4. Chris F
    November 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    the problem is everyone is gonna overspend on everyone. there are no deals this silly season. glad to hear from you Brian!

    • November 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Which is why the “no $100 million contracts” thing is absurd. I’d rather spend $100 million on Choo or Ellsbury than $50 million on Cruz. He can’t run, he can’t field and he’s posted a combined 3.9 fWAR over the past three years

      • Steve S.
        November 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm

        Agreed. The Mets should be able to go for Choo and Peralta this year.

  5. Dr.Phibes
    November 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Jeff Wilpon is an embarrassment. Not only should he not be allowed near a microphone, he shouldn’t be allowed near a little league team, let alone a major market mlb team. Talk about winning the birth lottery. To be fair almost all major sports team owners aren’t particularly likable or trustworthy, but Fred and Jeff make it really hard to support this team. It’s obvious they have little respect for the Mets fan base. I’m not a huge Alderson fan, but still amazed someone with his rep would subject himself to team Wimp-on’s never ending circus of bull$@#€.

    • Name
      November 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      “To be fair almost all major sports team owners aren’t particularly likable or trustworthy”

      I agree. Probably the best owners are ones that are companies… which I don’t know if there are any left. That way they will never be seen or heard.

      And at least be happy we don’t have Jeffrey Loria as the owner of the team.

  6. Julian McCarthy
    November 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    This article is so correct. I am really tired of the “plan” if it is going to have setbacks every time a player is injured

  7. Metsense
    November 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    In 2003, the team’s previous partner, Nelson Doubleday, Jr., told The Star-Ledger: “Mr. Jeff Wilpon has decided that he’s going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year… Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail… Jeff sits there by himself like he’s King Tut waiting for his camel.”

    Fred Wilpon is 77 YOA and his death will turn the reigns over to Jeff. Fred, live long and prosperous.

    • Jon
      November 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Not for nothing but it’s not Jeff who’s been carrying water for Bud Selig all these years, and who hired one incompetent leader after another, and who has a broken heart for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and who has a background in real estate yet built the most unimaginative stadium in baseball, and who forged a decades-long investment scheme with a criminal, and who tore down David Wright in the press. Now, I think Jeff’s rep for being a snotty rich kid is probably well-earned, but you’ve really got to be determined to get worked up over the remarks he made yesterday. And overlooking Fred’s well-meaning but corrosive influence that is *the* defining characteristic of the club all these years, well, I think that’s a mistake.

  8. Darren
    November 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    7/15/77? What’s that, because I know Tom Seaver was traded on June 15, 1977.

  9. Jim OMalley
    November 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    The Mets need to GROW (Get Rid of Wilpon). Lets set a date. Everyone. Buy a ticket. Go to the game but don’t enter the Stadium. Let the game be played with no one in the stands.

  10. John Zakour
    November 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Instead of fantasy talk about trades we should have a fantasy talk about new owners. I for one would like to see Mark Cuban make a run at the Mets.

    • November 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      John! Cuban would truly be a fantasy request as I don’t see him getting approved by MLB owners. He’s too loud and opinionated. We have someone much closer to home who could and would be accepted in a heartbeat. Instead of starting a grass root campaign to dislodge the Wilpons. why not start a Bloomberg ss new Met owner petition? At least he knows how to invest in the stock market.

  11. November 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    How far do the Mets have to sink before the commissioner is forced to step in and ask HIS friend to sell the team “in the best interest in baseball”? What happens if the Wilpons are unable to re-finance? How many more years can Selig allow this franchise to flounder. He’s done everything possible to help the Wilpons maintain their ownership. But there comes a point in time when you have to put friendship aside and say you need to realize it’s time to let go and move on. It’s painful to watch. I feel each passing day the team is becoming the laughing stock of MLB. Jeff Wilpon has the dreaded foot-in-mouth syndrome and Fred’s legal battles have him looking like an old geezer ready for the nursing home.

    • Name
      November 15, 2013 at 12:13 am

      Personally, If i’m the commissioner, i’d be worried about the Marlins before the Mets. That’s an owner who doesn’t care about the team and deceives the fans. At least he Wilpons care about the team, even if they don’t have the full means to support them like the some fans think they should be.

  12. November 15, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Name. An owner who doesn’t deceive the team? Really? Fred Wilpon never did that? Does the Madoff scandal ring a bell? Do you remember Fred Wilpon telling the media that the Mets payroll would not be affected by the scandal? The only reason Loria added payroll was because the players union had Selig investigate the Marlins lack of commitment($), Loria and the union agreed on a 2 year plan to increase the payroll. Lo and behold exactly 2 years after the agreement expired a salary purge took place. After saying all this, the Marlins have as many World Series titles as the Bronx Bombers have in the past 13 seasons. I honestly don’t think the Wilpons care about the team. They care about being the owners and are trying to avoid the embarrassment and humiliation of having to sell the team because they cannot adequately fund the team.

    • Name
      November 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      I don’t consider some of those things deceptions, but rather just PR moves. The media feeds on negative stuff. That’s why you always hear “no comment” or just something bland that doesn’t give out any new information. You try not to give them anything to write about, because the press usually only exacerbates negative comments, and does nothing to positive comments. Basically, there’s not much to gain from talking to the press.

      I don’t recall if or when Fred Wilpon made that statement. If it was early, it was probably just to calm the fans down. I liken it to when a player suffers an injury and they shoo the trainer away because they want to be “tough” and want to play through it. It is only after a while do they realize the full impact of the injury.

      Unless you have evidence otherwise, i don’t know why you would think that the Wilpons don’t care about the team. Why would they continue to own it while they are losing money and getting all the bad press? Why did they buy it in the first place? You don’t fight tooth and nail to keep something that you don’t care about.

      • November 15, 2013 at 11:20 pm

        Baseball injuries and LYING to the public about financial issues are 2 totally different things. That to me is a NOT a PR move. If Wilpon had said no comment that would have been fine with me, But he didn’t. He said the funds for the team were separate from the money that the Wilpons had invested with Madoff. If that was the case why the 50 million cut in payroll? Your asking me to show you evidence that the Wilpons don’t care about the team and yet you speak about his “PR” moves. It’s just a matter of interpretation for you. I said he is more concerned about being the owner and facing the embarrassment and humiliation of having the commissioner force him to sell the team.

        • Name
          November 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

          You don’t seem to get most of my analogies, but i’ll try once more. When Harvey was first diagnosed with his injury, he said that he’d like to try to avoid surgery and that he could pitch through it. All the while, most of us fans knew that this was an unlikely scenario. Was Harvey necessarily “lying” when he told us this? My train of though would be no, because I think he said those things without complete information and while it was still in the period of initial shock.
          I think the same analysis can be applied to what Fred said regarding the Madoff scandal. At first he may have thought that the team would not be affected, but after closer analysis and thinking, it was inevitable that the team would be affected similar to how Harvey realized that he was going to need TJ surgery. Also similar to Harvey, I believe Fred said those comments during the initial shock period. When something happens that riles us up emotionally, we all say things that we regret saying later.

          Anyways, just as you i’m making some assumptions that you might not quite believe and that’s perfectly fine. We are all entitled to have our own opinions. If you believe, or want to believe, that the Wilpons are filthy scumbags who only care about owning the team as a status symbol, there’s little I can do to change your mind.

          And even if you do come to conclusion that the Wilpons do care about the team, there’s still other reasons to hate them. The Steinbrenner’s obviously care about the team(no way you can deny that considering the size of their wallet), but there’s still a lot of Yankee fans who don’t like them.

  13. Jim OMalley
    November 15, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Good analysis Pete. I didn’t know about the 2year union plan with the Marlins. What if Sandy becomes Commish and then turns around and forces Wilpon to sell the team as his first act?

    • November 15, 2013 at 4:30 am

      We call that poetic justice.

  14. Dave
    November 15, 2013 at 4:17 am

    I absolutely DETEST the freakin’ Coupons.

  15. NormE
    November 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    How about a contest for the most detested owner of a NY franchise?

    Nominees: Fred Wilpon–the NY Mets
    James Dolan–the NY Knicks
    Harry Wismer–the NY Titans
    M. Donald Grant–the NY Mets
    Walter O’Malley–the Brooklyn Dodgers (though he wasn’t detested until the move)
    George Steinbrenner–the NY Yankees

    Any other nominees?

  16. November 17, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I get your analogies. And if as you say they were ignorant then why settle the lawsuit which connected Madoff to them? If YOU really believe that they didn’t know something was wrong with their 400 million dollar investment returning 30% annually then I have this bridge I’d like to sell you that connects fantasy with reality. For being such shrewd businessmen investing most of their capitol into one investment has crippled this franchise. Not even Hathaway-Berkshire can claim levels of returns on ones investment the way their friend Bernie did. Surely red flags were going up inside their heads. Denial can be devastating to ones ego. But nothing we write is going to change the fact that the Mets are in deep sh** and may well be there for years to come,

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