March 19, 2012
There’s always next year. Oh wait…there isn’t.
I’ve been pondering how to go about writing what needs to be written for many hours today. All through the day the topic has been bandied about by every Mets insider and newspaper. Everyone talking about either the financial numbers decided in today’s “lawsuit” or their predictions as to when the Mets payroll will come back to figures that resemble a major market baseball club.
Very few, if any, have discussed the real story here. I suppose that my blog’s name gives me some sort of responsibility to yet again translate the real story that other sources somehow fail to mention. I do not take this obligation lightly, and therefore wanted to ease my way into it. Well, here goes nothing.
Today, the New York Mets Ball Club died. There. I said it. It had to be said.
Huddle closer dear reader. You see, we Met fans did not witness any sort of victory this morning as Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz exited the courthouse with their highly paid attorney to meet and greet the mass media. No, we did not. In fact, we experienced quite the contrary. Magically, the Wilpons have escaped their wrong-doings with essentially a slap on their privileged wrists. The numbers themselves, dissected with the precision of a neurosurgeon for most of the day today, are themselves meaningless. Suffice it to say, all is fine and dandy in the land of the Wilpons.
Fred was quoted as saying, “Trying to bring the New York Mets back to prominence, that our fans deserve”. I am not sure what that means exactly, as the Mets have not been a prominent franchise since Fred took over as sole owner back in 2002. Sure there was 2006, but when you are a top 5 payroll team, you have to make the playoffs once in a while, don’t you? Even if you underachieve along the way.
Ultimately, we are left to digest what this statement truly means. This is where I come in to help make sense of it all.
The Mets have done little right from a baseball standpoint since Carlos Beltran struck out looking to a then underdog St. Louis Cardinals team. They have developed little to no talent from their minor league system since the arrival of David Wright and Jose Reyes. They have employed a general manager who not only came across as illiterate, but became the butt of all baseball jokes for some of his decision making on personnel. They have created a new low for a sports medical staff in areas of incompetence and mismanagement of baseball (and non-baseball) related injuries, leaving us to wonder why they have employed the same doctors and trainers for so many years. They have failed at any and every level to conceal news that shouldn’t be shared with the media, leaving us to wonder why they have employed the same public relations staff for so many years. Oh wait, I just said that. I think there may be a trend starting here.
Most importantly, before Bernie Madoff’s name was ever muttered by anyone who was not part of the financial world, the Mets were a failed franchise. They had set a Major League record for largest regular season collapse by allowing a seven game lead with seventeen games remaining to disappear. They have yet to smell the playoffs since then. The Mets continued to spend money on the wrong players year after frustrating year, always culminating in the same result. Failure. The truth of the matter is, if resources were not the issue, then wouldn’t smart baseball people have cultivated a better result. At the very least, wouldn’t they have sniffed the playoffs in one year since then?
The key term above is smart. This is something that has severely lacked with the Mets over the past five years. The Wilpons have continuously employed inept baseball people, not to mention in all other baseball related departments as well. This may be due to the fact that the Wilpons portray themselves as “family-oriented” owners, whereby they hire friends and colleagues to fill their various posts. Good baseball people with solid reputations? No, that has never been on the Wilpon’s agenda.
Even when the Wilpons begin to reinvest moneys into the team in the coming years, is there anyone naive enough to believe that money alone buys championships? This seems to be the only thing that anyone has been talking about today. “All I care about is when they stop acting like a small market team and start spending money on players.” That is all well and good, however it is not what will make this team competitive. Unless all of the areas I have discussed are corrected, none of that will matter in the least.
Today’s news unveiled one undeniable truth. The Wilpons are here to stay, and stay they will. With this now immovable albatross, I fail to see anything to get excited about at all. To get as cynical as I can possibly get, I will profess that the Mets will never again make a World Series appearance, let alone win a championship. Well, at least in both my and Jeff Wilpon’s lifetime. Contrary to whatever drivel Mr. Wilpon spoke this morning outside his joyful courthouse, this is the absolute end of the New York Mets.
February 8, 2011
Predictably, it has begun Met fans. Make no mistake about it, the Wilpons NEED YOU. Well actually, they need your dollars. This is true to such an extent that they have begun the pathetic process of groveling to its season ticket holders for sympathy. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the letter sent to all season ticket holders, as I have not purchased any tickets in years due to my disdain for the Wilpons. (If anyone has a copy of this letter, I would truly appreciate it if you would post it under the comments section below this post for all to see.)
Meanwhile, I have instantaneously become a fan of Eric Usinger of Huntington, NY. He is certainly not someone who will be used and abused by the Wilpons. We should all take his lead as we forge forward as fans of the team that the Wilpons currently (hopefully not for long) own. After all, we are fans of the New York Mets, not of Sterling Equities.
You can expect much more of this to come, as the Wilpons will do anything in their desperate state to win over the fans and the money that they represent to Sterling Equities.
October 5, 2010
Yes, the conclusion of the Jeff Wilpon interview on The Boomer and Carton Show was one for the books. In all my years following this club with extreme levels of pessimism, even this one caught me off guard. All you need to do is listen to the latter part of the interview when Al Hughes sings his usual goofy Met song (this one to “Scene from an Italian Restaurant”) in which he pokes fun at the Mets and their shortcomings. Only this time, the owner of the team actually sings along, not knowing how foolish he sounds doing it.
Yes Met fans, this ACTUALLY happened.
Listen if you dare (go to 26:00 minutes in to hear the song), but remember that this is only going to make you sick.
June 15, 2010
When the plan in constructing a team is to search for bargains and hope for the best, the an awful lot is being left to chance. That is just what was ordered by Mr. Wilpon this past winter. “Find some cheap alternatives, and they better pan out…or else!”
The Met hierarchy, doing as they were told, searched on the bottom shelf for a group of players that would hopefully pan out for them and be somewhat productive in 2010. This bargain-basement process led them to the signing of Rod Barajas, Henry Blanco, Hisanori Takahashi, R.A. Dickey, and Elmer Dessens. These names owe us Met fans absolutely nothing to date, wouldn’t you say?
Now there were others that gave us absolutely nothing, such as the departed Mike Jacobs, Gary Matthews, Jr., and Kelvim Escobar. I think anyone would take a 50% or better success rate when searching for quality on the scrap heap. That is just what the Mets have gotten through June 15th. Mission accomplished Jeff.
Let us give credit where credit is due. Jerry Manuel deserves plenty, as he is certainly getting the most out of all the players on his team, stars and unknowns alike. Let’s give a shout out to the players themselves, as they are buying into Jerry’s mantra and have found some clubhouse balance. This is something that has not existed in these parts in quite some time.
The problem now, however, is two-fold. The idea of any baseball team is to truly compete for a championship. In order to be in the conversation, these no-name guys will have to continue their success. Secondly, the Mets will surely need to add a starter, just as they needed to in November 2009. Yes, this is true even though the Mets currently are among the league leaders in starting ERA. They need a solid number three starter (Lackey would have looked great here, wouldn’t he?) to stick behind Pelfrey and Santana, therefore allowing Niese to slot in as the fourth starter. The unfortunate fact is that this will now cost the Mets prospects as well as the dollars Mr. Wilpon seemingly will not relinquish his grasp upon.
In summary, the Mets have succeeded thus far in spite of Mr. Wilpon and his penny-pinching approach. It better continue, or someone will have to pay. Unfortunately, we know it won’t be Jeff Wilpon.
May 10, 2010
We find ourselves in a familiar position. We have seen enough of Oliver Perez. After all, how many times can you endure the Ollie P experience before you want to slit your wrists? Frankly, I have reached the point where each time he walks the opposing pitcher that I can do nothing but chuckle. It is certainly a better option than emoting frustration, isn’t it? What more is there to say about him anyway? Oh yes, there is one thing…he is terrible!
The dilemma that we Met fans have to endure is quite simple. Who else is there to be our fifth starter? Jonathon Niese was supposed to hold that post to begin with, and there in lies the problem. Ollie was supposed to act as either the 3rd or 4th starter, and is being paid as if he is a 2nd starter. Now that Niese has been force fed into the 3rd starter role, the Mets would need an alternative to Perez to fill the five spot, rendering Ollie and his inflated contract to mop-up, long-relief chores.
However, unless the Mets push either Nieve or Takahashi into the fifth starter spot, they have no other alternative but to keep putting Perez back out there every fifth day. Unfortunately, those two guys are so conditioned to pitching virtually every day due to the lack of inning-eaters on the starting staff, that it would take a prolonged transition to stretch out their arms to perform adequately in that role. It is important to mention the fact that this would also create a large hole in the bullpen if either one was removed for this purpose. Fill a hole, and you inevitably create another one.
This is yet another glaring reminder of how the Mets made the mistake of not making John Lackey an offer during the off-season. I expect these reminders to continue to haunt us throughout the season as well. But hey, the Mets were serious about lowering payroll this year, and they accomplished their goal. That is our loss though, is it not? Here’s to more nauseating Ollie P starts. Thanks Mr. Wilpon!
March 18, 2010
This video seriously made me smile today. Thanks to Matt Pignataro for this one.
I could almost see this happening. Enjoy!
February 21, 2010
Yesterday’s annual interview with Fred Wilpon was simply on the docket for the beginning of spring training. It was not as if the mounting pressure from his disenchanted fan-base spurred him to speak into a microphone yesterday. If it had, we as Met fans would have seen something entirely unprecedented in the annals of the Wilpon ownership.
You see, the Wilpons live in a different reality than you and I. Let’s call it the “Wilpon Dimension” for conversation sake. Forget what they say to the media about how they are fans and how they suffer as we do. That is the ultimate farce.
Let me also state for the record that yesterday’s interview was by no means a shock to myself or the majority of the Met fan-base. We all know that the Wilpon’s are going nowhere, and that we have endless miles of bad management highway in front of us for years to come.
Let’s break down how “The Wilpon Dimension” differs from the universe that we live in. In our reality, we see a team that typically makes bad decisions due to an ever-changing front office that is hand-picked by our proud owners. We see a team that is second in the majors in payroll, that just opened a new ballpark, and that has its own money-making machine in SNY going into its third season on the air. In short, we understand that the revenues being brought in by our ownership are extraordinary. We place these two observations together, sort of like A + B in a formula, and we come up with the final product of C. The letter C represents a terrible team on the field and a decimated farm system with little hope of these things turning around. If the product is equal to the sum of its parts, it is easy to see that the revenue part of the formula is not the problem, and that ownership and it’s “baseball people” clearly are. Some things are easy to see, in our reality anyway.
In “The Wilpon Dimension”, however, things are not what they seem. Kind of like the Bizarro World, where everything is upside down. What is up is down, what is black is white, and what is seen is a reversed mirror image of reality. To Fred and Jeff Wilpon, they realize things are not what they need to be. They just do not realize that they, and the decisions they make on who to hire, are the source of the problem. That is the one undeniable truth. To them, everything that fails is just bad luck. If failure persists, then it is the manager’s fault. If failure continues after the manager is replaced, then it is the front office that is next to go. You see how this goes. The Wilpons never realize that the part of the team that needs replacing is themselves.
The Wilpons say that they are true fans, but if they were, they would warp back to our reality and fire themselves.