Wilpon and the Mets: The Scandals Continue
Monday May 23, 2011
MLB reports: As if the New York Mets have not faced enough issues during the past few seasons, owner Fred Wilpon has brought the team’s troubles to the media forefront again. The laughing stock of baseball, only the Dodgers and the McCourt divorce rival the embarrassment of the once proud franchise. In a John Rocker type interview as given to Sports Illustrated in December of 1999, Fred Wilpon recently spoke extensively with The New Yorker. In a no-holds barred interview, Wilpon lashed out at anyone and everyone associated with his team. I could only describe the piece as the final nail in the coffin, as Wilpon is about to receive a backlash from the Mets media, fans and major league baseball that he likely never expected. As the Mets attempted to recover from the Madoff scandal and sell a portion of the team to save itself financially, the Mets are back in the news for all the wrong reasons. What you are about to read is going to shock you.
On Carlos Beltran, who starred for Houston in the 2004 playoffs before signing a seven-year, $119 million deal with the Mets: We had some dummy in New York, Wilpon says, referring to himself, “who paid him based on that one series. He’s 65 to 70 percent of what he was.”
As the game progresses during the interview, a Mets rally expires, during which Wilpon refers to his team with an expletive and, again, with the word lousy. He says the team is “snakebitten” and essentially agrees when Toobin suggests the Mets could be cursed. “He gave sort of a half laugh,” Toobin writes, “and said, ‘You mean’ — and then pantomimed a checked swing of the bat.”
“He’s happiest when he’s talking baseball, arguing about baseball,” Omar Minaya, whom the Wilpons fired as the team’s general manager after last season, told me. “I always felt best when we were arguing over a player and Fred would say, ‘Omar, you’re full of s***’”.
Ike Davis, the sophomore first baseman and the one pleasant surprise for the Mets so far this season, was up next. “Good hitter,” Wilpon said. “S****y team—good hitter.” Davis struck out. Angel Pagan flied out to right, ending the Mets’ threat. “Lousy clubs—that’s what happens.” Wilpon sighed. The Astros put three runs on the board in the top of the second. “We’re snakebitten, baby,” Wilpon said.
And Wilpon has now suggested that he may be willing to sell up to forty-nine per cent of the team. The combination of his financial troubles and the value of the Mets—perhaps more than a billion dollars—has driven speculation that he will have to surrender control of the team.
The first day the architects came to the site, they started saying blah, blah, blah, and I said to them, ‘Let me tell you how this is going to work,’ ” Wilpon told me recently. “ ‘The front of the building is going to look like Ebbets Field. And it’s going to have a rotunda—just like at Ebbets.’ And then I said, ‘Guess what. Here are the plans for Ebbets Field.’ And I handed them over.”
To read the entire Wilpon profile in the New York, click here. If you are a Mets fan, detractor or a general follower of baseball, you won’t want to miss this one. In this day and age of history and instant media, you think that people would learn to be smarter and conduct themselves in the best possible manner. For a man that has lost much of his fortune and jumps from one scandal to another, Fred Wilpon does not appear to have learnt his lesson. After this latest episode, the book may be finally closed on the man who will go down in history for almost destroying the Mets franchise and setting the team back as a result.
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