Monday, May 23, 2011

Wilpon Shoots From the Lip

Fred Wilpon and his Mets have had a tough year.
So the owners of the New York Mets decided honesty was the best policy when talking to about his "star" players to a reporter. His critique of David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran centered on a theme: They are overpaid or want to be.

Some commentators have compared Fred Wilpon's comments to the kind often made by the late George Steinbrenner of the Yankees, who was famous for bombastic diatribes aimed at his superstars. Others see the Mets' owner as a whiner, complaining about his mistakes.

The first thing I thought when I heard about his comments was money. Wilpon and the Mets have had a famously bad year. The ownership group took a financial beating because of their investments with Bernie Madoff. Then they were sued by the trustee trying to recover money for Madoff's investors. The trustee claims the Wilpons knew or should have known about the fraud.

Now, ticket sales have fallen and it's been reported the team will lose millions this season (although it's unclear how much money the profitable cable channel SNY brings in for the owners). All of that has forced the Wilpons to put a minority stake in the team up for sale. Is it any wonder Fred Wilpon has money on his mind?

However ill advised the comments were (besides bruising egos, he told the world that the very players that might be traded this summer aren't worth as much as they are paid), it seems to me that they are the result of a year of frustration.

That probably won't make it any easier for the players to swallow. It might be harder for the fans to accept. Any harboring the idea that the Mets would open the purse strings and sign Reyes, who is off to a great start, are likely disappointed.

And that might be the biggest mistake in making the comments. Why alienate the fans in May?


  1. It's not like he didn't speak what any real Mets fan knows ... but not exactly the best of timing PR-wise. Bobby V said on ESPN last night that he didn't think it would effect Reyes or Beltran's trade value at all b/c that's the facts, Jack.

  2. What he said isn't crazy, but who wants to work for a boss like that? Of, course in baseball money trumps idiot bosses. As fas as whether it hurts what the Mets get for the players is an interesting question. We can never really know if Wilpon hurt the team's bargaining position.

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