Keidel: Right Said Fred

By Jason Keidel
» More Columns

Assuming you don’t get the obscure pop culture reference in the title, Fred Wilpon is more than too sexy for his team; he’s too tired, too jaded, and too fated for failure.

I called for Mr. Wilpon to sell the team long before this. Not just because of his cash or his comments, but because he’s the face of a floundering squad. Wait until next year! has been the Mets’ mantra for too long, and while there’s a slice of every New Yorker’s soul that accepts (if not expects) the Mets to fall slightly short of the Yankees, the disparity, the chasmal gap between the pinstripes and proletarians is too great even for the most rabid Mets follower.

His semantic suicide in both The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated merely confirm what the bulk of the fan base already knew.

It’s over.

The Mets have shrunk in the Yankee shadow for too long and, frankly, there’s no reason to. The Mets have everything the Yankees have, and this is coming from a Yankees fan. The Mets have a network, a new park (a far more charming park than the cold, corporate, limestone they call Yankee Stadium) and a nine-digit payroll. And they have this very station, the largest and greatest on Earth (he said so modestly), and all its talent dedicated to calling and dissecting their games. More than a few hosts on WFAN share your pain and long for the gain.

Wilpon has resided over too much morbidity, physical and metaphysical. He built a park for the Mets and dedicated it to the Dodgers. He pledged to take Pledge to Doc Gooden’s signature on a Citi Field wall, branding it graffiti. Several of his starters skipped that trip to Walter Reed (which I captured in my column last year, “Three Blind Mets”). He said before this season that everything was fine, that the Mets were replete to compete despite the avalanche of evidence to the contrary. He handed his money to Madoff. He lost to the Yankees in 2000 and seemingly every series since. He hired Alderson as a de facto white flag, a green light to detonate the foundation of the franchise.

Mind you, I have nary an issue with Wilpon’s remarks. His assessment of Wright was spot-on. Reyes is not worth $140 million, and Beltran is indeed a fraction of his former brilliance. Should Wilpon have kept his tongue tied? Of course. But what owned of this team wouldn’t be flummoxed? George Steinbrenner made hay on hammering his star players for decades. It didn’t stop his team from winning seven World Series titles.

The part Wilpon missed is pointing to where this 12-point buck stops: his shop. Joe Buck hands the World Series trophy to the owner, not the shortstop. Nowhere in Wilpon’s inverted mea culpa did he say that he screwed up anytime, anywhere. That is a sign of insecure management.

Wilpon has often said he’s a fan first, owner second. If he’s sincere in his self-diagnosis, he will take one for and from his team and forfeit his beloved franchise. It may not feel fun or fair at first, but the team and the town will eventually thank him, perhaps remembering him in the rare light of successes his squads experienced over the last quarter-century, including 1986.

You can’t charge Porshe prices and deliver a Prius, which is what the Metropolitans are asking you to tolerate. You’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. The swelling swaths of empty seats on sunny days reflect the volcanic, vitriolic disgust you feel about the former Kings of Queens.

Fred Wilpon told Sports Illustrated that the Mets will lose $70 million this year. He lost you long before that.

Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com

www.twitter.com/JasonKeidel

Is the writing on the wall for the Wilpons? Let Keidel know in the comments below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Kurt Spitzner says:

    I WILL GUARANTEE THAT I HAVE PUT A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF MY EARNINGS INTO THE METS OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS THAN METS OWNERSHIP DID AND HAD IT BEEN THE OTHER WAY AROUND WITH SOME DISCRETION INVOLVED WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS DEBATE!

    1. Kurt Spitzner says:

      PS AND ANYONE WHO HAS BOUGHT SEASON TICKETS SHOULD OWN THE TEAM NOW!

  2. Kurt Spitzner says:

    blah,blah,blah……… lets see if they post this or will it OFFEND SOMEBODY??????????????????????????????????????????

  3. Master Shake says:

    The Mets will always be in the Yankees shadow, no matter what. We will always be the LA Clippers of baseball. You won’t find any bandwagon Met fans (of course not all Yankee fans are, so don’t get your panties in a bunch), and we will never be the “fashionable” team who’s apparel people wear to look cool. The Yankees are Frank Sinatra, and the Mets are The Ramones, and I think that’s awesome!

    1. JK says:

      Fair enough. But wouldn’t Mets fans like to see a little more winning? Don’t they deserve some after all the heartbreak and incompetence?

      1. dico j. says:

        Bring back “Banner Day”……………LOL

    2. Tom G says:

      Although I love the Ramones comparison- this isn’t necessarily true. In the 1980’s the Mets were THE TEAM. As a matter of fact- while the Mets were breaking the three million fan barrier at the turnstiles- the Yanks were lucky to draw 2 million.
      The Yanks didn’t draw 3 million fans until a DECADE after the Mets did it. Ruth, Mantle, Dimaggio, Berra, et al- and never once did they draw 3 million. The reason the Mets are in the Yanks shadows is because they haven’t won in a long time- and they have lost in terrible fashion. When I see 1000 fans in the seats it makes me shake my head. If the Mets were buyers and not sellers this year- we could be talking about them winning a Championship again. Instead Wilpon gives us his rant and shows his hand – a hand that says he will gut this team to save himself. He’s no fan- he’s a fraud. And when the Mets were putting 3 million in the seats LONG BEFORE THE YANKS DID- this was a Mets town. Sadly, it looks like it will be a long time before we see those days again. Sell the team Fred- your killing us fans.

      1. King says:

        And what’s your point? The Mets had a run from ’85 to ’88 & other then 2000 & 2006 have disappeared from the post-season. You can’t bring the Yankees into the equation because it’s not fair to the Mets or the fans. The Yankees have grown immensely as the Mets are going backwards.

        No team can be compare to the Yankees success, past or present, & then to say, well back in the 80’s, the Mets…. that was 26 plus years ago. What have the Mets done since?

        People want a winning team today not yesteryears’ team. Bringing up the Yankees & what the Mets draw then is irrelevant to today. Keep living in 1986 while other teams, Blue Jays (2) Twins (2) Marlins (2) & the Yankees (5) win more championships then the Mets have in 26 yrs.

        This was never a Mets town, the team that wins more titles (27) & beats all those teams other NY teams, Dodgers (6) Giants (4) & the Mets (1) for a total of 11 championships is the title holder. You’re living too much in 1986, let it go.

  4. Vinny says:

    Maybe Fred wants to keep these players and does not want to pay alot

  5. Sal says:

    Any wonder why he is in the financial mess he is? Even if that is how you feel about your players you don’t let the world know it. When he is looking to trade them at the deadline, what team in their right mind would give decent valued players in return? Very stupid business move, then again, he seems to have a track record regarding stupid business moves.

    1. JK says:

      Indeed, Sal. He carries himself with the countenance of someone ready for the vocational guillotine.

  6. Kurt Spitzner says:

    BLOGGERS BEWARE! THIS SITE OFTEN ONLY POST THE COMMENTS THEY WANT YOU TO SEE AND THIS HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AUTHOR OF THIS PIECE!!!!!!

  7. A says:

    I would have to agree, I have gone to at least one game a year since 1973 till the re-opening of Ebbett’s field. I just don’t understand the building of a field to honor a team that still plays in the league. Still it was a chance for this club to get off to a fresh start and all they have done is blow it. I have not gone to Citifield yet, I can watch losing at home and listen on the radio without spending $150 to do it.

    1. JK says:

      It’s a pretty park, but Wilpon’s allegiance to a team that left 55 years ago is odd, at best.

  8. Eric Padmore says:

    Leave Mr Wilpon alone,would you want someone to tell you what to do with your house? He is correct about the players. I never played baseball in my life, i’m a cricketer and can hit any baseball with a wrotten cane, these guys are jokes.

    1. JK says:

      But what was gained by going public, Eric?

  9. Jc says:

    Sell the team to Mark Cuban

    1. JK says:

      Indeed. Cuban might be obnoxious, but he clearly cares and puts all his resources into his team.

  10. Anthony Lewis says:

    Spot on.

    1. JK says:

      Thank you, sir.

  11. Brisn Stark says:

    He’s a bozo and should sell the team if he truly is a fan. Buy the Dodgers, you love them more anyway! I’m sure Bud Selig would float you a loan, he’s backing you as it is anyway.

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