Hartnett: The Wilpons Ruined Mets’ Golden Opportunity

Mets Fans Can Only Blame Wilpons For Reyes' Departure

‘Hart of the Order’
By Sean Hartnett
» More Columns

There never should come a time when a New York sports franchise loses one of their homegrown superstars to a rival over money.  Yet, as the winter meetings were about to get underway, the Mets’ front office was forced to sit with their hands tied behind their back unable to even make an official offer to Jose Reyes.

Sandy Alderson was left helpless as Reyes, ‘the face of the franchise’ was lured to the upstart Miami Marlins.  It’s one thing when a star player spurns one club for another but it’s an entirely different story in Reyes’ case as he was only presented a single option – to join the Marlins.

The aftermath leaves Mets fans with lingering feelings of what could have been.  When Citi Field opened in 2009, it represented a rebirth for the Amazins.  Citi Field was supposed to be the jewel ballpark that gave the Mets the security needed to retain their best homegrown stars while helping attract desirable free agents.  Instead, it will remain as a symbol of promise and potential never fully realized.

As the new season draws closer, Citi Field will be a dark and desolate place throughout 2012.  Fans will continue to desert Citi Field in greater numbers without Jose Reyes providing the electricity that obscured the Mets’ failures.  Reyes was meant to be the centerpiece on display for years to come, the megastar that fans could hang their hopes upon and rally behind.

The Wilpon family will conveniently hide behind the excuse of Reyes’ injury woes and the fact that the Marlins were the only team willing shell out a six-year $106 million dollar contract but Mets fans aren’t fooled that easily.  You can’t pull the wool over the eyes of your fanbase by farcically admitting that losing Reyes came down to not wanting to take a gamble on his health.

After all, Fred Wilpon should know a risk when he sees one.  He was so eager to get in bed with a shady character like Bernie Madoff that he risked and eventually ruined his most important investment, the New York Mets.  Despite his injuries, Reyes was never a risk to the Mets’ on-field investment and sending out Alderson to convey a message that a sixth year was a bridge too far for the Mets isn’t fooling anyone.

Every Mets fan knows if their team had a stable ownership group in place, there isn’t any reason why Reyes should be wearing a Marlins uniform in 2012.  They can only point the blame in the direction of one man and that of course is Fred Wilpon.

Is Wilpon entirely to blame for the loss of Reyes and the Mets’ failures?  Share your thoughts and opinions below.  Sean Hartnett will be covering the MLB Hot Stove all winter long.  Send him your tweets @HartyLFC.

  • Kurt Spitzner

    Wilpon is to blame for ALL of the Mets failures all along because he talked the talk but never walked the walk and all we fans did was pay through the nose,at least I know I did!
    I don’t mind the way the face of the team is changing in the long run I just hope along with those team changes comes some relief in the form of greatly reduced ticket prices as well as at the concession stands!

  • Kurt Spitzner

    I am glad you said it because when I try to comment I get censored!Now they need to get rid of Wright,Bay,Santana and anyone else making more than the 3 million dollar major league minimum,boo-hoo,let all the young guys play,AND last but not least lower ticket prices to the point that its appropriate for what they are putting on the field!As far as any management goes,how can you blame them as they did their job with the cards dealt and hands tied.

  • Michael

    I will be looking forward to rooting for the MIami Marlins. Then I will see how the mets are in a few years. How does that sound?

    • Anton Liebzeit


      • Avi

        I can understand your feelings. I have been a fan since day one through thick and thin. During the thin times, peopel told me to get away from these losers but I am loyal. I feel differently now. I don’t blame them for the Madoff debacle. Madoff fooled a lot of smart people. I just believe that they are betraying the fans now and lying about a lot of things. I am probably going to give up my season tix but I doubt I’ll be able to avoid following them next season.

  • Burt Scherl

    When asked by Mike Francesa, to give a reason for Met fans to come to Citi Field, this year, Sandy Alderson had no answer. That says it all. They are counting on the minor league pitchers to provide a cheap staff sometime in the future and we know how well that works out . There is no hope until the Wilpons are forced by losses in court and/or at the gate to sell. It can’t happen soon enough.

  • Muhamamd

    Players the calaber of Reyes don’t come around everyday. There is no excuse for the Mets to not have resigned him. I for one have had enough of this ownership and will not show up to a single game until this team is sold or they get their act together. Its not only about Reyes leaving. Its about the collapses of ’07 and ’08. Its about how they miserablly closed out Shea Stadium by losing. Its about how they were a disgrace to watch when the opned up Citifield. Its about this ownership not giving a damn about their fans. As a Met fan I may will never be able to root for another team but I will not root for them either.

  • Jim inVA

    It is really time for us fans to put our money where our mouth is! No more trips to NY to see this loser of a team. I can travel to Nationals Park in three hours if I want to see them, I don’t think they will be woth watching anyway. It really is time to stay away from everything Mets until the Wilpons lose so much money, they have no choice but to sell. This is a sorry organization, that’s for sure.

    • Muhammad

      Unlike you I can’t root for another team but you are on point with everyhting you say. Let’s put our money where our mouth is. They say the lost $70 million last year. Well next year the may l;ose $170 million

  • ...

    Don’t take it so hard Mets fans. It’s not like the Mets were World Series Champs with Reyes. They sucked with Reyes & will continue to do so without him.

    You lose nothing & gain nothing.

    • Anton Liebzeit

      that WAS a gutsy post…….well thought out , you FOOL

  • dru37

    Good riddance. He ws never good for us when it mattered, and he is an injury waiting to happen. Would be nice if we could add a pitcher, Santana is shot.

  • SPJava

    I went to see Jose play in the penultimate game last season because I feared this happening. When I heard the Marlins’ offer I had hopes that the Mets could still meet it. But to not even try to get Jose to return is a kick in the pants to the team and a slap in the face to the fans. Millions to Madoff but none to Jose Reyes! Why is Alderson even at the winter meetings? Don’t be fooled the cash saved will stay stuffed in the Wilpon’s mattress.

    Now is the time for the fans to hit back. That last night game was the last I will attend until the Wilpons are gone. They need to be driven away from The Mets and I for one will not give them ten more cents of my money. They are fools and I’m through suffering them.

    • DEAN


      • Muhamamd

        DEAN ,
        I AM WITH YOU 100%

  • Mike

    Being or becomming a MET is the kiss of Death. You’re career will go right into the s…..r.

  • hartylfc

    Thanks for your feedback and comments. – Sean Hartnett

  • Andres Martinez

    The mets problem is their ownership Fred Wilpon should sell a the team. If in New York we can’t compete with the Marlins then they should not be in business. We have become the Vesion of the New York Royals. We should not go to any games last year and cancel all season tickets for next year to show them that we are too smart to be manipulated by them.

  • Tom M

    I have said it more than once here and that is to GET RID OF MUTT AND JEFF AS OWNERS!!! Do they listen to the fans NOOO. Do you think Mike Piazza would have stayed if it wasn’t for Nelson Doubleday’s money noooooo! These guys are suckin the blood out of this team and they have for awhile. Go bid on your Dodgers Mutt and Jeff and PLEASE PLEASE sell the Mets!!!

  • Francis

    Why is this team losing 70 million in 2012 without the Madoff issue being part of the loss? Is it Citifield?

  • Ron Davis

    Boycott everything Mets i followed this team since 1966 one of their all time fans but i will boycott this sorry ownership. In the same breath or even worse then M.Donald Grant and Joan payson’s daughter Linda De Roulette Please sell Fred take your lowlife boy blunder Jeff and your brother in law with you.

  • Michael

    while I can’t wait till the Wilpon’s sell the team, signing Jose for 6 years @ 18 per year was not an option for the men from Flushing. Jose’s total games played during the 6 year contract won’t surpass 600 games. Just look at how many games Furcal missed in his last 4 years in the majors.

    • Avi

      That is your opinion and you may be correct; however, the Mets did not even make an offer. They should have done so at the very beginning of the process. They didn’t even have the courage to say what they were really thinking, i.e., they did want to re-sign Jose Reyes. True cowards! For all the money they will save they will lose a lot more as fans like me desert them.

      • Avi

        Meant to say they did NOT want to re-sign Jose Reyes.

  • Dan M

    Time for all Mets fans to boycott this team with empty seats at Citi Filed. To honor 1962, I guess their plan was to field a team in 2012 that will have just about the same number of wins that they had in their first season.

    • Mets loyal fan but Wilpon hater

      Way to go! We have been 15 game package owners for my family of three the past two years. I will not renew until the Wilpons sell. The Dodgers are in bankruptcy and still signed key players! Come on all fans! boycott the 2012 season

      • Avi

        Agreed. I have been a fan since day one. For 16 years I have been a season ticketholder. Before that, I shared with others. This is the biggest embarrassment they’ve done since trading Seaver. I have always been sympathetic to the Wilpons until now. This is a disgrace.

        • ?

          Didn’t they let Straw go? Straw was what Mets fans think Reyes is, but is not, not even close.

          Also, Straw helped the Mets win a title. All Reyes did was help the Mets choked two straight years

          • Avi

            Straw wanted to go to LA. Now, years later, he admits it was a mistake. The Mets, however, definitely should have at least made a major league effort to keep him. Straw did help them win a title but look at the team they had, the best team in the majors. During that period they should have won more than one championship. You can compare the 2 players but Reyes cannot lead them to a championship by himself. Even great Hall of Famers couldn’t do that. Consider this: if every player in the starting lineup was as good as Reyes, they’d probably win it all. We have to deal with what we have now. With Reyes, they have a very good core. I wouldn’t go for any more high priced free agents. Without Reyes, there will be more pressure for everyone else to produce. He spent 9 years with the Mets, enduring a change in position,,a change in running style and he signed a contract for less than he was worth several years ago. Imagine having a great player spending his entire career with your team. The Mets lied and did not even make an offer. Whatever they had in mind, they could have made the offer at the beginning and probably would have to stretch. Economics: lower the value of your product and you will lose revenues. Whatever they will save they will lose even more because of much lower attendance.

            • ??

              what’s your point? What you’re saying is nonsense. Straw was a better player than Reyes could ever be. The Mets do not win the WS without Straw. The Mets never won a title with Reyes in the lineup, that’s the bottom line.

              You think pitchers feared Reyes or Straw at the plate? Doubtful managers worry when pitching to Reyes like they did with Straw just waiting on deck.

              This nonsense that Straw wanted to go to LA is a lame excuse. The bottom is line the Mets let him go to another team and that’s what the topic is in the Mets letting Reyes go correct? and you’re saying it the worst since Seaver. You must be brain dead to think Reyes is better than Straw was.

              Also, didn’t they let Piazza go was well.

              Look at it this way, the Mets haven’t won a title since ’86, period.

              • Avi

                You really like to throw around stupid comments like I’m brain dead. Can’t you stand it when someone doesn’t agree with you 100%. Why don’t you read what I wrote instead of misinterpreting. Here it is again very clearly so even you will understand. Straw wanted to go to LA but Cashen gave up on him when he shouldn’t have. I thought that was a dumb move but I doubt Straw would have stayed. Again, the Mets made a huge mistake by not pursuing Straw. Do you understand? I was upset when Piazza was let go but let’s face it he had declined tremendously. He played something like 3 more years at nowhere near the level he had before. Still, I think it was a mistake to just let him go. He still could have caught 100-120 games and been a potent force in the lineup. There have been a lot greater players than Reyes who never won a title because they didn’t have enough support around them so why blame him. Maybe Straw was more of a threatening presence but that doesn’t mean other teams think Reyes is so easy to keep off the bases. Do you understand now?

                Next, why didn’t your parents teach you to be polite. Where did you learn to be such a nasty person.

                • ???

                  You seem to know so much, yet you can never answer the question on why the Mets have never won a title with Reyes in the roster. You continue to say other great players never did.

                  Avi, Reyes is not a great player. Ted Williams, Mays, Aaron, Mantle were great players, Reyes is not and never will be. Stop comparing him with them. Reyes does not qualify as a great player.

                  Again. brain dead

                  • Avi

                    You’re an idiot. You evaluate a situation as it is. The Cardinals just won the world series. Does that mean the 25th player on the team is a great player or even better than Reyes, for example. Why don’t you read what the person is saying. My opinion is that it was worth it for the Mets to re-sign Reyes and make him one of the players to build the team around. if you disagree, wonderful. This is a free country, even for jerks like you. Don’t go to any games. Instead use your money for much needed psychological counseling. Maybe then you’ll get some friends, which apparently you don’t have.

                • ????

                  Stop your crying Avi, Reyes was with the Mets for 9 yrs and the Mets never won a WS with a player you think is great. The Mets should have been a better team with him and were not if Reyes is as great as you say he is.

                  Also IDIOT, the Cardinals had Pujols who carried them for the month of September into the playoffs this year. That’s what a great player supposed to do, carry a team.

                  Reyes could never do that. He choked in September when he hit .176 in ’07 & hit .245 in ’08, yeah, that’s how great your boy wonder Reyes was. Had he’s chance & blow it.

                  Your little overrated Reyes is now gone bye bye, who’s the next Mets player you will tag of being great.

                  You’re a joke Avi.

  • Mike MacKenzie

    Last year I went to 6 Mets games… all road games, and not by choice. Business travel forced my hand. Now as we look towards 2012, it will mark 2 straight seasons in which i will not attend a Mets home game. I will gladly support my Mets, but will not buy any apparel this season, and will only spend money on road games. Thanks Fred.

  • LongTimeFan

    The one to blame is Alderson and his small market mentality. If he truly wanted to sign Reyes rather than remain slave to his antiquated, small market beliefs, Reyes would still be a Met.

    • Ron Davis

      You can blame Sandy but your forget who hired him and why. Its not Sandy or Omar but the Wilpons who killed the franchise. Fred wanted to cut the payroll in half because he has serious money woes not from bad expentures but bad investments with Bernie Madoff.

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