NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon had a gift for Mariano Rivera in one hand and a white flag in the other.
Some Mets fans were already a little bothered by the Yankees closer getting the first pitch for Tuesday’s Subway Series game at Citi Field. Then Wilpon gave them something else entirely to gripe about.
“I wish we could see you in the World Series,” Wilpon told Rivera during a pre-game ceremony. “But I’m not sure that’s going to happen.”
Rivera, set to retire after the season, responded: “You never know.”
Let’s face it, at 20-29 and ahead of only the last-place Miami Marlins in the NL East, Wilpon is probably right. But it’s not every day that team ownership makes a joke — especially of the we’ve-got-no-chance variety — at the expense of its own team.
The Mets got the last laugh against Rivera. The future Hall of Famer blew his first save of the season Tuesday night, handing the Amazin’s a 2-1 win.
Wilpon was roasted in the morning papers and on Twitter and sports talk radio. WFAN’s Craig Carton said he “hated” both Wilpon’s comments and the Rivera tribute, calling the moments “a shot right at the gut of the people that spend money on your product.”
“How does the owner of a franchise — as right as he is, by the way, ’cause he ain’t lying to nobody, right? — how does the owner of a franchise tell the world we’re not capable of making a run and getting ourselves back in the mix?” Carton said. “Brutal!”
Meanwhile, Boomer Esiason was baffled by all the Wilpon talk. Carton’s morning show co-host said the focus should be on the team’s two dramatic Subway Series wins and a brilliant outing by phenom Matt Harvey.
“Listen, you want to talk about Jeff Wilpon, you want to talk about his comments, fine. Love it. Go for it, I don’t care. I’m not going to sit here and discuss it,” Esiason said. “You know why? Because it’s not the story. The story is Matt Harvey.
“What the hell are you people looking at? We got our next Tom Seaver and you guys want to talk about Jeff Wilpon!”
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