PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBSNewYork) — New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon wouldn’t divulge what he said during a rare address to his team on Monday. Neither would captain David Wright.
But word is that, behind closed doors, Wilpon delivered quite the positive punch.
“I think if Mr. Wilpon wants to talk about it, he can talk about it,” Wright said, according to the New York Daily News. “I think everybody in here took a lot out of it.”
Off the record, several players described Wilpon’s talk as encouraging, according to reporters on hand at the Mets’ spring training complex in Port. St. Lucie, Fla. Clapping could be heard from inside the clubhouse, which opened to the media 15 minutes late, The Associated Press reported.
One player called it “the best meeting I’ve ever been a part of,” according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
“Fred’s always been upbeat, I’d say that vast majority of my conversations I have had with Mr. Wilpon have been very upbeat,” Wright said. “This was nothing different.”
Many are expecting New York to take the next step in 2015 with ace Matt Harvey back from Tommy John surgery and Michael Cuddyer adding pop to a suddenly well-rounded lineup. The embattled owner has been “particularly optimistic” about the upcoming season, according to the Daily News, hence his increased visibility at camp.
“I’d like to think that whenever anybody has the floor that it gets everybody’s attention,” Wright said. “When you have very few meetings, regardless what the meetings are about, they mean a little bit more. When you are starting to have meeting for the sake of having meetings, sometimes the message doesn’t quite come through. When you have limited meetings about baseball, like we have, when somebody speaks the message is a little clearer.”
Wilpon, who hasn’t addressed reporters at spring training since 2013, was later spotted speaking with Harvey’s parents. The 78-year-old made headlines earlier this month following a mysterious postgame meeting with manager Terry Collins.
The Mets will open the season on April 6 in Washington.