It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Paging Nelson Doubleday, or "Can't Anybody Own This Here Team?"

This is a post that isn't afraid to point the finger. Sadly, attacking Fred Wilpon isn't as in style as it once was. Since he wrestled the team from Nelson Doubleday in 2002, I think enough time has gone by to evaluate the Wilpon regime. And, since the Mets are in a hole that they won't be digging themselves out of until 2010, we have some time on our hands.
This is the only picture of the former owner of the Mets I can find on the internet, and it gives an idea of how reclusive the guy has become since Wilpon has taken complete, disastrous control over the Mets. After Fred Wilpon and his dreams of Ebbets field finally stole the Mets out from under him with dirty dealings, collusion and legal maneuvers, Doubleday disappeared from the scene.

At least Doubleday was a hands-off owner, leaving the work of building a team to people like Frank Cashen. Sure he might or might not have made some ignorant remarks, but "only when he was drinking." The Wilpons, by contrast, have their hands in everything. And they know nothing about baseball or hiring personnel who know anything about the game and are good at their jobs. Art, Willie, Jerry. Case rested.
They have to go. But they won't.

Under their ownership, Wilpon and his lil' squirt (who is slated someday to take complete control) have given us many memories that we could discuss, like:

How they gave Tom Glavine, a four-year, $38.5 million deal.
Let the Br*ves celebrate their players.

The bone-headed trades of top prospects such as Scott K*zmir and Lastings Milledge for literally nothing.

The firing of Bobby Valentine, not Steve Phillips, who continues to know nothing about baseball.

Countless head-scratching long term deals given to aged, broken down veterans.
Julio Franco's steel-reinforced cake.

They let Willie Randolph manage the team, perhaps because they didn't want to spend money on a real, experienced manager, then they ruthlessly fired him at 2 AM somewhere on the West coast, embarrassing everyone.

The building of a new stadium (Jeffy's Job) with obstructed views...for the television network, a fawning celebration of the Dodgers that leaves Mets fans irate, a home run apple that doesn't go up when it gets the rare opportunity, walls painted black(?) and built to a height meant to stifle the production/career of the Mets only remaining homegrown star, and a bullpen that looks like a concentration camp, all named after a leader in bringing the great depression back to the US, who borrowed money from the taxpayers so that they could continue to reap outrageous profits at our expense. The ultimate symbol of the Wilpon's tenure?
"I made this!"

Also, this:

Or we could let some more pictures tell the tale:
Next year's crop of stiffs for the rotation?

The people Wilpon hires to manage the Mets only talk about plans when they first are hired. There is no plan...for baseball or an organization that is devoted to baseball. Now, for a price gouging sports entertainment complex, there certainly was a plan (not a very good one, but a plan nonetheless): build a second-rate stadium on the public teat and watch their investment grow. The conclusion I have reached is that they, the Wilpons, are the problem. Having done the real estate deal they always dreamed of, and driven the team that occupies the real estate into the ground, the Wilpons need to do the right thing and step away. In seven years they have given us one decent season, one that ended when Carlos Beltran forgot to swing. I think it is fair to say they have failed miserably as owners.

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  • At 3:16 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    I am reminded of Leon Hess, and how excited when he said he could not believe it when RICH KOTITE became available. The Won'tpons were beside themselves, could not wait to fire Duquette because they were bringing in OMAR MINAYA!!! Omigod. I can't control my breathing.
    The same clowns claimed that ART HOWE LIT UP THE ROOM when they interviewed him. That should have given us the indication that we were better off watching the Red Bulls than the mets.
    They are so far from the PHILLIES right now and not just in the standings. In philosophy, in attitude, everything. We know they won't sell. Too bad we do not have an intelligent commissioner who can recommend somebody good to them. They are not even at the point where they are ready to fire the illiterate doofus they have running the team.

  • At 5:27 AM, Blogger Ed Ryan said…

    Before you fondly rem. Doubleday too much take a look at the numbers in red, He might have been hands off and made better personel decisions but his money was in no way supporting the team in many years. They maybe fools when used car salesman speaches trick them ( Omar) but they are putting their money into the team. I'm not a huge Wilpon supporter I went into that post to see who had the better numbers, never realizing how cheap the team was mgr. in the mid 90s ( I rem. how bad they were).

  • At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    While I don't disagree with most of your points, I will always disagree with the notion that Beltran decided NOT to swing because he was bored, had a lapse or anything silly like that. Have you ever had someone throw a 90 mph fastball at you followed by a PERFECT 12 to 6 curveball? Do you know what happens? Your knees don't even buckle because the pitch is so good that you never even have a chance to be fooled. Eveything disconnects and it's like watching someone get shot it slow-mo and there is nothing you can do about it.

    So, please, let's all stop with the Beltran should have or even could have swung. The pitch was THAT good.

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    Early on in the Wilpies regime, I think I read Jeffy saying something like "just give us 5 years to turn this thing around, then you can criticize us, and we're already in year two." Jeffy, it's time. Aside from one deft, but also lucky trade, and several successful cuts of check, the Wilpon regime can now safely be judged an overall failure. That's my main point though the places where my 12 AM thesis falls apart aptly pointed out.

    Yeah, Ed,you're right. I was going to start a tongue in cheek campaign to bring back the guy, then I started refreshing my memory via the internet and realized that, despite his great baseball name, even if they could find him, Doubleday isn't the answer even in jest. So please read the post as a plea for "somebody anybody" to take over the ownership. I had forgotten the cunning maneuvers Wilpon executed to wrest control of half the team away, and then ultimately the whole thing though.

    Jdon, that's the sad predicament we're in. We can't trust them to hire, even accidentally, the kind of baseball people this team needs. So what else can we hope for? The Wilpons are not as flamboyant an impediment to their team's success as Al Davis, or as regionally loathed as the guy that owns the Boston Bruins, but they might be just as bad.

    Anonymous, I count myself among Beltran's supporter and my official position is that the Mets lost as a team, a big pathetic team, and fate was in the gunk on Wainwrights fingernails that made him throw the immaculate unhittable curve you refer to. But that won't keep me from milking one of the most flabbergasting moments in Met history. As I was writing, I came across an old webpage chastising Beltran for getting owned by a rookie. What galls fans is not so much he struck out giving it his best, but that it was as an observer. It occurred (or should I say Francouered) to me that Beltran is one of the most divisive, lighting rod players for Mets fans. He is either an underappreciated outfielding genius who takes the field with a cracked noggin if he has to, or a soft talented underachiever who waits til the biggest moments to not swing/slide etc. There is no middle ground. So I stuck that one sentence in. I learned that trick from Wallace Matthews.

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  • At 1:04 PM, Anonymous jdon said…

    More Omar atacks. Omar skims hasbeens off baseball landfill and writes big checks to sign top free agents. Sorry but that is not a team. What Omar, former scout, seems to do in his position as a GM is AVOID ANY FORM OF TALENT EVALUATION, both professional and amateur[See: Mets draft, every year]. He hires his old buddies or reads a 12 year old baseball card. He brings in Francos and Tatises and forgets to discard them after the flash is out of the pan. He gets info from doctors and fails to fully inform his most effective player. Dare I say slapdash? I do not want slapdash running my organization.

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