I am a few days late on posting this piece, but check out Joel Sherman’s column on Jeff Wilpon in Sunday’s New York Post. It is the most damning piece of literature I’ve seen or read on spoiled rich-boy Jeffy. It seems as if all our worst fears and perceptions about the man who is now in control of the New York Metropolitans franchise are true. Check out this quote from an anonymous A.L. executive in regards to who might be willing to take the job of general manager when Omar Minaya is removed at the end of the season.
“This is not an attractive job unless you want the money. The only person with a worse reputation then Jeff Wilpon in the game is [Marlins president] David Samson”
Wow. That is about as harsh as it gets. If you are familiar with this space, then you are familiar with the fact that I feel Jeff Wilpon is the biggest cancer surrounding this organization. I have seen it with my own two eyes the way he struts his stuff and has that “Look at me…I know everything” persona about him.
Down in spring training this year, I witnessed one instance of Jeff Wilpon douchebaggery that sealed my feelings about this guy. While I was shooting video of Fernando Martinez taking batting practice on the big field in Port St. Lucie, Jeff rolled up in his fancy golf cart. Before Jeff had gotten there, Martinez was knocking the cover off the ball and shooting pitch after pitch over the wall in right field. Martinez continued to do the same after Jeff parked himself behind the batting cage, which prompted sonny boy to remark, “Ahh I see, you were waiting for me to show up to put on a show”. He then turned to some of his lackeys, one of which was Omar to get a laugh. Of course, the lackeys obliged, being that Jeff is the one signing the checks these days.
Look, we’ve seen in professional sports that owners who meddle too much and who think they know more than the personnel men that work for them do not have a good track record of success. Once George Steinbrenner decided to step back a bit and let Brian Cashman run the show on the baseball side, the Yankees dynasty really took off. The Mets need an alpha dog in the front office who will command respect from his fellow GMs and most importantly will have the authority to make the persoonnel decisions he sees fit. This is how Sherman put it in his column:
“I think Wilpon must change his perception and that of his organization. To do that, he must hire a GM who comes with gravitas and credentials so sizable that no one would doubt that Wilpon actually has imported an executive with true autonomy”
So who fits that bill? Kevin Towers? Looks like he is being strongly considered by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jon Daniels? It will be tough to pry the Queens native and lifelong Mets fan away from the Texas Rangers with their new ownership now in place. How about a legend like Pat Gillick? Do you really think a man who has accomplished so much would want to stoop to the level of having to take orders from a boob like Jeff Wilpon?
One thing is for certain…the man who takes the job to run the Mets will have a huge challenge on his hands, mainly due to the nature of the man he will he be working for. There are a lot of nice pieces in place for this team and some solid building blocks, but it remains to be seen how much money the Wilpons will be willing to dole out.