Sell The Team, Fred


Dear Fred,

I’m writing to you, not as a traffic-hungry blogger, but as a fan–a long-time, die-hard fan. You see, my father, who, like you, was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, raised me in orange and blue. There wasn’t a choice in the matter, and I never looked back–until last night.

Last night, when the Miami Marlins officially signed Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106 million deal, something inside me snapped. As a life-long Mets fan, I’ve witnessed a lot of defeat. I’m too young to have tasted to sweet champagne of the 1986 victory, but unfortunately, perfectly aged to have experienced the tear-filled Playoff defeats in 1999, 2000, and 2006, as well as the various and abundant collapses here, there, and in-between. Yet, despite the agony, my cap remained unfettered, and I continued to defend the team against the sea of naysayers. I always looked forward to the scramble of the off-season, and eventual 7-Train out to Flushing with my family. Whether or not I agreed with the direction of the team’s operations, there was still that childish hope that, “This will be the year.”

But for the first time in my life, I don’t believe that hopeful colloquialism. The difference between all the devastation of previous years and the event that occurred last night, is that the latter could have been prevented. More specifically, it could have been prevented by owners that cared.

It was always easy to look at our “cross-town rivals” with disdain (masked, of course, as hidden jealousy), but in all fairness to the New York Yankees, they would have never let Jose Reyes–in his prime–go free to sign with another team. And not just another team, but a team in the same division. I’m not one of those reckless, “Whatever it takes to sign him” fans, but $106 million over six years (or $17.6 million per season) isn’t that bad. In many circles, it’s actually a “steal.” But more importantly, it’s a contract that, in previous years, would have been matched without the blink of an eye.

Now, I’m not going to riddle off Reyes’ various surface, peripheral, or other statistics that clearly illustrate how valuable of a player he is. His value is hardly an argument or even the point. The decision to not re-sign Jose Reyes had nothing to do with his “value” or even the amount of years or money it would take to keep him on board. This was a decision where you, Fred Wilpon, wagered the faith of the fans. But let me tell you, you’ve lost–big-time.

You and your son, Jeff Wilpon, have publicly lied to the fans many times over the years, but your most recent falsehood about how your dire financials would not affect the team was beyond deceitful. Due to the mounting Bernie Madoff-related lawsuits (which is yet another example of your selfishness) as well as the supposed $70 million worth of losses with the Mets in 2011, your financial situation is simply not appropriate to run a big market team–especially a New York one. And that is exactly why you should have and should still sell this team.

Fred, you don’t have a choice. You don’t have a choice because attendance dropped almost 26% from 2010 to 2011, and without Jose Reyes–easily the most exciting, dynamic player–it’s fair to assume that number will dip even further. You don’t have a choice because bandwagon fans and tourists will no longer be able to purchase top-selling Jose Reyes jerseys. You don’t have a choice because the forced facade of confidence attempted by Sandy Alderson is not shared among the fans of this team. And finally, you don’t have a choice because it is finally so clear that you do not want to win.

Fred, please do us all a favor and sell the New York Mets. After failing to re-sign the pride and joy of this franchise, it is the only act you can do to restore the faith that has incontrovertibly been lost.

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Tags: Ben Berkon Fred Wilpon Fred Wilpon Sells Mets Jeff Wilpon Jose Reyes Jose Reyes Marlins Mets New York New York Mets Reyes Reyes Marlins Rising Apple Sell The Team Fred Wilpon Sells Mets

  • GreatGilHodgesGhost

    I have been a Met supporter for most of my baseball life. It is disturbing that the ownership does not recognize that this franchise could be big, but from top to bottom it is run terribly. I love my Mets but time and time again they either lose great players, don’t draft the right players, or take on bad contracts and/or players who have seen better days. Letting Reyes go is not the end of the world by far, but what message does it send to the Met community? You want people to come to the ballpark, pay these astronomical prices for concessions, tickets, merchandise, etc, but you continuously put an inferior product on the field. I like many of the young players that are coming through Davis, Duda, Thole, Niese, Gee. These guys have contributed successfully. I like some of the farm guys Harvey, Wheeler, Familia among others. I believe strongly in player development and like the fact that the organization is make strides there. However, the team need stability and ownership is not stable by a long shot so how can they expect these results to translate positively to the field?. Metsnation deserves a better product! Someone please take charge and get this franchise going in the right direction. When was the last time this team played meaningful games in September?

  • RamonSaurez

    Finally, someone who has the balls to say what so many schills in the blogosphere won’t say. This falls on the Wilpons. Not Alderson. Not Minaya. But on the people whose incompetence and avarice have reduced a large market team to small market status.

  • TimetoSellTheTeam

    Anyone want to be a fan of a team who’s owners aren’t even rooting it on? “Trade Fred, Not Jose.” The Wilpons need to sell the Mets, and YOU can help make this happen. Join the movement today by signing our petition http://bit.ly/saSyQr and following us @selltheteam.

  • FireArtHowe

    I have been racking my brain over the past several days to try and remember — or locate, for that matter — a time when a ‘big market’ team let its best player go to a ‘small market’ team for less money. As far as I can tell, that has NEVER happened before — not just in baseball, but in all major sports.