Fred Wilpon Eating His Words, Following Sandy’s Plan

By Matt Musico

Fred Wilpon hasn’t spoken publicly to the media often over the last couple years with all the drama that has surrounded his family and ownership partners throughout the Bernie Madoff scandal. However, when he did speak last year to the New Yorker, he torched some well known Mets players, David Wright being one of them. When asked about Wright, he stated that their franchise third baseman is “a good kid, but not a superstar.” Harsh words to hear from the owner of the team you play for. However, 37 games into 2012, Wilpon has to eat his words.

After some tough seasons once the team moved into Citi Field, David Wright has returned to his All-Star form, and it’s coming just in

time for his extension talks with New York. He got off to a hot start within the first week and a half of the season, but many thought him playing through a fractured pinkie would slow down his production. Man, were they wrong. He’s done nothing but continue to

produce, far and away being the Mets most feared offensive weapon in the three-hole. In addition to leading the National League with a .402 batting average, he also has the highest on-base percentage (.497), and is 7th in slugging percentage (.598). Wright has also slugged 4 home runs, driven in 21 runs, scored 25 of his own, and has more walks (24) than strikeouts (21). When asked again about his third baseman, Wilpon changed his tone, saying Wright is playing like a superstar, right now.

Even then, he still wouldn’t give Wright much credit, because he’s only playing like a superstar right now; ask him in a week from now and his opinion might change. I understand that he’s trying to be as neutral as possible so Sandy Alderson is able to do his job as general manager, but come on, dude, give me a break! You’re telling me that if you had another daughter, you would want her to marry David Wright because he’s is a stand up guy and everything that is good about baseball, but that and him being in the top-ten in virtually every offensive category in Mets history doesn’t warrant him being a permanent superstar?

We’ve said it plenty of times here before, and probably will mention it many more times as we get deeper into the season, but David Wright is not only the face of the Mets, but he’s the heart and soul as well. This is a guy who is from Virginia, but grew up a Mets fan, was drafted by his favorite childhood team straight out of high school, and has played for the same organization ever since. This type of opportunity doesn’t come up in today’s game much anymore, and when the window opens, there should be no choice but to enjoy the cool breeze that comes in.

Sandy Alderson is quietly evaluating Wright’s long-term value to the Mets as he prepares to approach his representation on an extension. Fred Wilpon has deferred to his general manager about any moves that will be made including players. Apparently, this is Sandy’s world and the ownership is just living in it. However, the plan seems to be working thus far; being three games out of first in the middle of May is what I would call progress. Outside of Wright and Johan Santana, are there any stars? Not really, but they’re playing well as a team, and that’s what matters the most. The glue though, is Mr. Wright.

He’s one of the players in the game where you set down a blank check and see what he wants. Obviously, those days for the Mets are gone, but it certainly seems as if Alderson is willing to do whatever it takes to keep our “captain” in the orange and blue for years to come. I won’t believe it until I see it, but I feel much more hopeful about this situation than the Jose Reyes debacle.