The New York Mets will never again win another World Series as long as the Wilpons own the team.
If only Nelson Doubleday kept the New York Mets, there might some hope.
In 1980, Nelson Doubleday bought the Mets from Lorinda de Roulet. She is original owner Joan Payson’s daughter.
The Mets were floundering throughout the late 1970’s. Most players from their 1969 and 1973 championship seasons were traded, thanks to M. Donald Grant. Grant was in charge of the team and became one of the most hated people in New York. The farm system was depleted and there were no serious stars on the team other than Lee Mazzilli.
Doubleday brought credibility back to the team. He hired Frank Cashen, former successful GM of the Baltimore Orioles, to run the team. His one mistake? Bringing in Fred Wilpon on a 1% minority stake.
It was Doubleday that allowed Cashen to make bold trades and rebuild the farm system. In just four years the Mets won 90 games in 1984 and featured young players such as Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, Wally Backman, and Hubie Brooks.
Doubleday wanted to buy out Wilpon at the same time that Wilpon wanted to buy out Doubleday. The advantage for Wilpon was the money he made from his very good friend, Bernard Madoff. Doubleday did not get along with Wilpon and had contrasting philosophies about how a team in New York should be run.
Mike Piazza was a Met because of Doubleday. Bobby Valentine was a Mets manager because of him as well. Doubleday wasn’t a micro-manager. He let the baseball people do their thing while keeping the checkbook open.
Even though there have been brief periods of success, the large majority of Wilpon’s tenure as owner has been a failure. Fred and his son Jeff are too hands-on with the baseball operations and refuse to spend freely on the team.
When the Madoff scheme came to light, then-commissioner Bud Selig should have stepped in and forced the Wilpons to sell. After all, they bought the team with Ponzi scheme money, and now were claiming to lose millions of dollars, affecting the day-to-day costs of running the team. Instead, because of his close relationship with the family, have them, Sandy Alderson, to right the ship.
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This has been an absolute disaster for the team and its fan base. The fans despise the Wilpon family and want nothing more than for them to sell. Their pride, ego, and complete delusion prevent them from getting out of the game.
Their poor decisions, tightwad budgets, and small-market tactics have prevented the Mets from competing year after year. There were many instances when the Mets could have contended if certain moves were made. Instead, a cheaper free agent or a scrap heap pickup occurred and those moves didn’t pan out.
It happens year after year and 2018 is no exception. They went with a rookie manager, Mickey Callaway, signed cheap free agents, and were never even in discussions for anyone bigger. They never are. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are available in 2019.
Any Mets fans believe that the Mets have a legitimate shot to sign either player, regardless of cost?
The Mets had a clear need for a right fielder this offseason. The Yankees had no outfield needs, yet traded for Giancarlo Stanton, picking up about $260 million of his remaining 10-year contract.
Not only did the Mets not even attempt to acquire Stanton, but Sandy Alderson joked that because of Brandon Nimmo, there was no need for Stanton.
He was joking, of course, but it is this snarky humor that slaps fans in the face and just shows how the Wilpons really feel about their fans and their delusion of having a big market payroll.
Imagine the merchandising. Stanton playing right field would bring thousands to the park every night because of his elite status. Yoenis Cespedes and Giancarlo Stanton in the same lineup would be a Mets version of Murderers’ Row, and the Wilpons blew it as usual.
Sooner or later, the Wilpons are will be financially backed into a corner and forced to sell. When they do, you will see the most recharged fan base in baseball, knowing that the dark cloud of the Wilpons will be gone from Mets baseball forever.
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I can’t wait for that day.