NY Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s legacy continues to plague the Amazins

Sep 8, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets mascot Mr. Met watches the game against the Baltimore Orioles from the stands during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets mascot Mr. Met watches the game against the Baltimore Orioles from the stands during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Question:  How many Wilpons does it take the screw the New York Mets?

Answer:  Just one… he who inherited them without a clue.

Enough already with the baseless Cohen ridicule. Enough turning a blind eye to what is really happening with the Mets:  Steve Cohen’s resolute, yet painful, cleansing of Mr. Met’s wretched skin lesioned with 40 years of Wilpon dysfunctionality.

After reading one longtime sportswriter’s comment that Jeff Wilpon is enjoying every minute of Cohen’s suffering, let’s set the record straight here:  Jeff Wilpon sucked as Mets COO.  He always sucked as Mets COO.

And no matter how much Steve Cohen may appear to be floundering right now, he will never, ever drown the Mets franchise in incompetent, blundering, shameful mediocrity the way little Jeffy did over the past 40 years.

Need I remind anyone of Jeffy’s (and Daddy Wilpon’s) biggest hits:

The signing of Bobby Bonilla — a total embarrassment to my Bronx hometown — and subsequent release with the promise to defer the remaining $5.9 million in his contract at a little over $1 million per year until age 72, instead of chalking up the $5.9 million outright.  Talk about cheap, but this move STILL takes the cake.

Then there’s the sexual affair scandal involving their GM, multi-decade philanderer Steve Phillips, where — instead of firing him (like Cohen just did with the last two GMs) — decided to put Phillips on paid leave only to later allow him to return and fire one of his biggest critics and one of the best managers in Mets’ history: Bobby Valentine.

Oh, and let’s not forget the legacy of the harassment and discrimination allegations levied against the Mets under Jeff Wilpon’s tenure involving Mickey Callaway, members of their marketing personnel, and, not surprisingly, Jeff Wilpon.

What about the poor financial decision regarding Bernie Madoff while gaslighting fans that it will not affect the team?  And the rumored side deal with the Barons of Baseball that lead to the hiring of Sandy Alderson to keep little Jeffy in line, which only served to wreak havoc on long-term plans the Mets could have put in place to keep homegrown stars like Jose Reyes?  Are we to believe there was no connection between the Madoff disaster and the fate of the Mets?  Come on.

That brings us to today, where if I read another sports pundit’s baseless trash piece on Cohen in order to generate more hits and tweets, then, to quote Carmela Soprano, “I might just have to kill myself.”  

Gee… here’s a novel idea for the Cohen bashers: instead of taking the lazy journalistic road and trashing the guy in charge before we see his final work product, let’s instead examine how 40 years of Mets ridicule and utter ineptitude under Jeff Wilpon’s reign has handcuffed Cohen and still plagues the Mets:

  • Jeff’s “Yes” man, Brodie Van Wagenen, trades Jarred Kelenic in a “win now” deal while Jeff sees his days are numbered in the last-ditch attempt to prevent the sale of the Mets and make himself relevant.  As with most deals like this, it blew up in Jeff’s face.  But hey… thanks for the parting gifts of an overpaid and overaged Cano along with a closer who has yet to prove he can pitch in big games in the big city. Thanks. No, really.
  • Reports had it that Jeff interfered in the initial sale to Cohen, only to later eat crow when Cohen bought it a second time for millions less, but not without taking what is rumored to be one last shot at Cohen.  If it is true that Jeff was behind getting his Daddy’s friends to play hardball on Cohen’s ownership approval (only after losing out on his genius move in trying to convince the family to sell to A-Rod and J-Lo), then the league-wide blocking of Cohen from hiring a competent POBO or GM has legs… and should really anger Mets fans that much more.
  • Then there’s Sandy, who seems to be playing a more modern version of the sabermetric game he fathered but now passed him by.  Somehow, he finds himself carrying on the legacy of Jeff’s dysfunction by making Jeff-like mistakes in judgment with the hires of Mickey Callaway, Jared Porter, and Zack Scott — all while retaining certain people in the front office accused of discrimination and harassment. It’s no wonder Cohen has taken the lead on searching for the next POBO and GM.  While most can certainly understand Sandy’ position that, “not every instance involving men, women in the workplace is a capital offense,” it is nonetheless a harbinger of how the Mets culture may be about to change — albeit ever so slowly — with the interest Cohen has shown in quality female candidates like Raquel Ferreira and Jean Afterman.

If only little Jeffy practiced what the late, great John Wooden preached, and what Cohen has embraced:

“Good things take time, as they should. We shouldn’t expect good things to happen overnight. Actually, getting something too easily or too soon can cheapen the outcome.”

Don’t get me wrong.  Cohen is not a stranger to scandal, and may indeed fall flat on his face and be the next worst owner in baseball since Frank McCourt.  But can we at least wait a few more weeks before seeing what his solution is to righting the Mets’ ship?  We gave Jeff Wilpon an intolerable 40 years.  I would think a few more weeks won’t kill us.  After all, it was Freddy Nietzsche — longtime Mets fan — who once said: “That which does not kill Mets fans makes them stronger.”  Mos def, Freddy. Mos def.