I see the Wilpon’s pain

I watched Fred and Jeff Wilpon squirm yesterday with embarrassment and pain. It was clear to me by their body language and tone of voice they felf genuine embarrassment and frustration of having to go through the firing and hiring process once again.

WILPONS: Not an easy time.

They were under the glare of the spotlight not only in New York, but the baseball community, and they were admitting the last six years under Omar Minaya were under them. That can’t be easy, as it reaffirmed in part the criticism directed at them.

When Fred Wilpon said he loves the Mets, I believe him, and I believe Jeff Wilpon when he said everybody is responsible. They were asked point blank where they failed and their answer was in hiring the wrong people. There were no excuses, no lamenting injuries and bad luck, but an admission they made judgment errors in their hiring process.

They said things spun out of control and the people they hired did not produce the results, meaning the Wilpons did not produce results, either. Nobody spends that kind of money and doesn’t want to win.

Can the Mets win with the Wilpon ownership?

I believe they can. Afterall, they reached the World Series in 2000 and came within one hit of doing so again in 2006. When you come that close, you can win with the right people.

I believe the biggest problem the Wilpons made with Minaya, was overestimating the ability of the team after the 2006 season. Their thinking was “we’ll get that hit next year,” but it never happened. The Mets made no significant changes after the 2006 season, and instead regressed with their pitching staff. That led to the collapse of 2007, and later 2008.

By 2009, the team had dramatically regressed and patchwork was not enough. Patchwork won’t be enough for 2011, either.

How much the Ponzi scandal set back the spending we’ll never really know, but we must give them the benefit of doubt with that payroll.

That they continually have a one of the highest payrolls in the major leagues shows a willingness to spend. That they OK’d the spending on whom they signed was their mistake. Maybe the Wilpons never overruled Minaya’s choices, but they should have done a better job of asking questions.

One of the questions the Wilpons and the new leadership must face is that changing the culture might entail eating contracts, and if the new general manager suggests it, are they willing to take that kind of financial hit?

I would have liked to have heard more of a blueprint for the future rather than hearing it will be the new general manager’s decision, but they left it all out there that the new leadership will have responsibility and must have a vision. They said they will examine all kinds of GM candidates, but I would have liked to have heard them define the ideal candidate.

In saying the new general manager must just change the culture is an admission the present environment hasn’t been good and the fault lies with the Wilpons in fostering it.

Yesterday was not an easy day for the Wilpons or the Mets’ organization. And, this will not be an easy winter for them or the new leadership.┬áBut, Fred and Jeff Wilpon took responsibility yesterday, and promised the new leadership will be given the authority and resources to rebuild their franchise.

I saw their anguish and humiliation yesterday. I know they don’t want to go through that again.

There’s an old saying, that discontent is the first step toward progress in a nation or a man. That includes baseball teams as well, and there was no hiding their discontent.

They’ve already taken the first step.

18 thoughts on “I see the Wilpon’s pain

  1. I did not actually see any of the news conference. It is a good thing for the CEO to take responsibility.

    I laud Fred for doing so. I hope that the past 6 years have taught them something and their behavior reflects what they have learned.

    I expect that ticket prices next year will be less than this year to try and attract the fans.

    I hope they hire a GM who knows what he is doing and knows how to evaluate personnel and an organization. Omar did not. He let his friend Tony destroy the team. He let his friend do that. He signed Ollie. The signing itself was ok. At the time Ollie was a pitcher with some promise. It was the money committed to a head case that you know. How can you commit that kind of money to a player that you know can be brilliant one game and pitch like a little leaguer the next. Or even the next inning.

    That shows lack of talent evaluation and lack of risk management.

    I have no hope that the owners will lay out an actual plan. Just like little Jeffy said he will revamp the way medical issues are communicated last year, they say they have a new plan. What does that mean?

    When you go to your boss and say we made a mistake, typically you identify what the mistake was, how it happened and how to prevent it in the future.

    I do not expect Fred to do that for the fan base, but if they want the fans to have faith that things will be better in the future some sort of identification of what was wrong, how to identify that bad apple and deal with it. Most importantly how they plan on changing the organization in the future.

    We shall see in the coming months. I like that they publicly said they were part of the problem.

    We probably won’t know for a few years if the organization has truly changed, but we shall see signs soon enough.

  2. Let’s hope that they pick a manager with a set that clank clank clank and an I dont give a S. attitude, go an win!
    and a GM that can get em ..

  3. dave (1): What I want from the Wilpons now is to hire a dynamic candidate as GM and let him do his job. The Wilpons must keep their word from yesterday and follow through.-JD

  4. 3.) i said it before. The wilpons thought they were Steingrabber. There’s only one of him, to even try is absurd.

    Let’s see if they keep their word .. but then again they need to hire someone that actually can do the job…

  5. john(5)

    agreed. omar was the most important hire over the last decade and it didnt work out.

    i dont want to hear about the 2 years after 2006 because the team was flawed. i blame willie for that epic collapse. he should have lit a fire under them when they went on the skid. he tried the steady hand technique and that just put them to sleep.

  6. dave (6): On the field, the pitching collapsed that year, but you’re right, Willie didn’t was too quiet down the stretch. He didn’t want to show panic, but he should have shown more fire. …. I thought he compounded things the following spring training when he glossed over the collapse.-JD

  7. john

    yes. we had a huge lead. yes. the pitching collapsed. but tell me the manager could not have hit someone, thrown chairs. sat people, started a fight something to wake them up. all they had to do was get angry. show emaotion and fight for a game.

    they droppped game after game for about a month. if they just played 500 ball they would have walked into the post season.

    yes. his attitude in the next season was wrong. as he said he treated his team like men. some of them needed a kick in the @ss.

    i think he assumed he had a team of self motivators like jeter.

  8. Well, there goes the sad ending to the los mets era. In thier history this team has had 2 outstanding GMs in Johnny Murhpy, who built the 1969 team and sadly died soon after and Frank Cashen who built the 86 team. Phillips gets credit for 2 consecutive postseason appearances but was horrible after that. Otherwise All Met GMs have been disasterously bad. Omar was the latest. He was fortunate to inherit a team with young Reyes and Wright to anchor a team in a poor division with the braves coming to the end of thier divisional dynasty. That window has now been shut and now its time to rebuild once again. At least seeing the pain in wilpons faces makes us feel a little better.

  9. The only smart thing steinbrener did was get suspended long enough for some real baseball men to make the decisions. Now either the wilpons will wise up or they will be forced to sell the team by a fed up fanbase tired of supporting a team with no idea of what the hell they are doing.

  10. ray(11)

    you are absolutely right.

    george got his team by being banned by baseball. that is when they drafted and kept their guys that became its core.

    what he did do is pressure the whole team to win. torre was able to deal with the garbage spewing out of his mouth and allow his talent to win.

    the mets need to find talent in the draft and build on that. they need to stop buying broken pieces at high prices and bringing them in. the team won when minor league talent came in and ran with it. ike was a number one and rueben hit well enough for a while and has a great glove. both added energy and enthusiasm to the team. not to mention defense.

    we drafted harvey last year. hopefully he will be ready in a few years. hopefully jennry isnt ruined. then there is that LI guy who had surgery from a few years ago.

  11. 12. you hit the nail on the head. many of our talent got ruined. either through too much too soon. or ridiculous pitching tactics.
    and the fact we get the guys on the way to retirement.

    we need a young team. with 1 REAL Vet to take the mantle and teach.

  12. The Stages of Grief:
    Denial
    Anger
    Bargaining
    Depression
    Acceptance

    My guess is that the Wilpons are in the Depression/Acceptance phases now. They were in Denial for the longest time! Hopefully they can now make the needed changes to turn the organization around. Like dave (1) said it will be years before we can see any true change, but the next few moves will be key.

  13. (5) JD: It certainly is. The Wilpons can not screw this one up. So far I like what I have been hearing….Sandy Alderson, Terry Ryan, Dan Jennings and Logan White…hopefully one of those guys gets the job.

  14. (13) A young team gets you alot of losing seasons. It would not go over in NY. Maybe it might for you and I if we saw a plan forming, but most fans would stay away in bigger droves from Citifield then they are now.

  15. 16. young team doesnt necessarily mean that. if they are young and terrible yes.
    But it has to be better than a team of aged guys with medical issues piling up.
    hopefully we get a happy middle ..

  16. i know i like to see Ike play.

    yes. he may struggle, but you see he has potential. he goes over the rails so you know he wants to play to win. perhaps at the cost of his health. but you like to see that kind of effort. same with rueben. he made his errors. but for the most part he played good d at 2 positions. we did not have that old guy we picked up off the scrap heap who had a few good games, but where you cringe when he is in the field because you are trying to hide the fact he cant field.

    the team is built in the off season. every offseason they go for one big name, then omar spends about 10 million or so on garbage hoping that one or two of them will help the team somehow.

    that shows no conviction. no plan. no idea of what you are doing. last year we paid about 2 million for some relief pitcher who had not pitched in 2 years because of injuries. the press was projecting him as the 8th inning guy. so what happens? he never plays a game because he is hurt for the year. that is 2 million dollars. projected for a significant part of the team. this is omar. this is why he had to go.