I could not help but laugh over the flap made over Jeff Wilpon’s comments Tuesday during the Mets’ gift presentation to retiring Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera.
In giving Rivera a fire hose nozzle and fire call box symbolic of being the history’s greatest closer, Wilpon said: “I wish we could see you in the World Series, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen this year.’’
The perception is Wilpon has already given up on the season. Of course, the Mets could make a historic run, but does anybody really believe that is possible? I don’t, and neither should anybody with half a brain, or someone with any knowledge of baseball.
Go ahead, save that paragraph and give it to me if the Mets are in the World Series. Wilpon wasn’t trashing his own team and it slays me to have read otherwise this week.
From the media, it was somebody reaching for a headline. And, from the talk-radio crowd, just the same old provincial drivel from those who believe in a conspiracy against the Mets. Sure, it would be great to see October baseball again, but it won’t happen for the Mets this year.
If you’ve been paying attention, don’t count on the Mets reaching contender status for two or three more seasons. They simply have too many holes and weaknesses.
Then there is the issue whether the Mets are able to use Wilpon’s words as motivation. Collins told ESPN.com prior to Thursday’s game such external motivation was overrated.
“You’d have to take a poll in there [of] how many guys read that stuff,’’ Collins said. “If that motivated them, we’ll be blasting them again tonight.’’
These guys are professionals and if they are reliant on quotes such as Wilpon’s or bulletin board material they are in trouble. Occasionally that stuff works, but not on a consistent basis, and not enough to carry a mediocre-to-weak team over the course of a season.
The flipside of Wilpon’s comments is if he said something like, “we’ll see you in the World Series,’’ he would have been roasted for being cocky, with his words held against him when it didn’t happen.
Collins, whose job is of lame duck status, certainly isn’t stupid enough to rally his team around his boss’ comments. And, Wilpon definitely would not attempt to rattle the collective cages of his players by slighting them.
Sometimes, too much is made of nothing, and this is one of those times.
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