24 May 2011

Fred Wilpon sounds a lot like me

I'm a whole day behind on this, which may as well be an eon in internet time, but there's no way I can NOT address Fred Wilpon's quotes in the New Yorker which lit the Metsiverse on fire yesterday:

“We’re snakebitten, baby.”
"He won't get it." [in reference to Jose Reyes getting "Carl Craword money" as a free agent]
"Not a superstar." [in reference to David Wright]
and my personal favorite:
"Shitty team"

I'll let everyone else gasp and wring their hands over those words and the disastrous effect they'll have on the team (as if it's not in a train-wreck state of a affairs as it is), but let me offer you a fresh perspective: the owner, much like myself, has simply had it with this bunch.

It's important to keep in mind the context in which Mr. Wilpon said what he said.  His team was in last place (a position they're still only a game and a half ahead of as I type this this evening), losing to another last-place team, and in the midst of a horrendous start to a season which followed two other horrendous seasons which in turn followed two horrendous endings to otherwise respectable seasons.

Should the owner of a team be saying unflattering things about his players, knowing they could be made public and set off a media circus?  No, of course not.  Did Fred Wilpon honestly give a rat's behind about that at the time he uttered them?  I honestly don't think so.  He sounded like a guy who'd crossed the threshold, a man who'd resigned himself to the fact that his team is broken and is far beyond being fixed with a minor tweak or three.

Not that he gives two whits what I think, but while I don't condone Wilpon's lack of discretion, I respect his honesty about the situation.  He may be a fan, but he's not some doofus on a message board pretending a team with a below-average rotation and sitting 2 games under .500 at the end of May is somehow going to find itself in a playoff race just because its leadoff hitter is a fantasy baseball god and has a big smile.  And since Wilpon's the guy in the best position to do something about it (well, for now, anyway...), that's a good thing.

The vibe I get from that part of the New Yorker story is that Wilpon has similar feelings toward his baseball team as I do toward my lawn.  I water it.  I mow it.  I pay about $40 a month every few weeks for someone to come treat it with various fertilizers, insecticides and whatnot.  I do everything I'm supposed to from March through May, but by the middle of June, there are nonetheless bare spots and thin spots, and  it's overrun by that damned torpedo grass anyway.  It's frustrating.  Wilpon?  He's spent the money, hired execs who were supposed to be brilliant, built his team a snazzy new home, and given them a TV network.  Yet, he ends up with this, this, this, this and this.

Every Fall, I invariably accept that my only hope of my grass ever looking as good as I want it to is going to be to eventually kill it off, re-sod it, and start over. 

It sounds like Fred's reaching for the RoundUp, and I can't say I blame him.

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