Turning Off Wilpon Defender Mike Francesca

In 1997, the team had a surprising 88 win season with young players like Edgardo Alfonzo beginning to make his mark, accomplished players like John Olerud rejuvenating their careers, and players like Rick Reed seemingly coming out of nowhere to be good Major League players.  With a brash Bobby Valentine at the helm, many expected the Mets to make the leap in 1998.

As the 1998 season unfolded, it wasn’t to be, and that was mainly because their star catcher Todd Hundley had offseason elbow surgery which was going to keep him out for a while.

The Mets did start well.  On May 13th, the Mets were 19-15, albeit seven games back in the division.  Then, the following day, shockwaves went through Major League Baseball, and not just because the Mets were swept in a doubleheader by the Padres.  No, out of nowhere Mike Piazza was traded to the Florida Marlins.

It was an absolute blockbuster with Piazza and Todd Zeile going to the Marlins, who just dismantled the 1997 World Series winning team, for Manuel Barrios, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, Charles Johnson, and Gary Sheffield.

Everyone in baseball knew the Marlins were looking to flip Piazza for prospects, and a talented Mets farm system seemed to make them one of the favorites if they were interested.  Problem was, they weren’t interested.

After this trade happened, the Mets would fall to nine games out in the division.  While this was happening, Mike and the Mad Dog would take to the air day-in and day-out clamoring for the Mets to go out and get Piazza.  Their assault was relentless.

Finally, on May 22nd, the Mets would acquire Piazza from the Marlins for Preston Wilson, Geoff Goetz, and Ed Yarnall.  To hear Francesca tell it, he played a key role in that happening:

While a noted blowhard, you can never discount how public pressure forces teams to act.  After all if we look back to 2015, with all that happened, we did see the Mets swing a trade to obtain Yoenis Cespedes.  The public pressure continued in the ensuring offseason with the team, who had already moved on from Cespedes by signing Alejandro De Aza to platoon with Juan Lagares in center, acquiescing and signing Cespedes to what was essentially a one year deal.

The team didn’t let things play out after the 2016 season.  They jumped fairly quickly, and they signed Cespedes to a four year deal even with full knowledge of his heel issues.  Certainly, much of this was the result of the public pressure, which was given a voice on New York airwaves by people like Francesca.

Now?  Well, Francesca has gone from being an important voice to being a mouthpiece for the Wilpons.

He is now defending the Wilpons saying they are spending money.  He notes how the team has the seventh highest payroll in the majors.  That is patently false.  Cots, Spotrac and Steve the Ump ranks the Mets payroll 12th. Really, everyone ranks the Mets payroll 12th.

The AP ranked the Yankees, not the Mets as having the seventh highest payroll.  Maybe, Francesca read New York and was confused.

Putting the ranking aside, lost in that is the Mets recover 75% of David Wright‘s salary, which, according to Anthony DiComo of, Jeff Wilpon has admitted does not get reinvested into baseball operations.  That means the Mets payroll is actually $15 million less than advertised.

Dropping the Mets payroll by $15 million, the Mets payroll drops to 15th in the majors.  With the $3 million saved in the Jeurys Familia trade, the payroll drops to 16th.  Yes, a New York market team, who is currently  refusing to give Jacob deGrom, currently the best starter in baseball, a contract extension, is in the bottom half of the league in spending.

For his part, Francesca defends this.  He will say the Mets spend, but they don’t spend well.  Nothing backs this up remotely.  Nothing.

Instead of pointing the finger where it belongs, the Wilpons, he will continue to bash Mickey Callaway as if he is the scourge of the Mets organization.  He will look at all the surrounds the Mets and mock them while failing to even consider pointing the blame at ownership.

And for all that, I’ve stopped listening to him.  After over 30 years of listening to him, I’m done.  And I suspect I will not be the only Mets fan who feels this way.

0 thoughts on “Turning Off Wilpon Defender Mike Francesca”

  1. Gothamist says:

    The Wilpon and Katz families are ripping off the fans and the minority owners (48%).

    By 2021 it is viewed that the Mets will be last in local TV revenue.
    In my view SNY will be the most profitable (35% minority ownership)


    Jeff Wilpon will be in his 70’s in 2050.

    Jeff Wilpon makes James Dolan look like Robert Kraft…

  2. Gothamist says:

    Yes, I hate it when any pitcher goes to his hat or hair line.
    If Lugo or Gsellman OR ANY PLAYER are doing it they must be shipped out ASAP.
    Young pitchers who need extra advantage depress me.
    Let another prospect who does not cheat get a shot.
    Who wants Gsellsman anyway?
    and I do care if McCarthy in Atlanta cheats and sucks I will stop watching my team if need be no matter if Gsellman has a 5.00 plus ERA or not.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      This is nonsense

  3. Blu2MileHigh says:

    Swarzak uses his tongue, bill, back of his cap and has a white residue on his bill.
    Ok, it is nonsense? ok, Wheeler does not touch his mouth, bill, back of his cap seemingly on every pitch?
    Nonsense also? Sure it is nonsense…
    The TV producers zoom in so we see it at all on almost every pitch, by chance?
    Nonsense also…
    de Grom, nada, nonsense… sure it is nonsense…
    Well, who is masochist who watches enough to see what the producers intend us to see…. all are those losers like me who watch the weeknight lotto, cancer center, diabetes, asbestos and hernia litigation commercials on Met broadcasts should know best….

    At least they show car commercial on weekends…


    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s nonsense to equate touching your cap with definitive proof of cheating.

      1. Blu2MileHigh says:

        Watch the video, see the white powder…
        The rosin bag goes untouched.
        Who cares about who gets caught cheating?
        When does truth matter anymore?
        Only convictions matters…
        I just do not care for wasting my time watching pitchers who appear to cycle thru tongues, bills, belts, back of caps on every pitch….

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I liked Conspiracy Theory better when it starred Mel Gibson

    1. metsdaddy says:

      This isn’t proof of anything

  4. Blu2MileHigh says:

    There will never be proof that some baseball owners are assholes.

    We believe what we believe, we deny what we do not want to believe and some people like to watch almost all of the full game of Thursday night long cal commercials of a team 15 games under ,500 — commercials bought by advertisers specifically for the seventy to eighty year old demographic.

    I will only watch pitchers with clean hats who only occasionally go to their mouth and hat.

    I will not watch catheter commercials if I believe someone is cheating.
    I will not waste my time proving it.
    Do you think these pitchers care or think about me?

    The whole idea of cheating is to start only if you have a 99.9% chance of not getting caught. (anonymous ex MLB pitcher)

    I chose my own life – you chose your own, ok?
    You want proof…. ok….. you can seek that out….. I will not waste my time…

    1. metsdaddy says:

      You can do as you please, but I’m not going to allow a pitcher to be defamed on assumptions and flimsy evidence

  5. Gothamist says:


    Gsellman, Lugo, Swarzak either touch their tongue, hat bill, hat back, side of their pants quite often as much as 10x of the starters, there is a white substance on Searzak’s hat and black substance on Gsellman’s.

    How do I know?

    The Bill Webb taughtproducer’s zoom in…

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Those are Sex Panther stats and proof


    ok, Devin mesoroco handles pitchers well
    but Devin has less SF in a career than Jerry Grote had in one year.
    We did believe that Grote was a not a plus producer.

    Devin we hope you get your wish to go…
    If there is an interest you will be traded…
    thanks and good luck next year.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Mesoraco is a bad catcher.

  7. Five Tool Ownership says:

    But your buddy was out there today, on waivers:

    I too wanted him to succeed….
    I still do…
    He just never kept tne ball down and nor on the fringe…

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s a shame. Thought he’d succeed there, but unfortunately, he didn’t get much of a shot


    Yet, Batista plays a Right Field I like. I like his first reaction and his angles.
    He seems to be no worse with MISP than anyone else – without looking at the stats.

    I like his baseball instincts in every area, we do not have anything well rounded and experienced playing third and Batista like Ces will hit hard a mediocre pitcher.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Bautista has been terrific



  10. OldBackstop says:

    (The Cots site in the article is wrong.)

    I think the Mets season can be summed up in two numbers on the daily updated Spotrac:

    Number 1 in salary on the disabled list, by $91 million to $68 million for the Blue Jays to $49 million for someone else. That’s incredible. That’s not an ownership problem, that is just getting hit by a truck.

    Number 29 in salary on the 25 man roster. That is ridiculous for a NY team that can’t make some major moves after a 17-9 start and a rash of injuries.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The link to Cots was correct

    2. Gothamist says:

      I really like tour posts.
      I can not take on Daddy’s few but still inflexible opinions and assessments alone.
      Yet, Cespedes may be more that Carmelo Anthony (getting to the playoffs) there is no way in hell.

      A – He can not handle the pressure of a large contract
      B – He has holes in his zones and is easily exploited by quality pitchers – I think he is useless in the playoffs.
      C – He has fear of failure and you can focus on ine thing and I believe you must focus one’s ABATS on visualizing success. I do not focus on technique or fundamentals during games.

      Cespedes, Wright, Familia, Bruce, Ramos, Lagares, Travis, Wilmer, Vargas, Frazier, Swarzak are not exactly players w their contracts in high demand when healthy.

      Lagares – I love the guy – no one wants his contract.
      I am all in on Ces and Jay with lineup projection.
      I miss Jay…

      Only Familia’s deal and maybe Travis’s one year deal was movable in March.

      If de Grom, Cabrera were out on DL then you have my agreement.

      There is no way you would do a do over with this roster next year in theory a year younger –

      I do see Ramos as a huge loss – I loved his slider –

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Cespedes issue is injuries. Seriously, no one was saying he couldn’t handle NY in 2015 and 2016.

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