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Jeff Wilpon Hiding From Media In Plain Sight

On Monday, Jeff Wilpon was at Belmont Park to attend a groundbreaking for the Islanders new arena. Through the Sterling Project Development, the Wilpons are investors and developers of this project. At the event, Jeff Wilpon did not receive, and as a result, he did not have to answer questions about the Mets.

On Tuesday, Jeff Wilpon held an unexpected press conference to announce Jerry Koosman was going to join Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza as the only Mets players to have their numbers retired. As this was a press conference honoring Koosman, there were questions about plans to retire his and other numbers in the future.

That’s two times this week Jeff Wilpon was with the media, and that’s two times he was not subjected to the questions which needs to be asked of him and the franchise.

Despite all the “Come and Get Us!” bravado from Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets best case scenario for this season is a third place finish more than 10 games out in the division. This is after the franchise traded away top prospects in Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay, and Simeon Woods Richardson in connection with more interesting and talented prospects.

Those trades come with payroll issues, which is largely created by Robinson Cano being owed $100 million. There are reports about the lack of a real budget to address the deficiencies in the bullpen and the bench in addition to the team needing to make a decision on Zack Wheeler.

Speaking of the payroll, the purportedly all-in Mets who are in the largest market in the world have a $158 million payroll. According to Spotrac, that ranks only eighth in the Majors. It should be noted that includes David Wright‘s $15 million salary which was restructured. It also includes Yoenis Cespedes‘ $29 million salary, which Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported, was covered by an insurance policy reimbursing 75% of his salary.

When you back out Wright’s $15 million and the $21.75 million reimbursed to the Mets on Cespedes’ salary, the Mets actual payroll was $121.25 million. That would rank 20th in the Majors. That’s not remotely all-in, and the owners of the team should have to face questions why they aren’t reinvesting money in the team while they also have the money to invest in other ventures.

There are a number of other issues facing the team like the status of Mickey Callaway‘s future as well as what the team plans to do with Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto. There is plenty more beyond that.

The fact is Jeff Wilpon is always there when there is something to celebrate. He’s not there to answer the tough questions facing the team. He and his General Manager have actively denied requests to speak with the media when there have been questions facing the team which need to be answered.

At some point, the media is going to have to stop letting him hide in plain sight. If he is only going to make himself available on limited occasions, those occasions need to be used to get answers to questions which need answering. After all, he’s the Mets COO, and when he attends events, he is attending them as the Mets COO making it more than fair game to ask those questions which should be directed to the Mets COO.

8 thoughts on “Jeff Wilpon Hiding From Media In Plain Sight”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    Owners hire GMs. GMs are in charge of the club. Communicating with the media is club business. You wheel out the owner on special occasions like Queen Elizabeth. The media has no right to access to Wilpon….it is sad that they would think they do, rather than doing their jobs with analysis and actual news.

    Ask me any question and I can tell you what Wilpon would say. Mix and match words and phrases:

    — commitment to winning in 2020
    — Pete Alonso
    — appraising all aspects of the team over the winter
    — Pete Alonso
    — assess payroll situation, will be fluid
    — look at all FAs and trades to improve team
    — Pete Alonso
    — building around an exciting youthful core

    I guess you consider yourself a journalist….what loaded question would you ask him?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Just because someone won’t give a responsive answer, it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be faced with the questions.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Yes, it exactly does. What do you expect him to say that would be enlightening? The game is all there in the field. Do you think in response to a question, he is going to announce they are putting Thor on the market? That Mickey is up for review? That they have no interest in Wheeler.

        That stuff doesn’t come from the owner.

        Bottom line, they had the eight highest payroll out of 30 teams, it was the same as last year, they improved on 2018, and they were in it until the last week. If the Brewers hadn’t gone nuts we would have quite possibly grabbed the wildcard.

        You want to point to one thing that kept us out? Look to our “co-ace” Syndergaard, who gave up 4 earned runs or more 15 times. That’s 11 more times then he did last year. When a guy leaves in the 6th haven given up four earned runs, your odds on winning are quite low

        1. AV says:

          While I agree with you on what ownership can answer for, Jeff Wilpon’s official title with the team is President, COO, and Head of Baseball Operations. For comparison, this is the same title Theo Epstein has with the Cubs, Andrew Friedman has with the Dodgers, and Farhan Zaidi has with the Giants. It is also the same position Dave Dombrowski held when he was fired by the Red Sox.

          If Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, and Saul Katz want to act like owners, that’s fine. But once Jeff calls himself “Head of Baseball Operations”, he’s fair game to be held accountable for baseball operations.

          1. metsdaddy says:

            Thank you

        2. metsdaddy says:

          As I noted, the payroll was actually much lower.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Agreed, MD. The Wilpons are ultimately responsible for this utter fiasco of a season. It was the Wilpons who hired the fool who dealt away the team’s future for the magic beans of third place, and who yapped “come and get us,” a phrase that will be remembered a decade from now for its singular idiocy. It was Jeff Wilpon who pushed the hiring of a golfing buddy with no FO experience and no idea how to build a complete team, instead of one of the most gifted FO talents in MLB, Chaim Bloom, a co-GM, who put together a team headed for about 97 wins for just $56 million dollars in payroll. $56 million. That’s barely more than the 2020 salaries of Cano and Cespedes.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/TBD/tampa-bay-rays-salaries-and-contracts.shtml

    Van Wagenen isn’t taking nearly the beating in the press he deserves, either. The idiotic acquisition of Stroman for the Mets only two top-10 pitching prospects when he rated to be less than 1 win better than Vargas over the last 2 months, was absurd. Moving Vargas to save at most 2m next year when it would have added Matz to the pen, was ridiculous. The guy who threw away 3m+ on TDA couldn’t figure out how to scrounge 2m from the 2020 payroll in order to add a lefty arm to the pen and depth to the rotation for the 2019 stretch drive?

    Anyway, the list is far too long to go into here, but van Wagenen has no competition I can see for worst GM in the majors, and that’s entirely at the Wilpons’ door, primarily Jeff Wilpons’ door–and something which he is desperate not to answer for. What an preposterous hire. What a ridiculous offseason. What an absurd season. What a complete fiasco.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Well said.

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