Things were going so well for the New York Mets. The roster was radically revamped, and there was still the ability to do more.
The Mets had a braintrust in place underneath a front off legend in Sandy Alderson and the deepest pockets in baseball with owner Steve Cohen. This was about as far as you could get from the Jeff Wilpon led Mets.
That was before Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan of ESPN broke the story Mets GM Jared Porter sent a number of unsolicited images to a female reporter. One of those images was of a “picture of an erect, naked penis.”
It wasn’t the only explicit photo, and there were over a dozen photos sent. Purportedly, only three of the 17 were explicit, but that’s three too many. Way too many. Beyond that was an over abundance of texts from him that were largely left unanswered.
When approached for comment, Porter said the explicit images were “‘not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images.'”
Once he was made aware of the photos and text exchanges, Alderson did the required disavowal of Porter’s actions before saying the Mets will review the facts and “follow-up.”
At the moment, the Mets only course of action is to terminate Porter. This action cannot be condoned in any way.
If this is really the new Mets, they need to be clear this is going to be not just a well run organization, but also a morally in-check one. They really need to show the days of Jeff Wilpon are over.
Wife beaters like Jose Reyes are not held up as role models. Woman can get pregnant without fear of firing regardless of their marital status. Men who harass women and send unsolicited pictures of their genitalia have no place in the organization.
Keeping Porter after this is as unacceptable as it was when the Chicago Cubs looked the other way. But the Mets can’t. Not now. Not ever.
The Mets need to make it clear the Wilpon era is over in more ways than one. They’re competently run. They have the finances to operate the team like a New York team. Men who harass or abuse women have no place in the organization.
This means Jared Porter needs to be replaced, and the Mets need to do it in an expedited fashion.
With all due respect to Bud Harrelson and Rey Ordoñez, Jose Reyes is easily the best shortstop in Mets history. He’s the franchise leader in triples and stolen bases, and his name is scattered across the top ten rankings in team history.
Looking at WAR, he’s well ahead of the other shortstops, and he’s the 10th best player in Mets history. While it may take time to catch him, Francisco Lindor is well poised to surpass Reyes’ 27.9 WAR with the Mets.
Aside from the shortened 2020 season, Lindor is a player who never had below a 4.0 WAR. In fact, Lindor has never been below a 5.0 WAR when he’s been on the Opening Day roster in a 162 game season.
Keep in mind, that’s before Lindor even entered his prime. As he entered his prime, Lindor has been a 40+ double and 30+ homer player. That is in addition to playing Gold Glove caliber defense.
Assuming he holds true to that 5.0+ WAR level player, it’ll take Lindor approximately five seasons to surpass Reyes’ 27.9 WAR. At Lindor’s 30+ homer pace, he’ll surpass Reyes’ record for homers by a shortstop within four seasons.
That’s incredible to think. As a player, Reyes was one of the most exciting and dynamic players to ever wear the Mets uniform. He was a four time All-Star and to date the only Mets player to win a batting title.
The fact it could take Lindor approximately five seasons to surpass what Reyes did in 12 speaks to how phenomenal of a baseball player he is. In getting Lindor, the Mets are getting a future Hall of Famer. They are quite possibly getting the best player not named Tom Seaver or Mike Piazza to ever don a Mets uniform.
That’s the level of player Lindor is. If the Mets agree to an extension with him, Lindor should become the greatest shortstop in team history. He may also very well become the next Mets Hall of Famer, and we could see his 12 hanging next to Seaver’s 41 and Piazza’s 31.
The path is clear for Lindor to accomplish this and much more in a Mets uniform. The only thing standing in the way is a contract extension.
One of the hopes Mets fans have with Steve Cohen taking the helm is his new regime correcting a lot of the wrongs committed by the Wilpons. There are countless examples of how poorly the Wilpons treated their former players, and that gives Cohen a real chance to seem magnanimous.
One area where he’s already planning to do this is an Old Timer’s Day. Another area Mets fans want to do this is by bringing Carlos Beltran back to the organization.
With Hensley Meulens not returning as bench coach, many fans see this as the opportunity to bring back Beltran as bench coach. Realistically speaking, Beltran is the worst possible choice for this job.
The modern bench coach job is very complicated. As a result, of all the jobs on the coaching staff, manager included, bench coach is the single job where you absolutely cannot have a novice like Beltran in charge.
As Brad Mills explained to the Sporting News, “You work with everyone from the groundskeepers to the traveling secretary, and you might even make sure the field is ready for early work.” Put another way, the bench coach has to make sure all the planning and preparation for the game is completed.
The bench coach is handling scouting and game prep. He’s running quality control before and during the game. He’s discussing strategy with the manager. He’s fostering relationships with players. He has his hands in everything. As was the case with Derek Shelton and Rocco Baldelli, that included media responsibilities.
With Beltran never having worked on an MLB coaching staff at any level, and with his front office experience having been just one year, he is ill-suited for the job. Very ill suited.
While you can understand Mets fans wanting to repair the relationship with Beltran, this isn’t the time or the job. However, just because the Mets shouldn’t use this opportunity to right a wrong with Beltran, it doesn’t mean they can’t hire a bench coach who can simultaneously right a wrong.
The Mets could very well look to hire Willie Randolph for their vacant bench coach position.
Randolph has the fifth most wins by a Mets manager, and he has the second best winning percentage. In his time as manager, he did a lot of good things including helping David Wright and Jose Reyes reach their full potential.
In addition to his successes as a Mets manager, he was on Joe Torre‘s coaching staff for the last Yankees dynasty. That includes his being a bench coach. Randolph has also been a bench coach in Milwaukee and Baltimore.
All told, Randolph knows the role extraordinarily well. He also knows the challenges Luis Rojas faces as the Mets manager. He knows how to develop players and handle a coaching staff. He knows how to win in New York, and he knows the intense scrutiny a manager faces.
If the 66 year old Randolph is interested in the position, the Mets should interview him for the role. If Rojas has a comfort level with him, Randolph should absolutely be hired for the job.
With that, the Mets will hire an exceptionally qualified person for the job thereby making the Mets a better team. It will also have the benefit of righting the wrong of how he was fired in 2008.
Ultimately, if the Mets want to right some wrongs, they should hire Randolph. If they want the best man for the job, they should hire Randolph. He’s just the perfect fit for this job right now.
It’s been a beef with Mets fans for a while. The Mets now have a rich history, and we want to see that honored. One way we want to see it is Old Timer’s Day.
It’s something the Mets used to have in the early years, but they haven’t had it in the time the Wilpons owned the Mets. Now, according to Steve Cohen himself, that’s going to change.
Darell, No brainer to have Old Times Day , done
— Steven A Cohen (@StevenACohen2) November 1, 2020
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the prospective lineups could look like. This is a completely unscientific sampling utilizing just my opinion on who is popular, who Mets fans want to see back, and who can still play a bit. There are two for each position as there are two teams playing against one another:
Of course, this is holding a little too true to the positions these players played in their careers. Due to age and the like, they may move around the diamond. That’s more than alright as we just want to see them again.
Of course, some will understandably opt out of have other commitments. To that end, there are plenty of unnamed options like Al Leiter, Todd Pratt, Carlos Delgado, Jeff Kent, Kevin Elster, Robin Ventura, Kevin Elster, Bernard Gilkey, Lance Johnson, and Benny Agbayani.
For that matter, why not bring Bobby Bonilla. The Mets can have fun with it and hold the game on July 1. Before the game, the Mets could have fun with it and give Bonilla a giant check.
If you think about it, that will finally give Bonilla some of the applause he should’ve gotten as a player, and it will finally put to rest the negative narrative around the day.
The game can also feature the racing stripe jerseys and the black jerseys fans seem to love so much. We can also have cameos from Mets greats from the past like Jerry Koosman who may not be able to play.
Overall, that’s exactly what the Cohen Era is presenting. It’s allowing the Mets and their fans to move forward, enjoy the past, and have some fun.
According to reports, Jeff Wilpon has a Zoom call to say goodbye to New York Mets employees. Other reports confirmed he will not be seeking a role with the Steve Cohen led Mets even with his team holding onto a small minority ownership.
While he says goodbye, Mets fans say good riddance.
Everything that is wrong with the Mets is in large part due to him, and with him gone, he know stories will soon leak out about how he was even worse than what we already knew.
We already know they failed to capitalize on two pennants. In 2000, it was letting Mike Hampton walk, refusing to sign Alex Rodriguez, and then following that up with actually signing Kevin Appier and Steve Trachsel.
There was forcing players like Pedro Martinez to pitch through injuries which everyone said should’ve shut down his season, and there was the attempts to try to prevent Carlos Beltran from getting career saving knee surgery.
There was not just signing Jose Reyes, but also holding him out as a role model. Better yet, around the same time, Ed Kranepool needed a kidney transplant only for pettiness to stop the Mets from initially reaching out to help (thankfully they eventually did).
Speaking of Mets greats, there is still no Tom Seaver statue at Citi Field, and now Tom Terrific is gone. Even when the Wilpons did think to finally act, they did it when Seaver had dementia and couldn’t enjoy the honors.
There was firing an unwed pregnant woman and really so much more. With actions like this, not only did Jeff Wilpon fail as a person in charge of building a winner, he disgraced the Mets organization.
Speaking of disgrace, the way the Mets got rid of people was deplorable. No one was allowed to keep their dignity. Willie Randolph was fired one game into a west coast trip and after the Mets won. Instead admitting they didn’t want to pay them fair value Justin Turner had his professionalism questioned and Wilmer Flores was said to have an arthritic condition he didn’t have.
Hopefully, Jeff Wilpon will be afforded the very same treatment he gave others when they left the Mets. It would only be fitting, and it would give Mets fans more reason to celebrate his being gone.
All over the internet yesterday was video of Endy Chavez‘s miraculous catch robbing Scott Rolen of a go-ahead homer in the top of the sixth inning of a tied Game 7. It was one of, if not the, greatest catch ever made, and it came against a hated rival with the pennant on the line.
— New York Mets (@Mets) October 19, 2020
For 14 straight years, this catch is celebrated. We should all agree there should not be a 15th year.
After that catch, neither Jose Valentin nor Chavez could deliver on what was a bases loaded one out situation.
All told, this ranks as one of the most frustrating and depressing losses in Mets history. This loss was further exacerbated by collapses the following two seasons, and the complete and utter failure which was the first version of Citi Field.
That’s nothing to say about the Wilpons getting caught up in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme only for them to be needlessly propped up by Major League Baseball.
After that Chavez catch, everything just kept getting worse for the Mets and their fans. Frankly, after that catch is was a nightmare which lasted for nearly a decade. Much of the reason for that was the meddlesome ways of the clueless Jeff Wilpon who kept finding new ways to embarrass this franchise we all adore.
Every Mets fan should love Chavez for this catch and for all he gave the Mets. We can and should love the players from that era who were a mixture of snakebit and not quite fully supported by ownership never ready to go all-in on winning, and that’s even when they had the financial capacity to do that.
Still, we should all fall short of celebrating the mile. We can all acknowledge it was perhaps the greatest catch ever made. However, in the end, the Mets lost in the most excruciating way possible, and no Mets fan anywhere should really look to celebrate a moment which is intrinsically tied to the loss.
If you think this is too far or it’s too far, consider this. There is not a Red Sox fan alive who celebrates Dave Henderson‘s homer off Rick Aguilera. That is among the pantheon of the most clutch homers ever hit, and no one cares because the Red Sox lost that game and series in the most excruciating way possible.
Celebrating Chavez’s catch is really no different than celebrating Henderson’s homer. That’s why it’s time to stop and turn the page. With Steve Cohen at the helm, we instead need to look forward to celebrating big moments like the Mets winning the World Series.
Back when Nelson Doubleday was on his way out, he had said of Jeff Wilpon, “Jeff Wilpon said he’s going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year. Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail.” (Bergen Record).
It’s impossible to detail just how awful Jeff has been. It’s like a PhD level course in complete incompetence.
He was behind forcing injured players to play including Pedro Martinez leading to the effective end of Pedro’s career.
There were the rage cuts like Travis d’Arnaud and the inexplicable gross overpayment of prospects (Scott Kazmir, Jarred Kelenic) for bad returns in the sake of winning now only for the Mets not to win.
Women knew what the organization thought of them when Jeff fired an unwed pregnant woman and not only brought back Jose Reyes, but also held him out as a role model.
Through all of this and more, everyone had enough, especially his family.
Bruce Wilpon disassociated himself from the Mets after seeing how Jeff and the Mets treated Kazuo Matsui. Saul Katz forced the sale of the team rather than see Jeff mismanage the team to his dying days.
Ironically, Jeff would interfere with the first sale. Steve Cohen walked away. Despite years of mismanagement, the team had some value. However, that value went down when Steve Cohen bought it a second time for hundreds of million less.
There was no end to Jeff Wilpon’s incompetence, and now, his family has taken away his toy so he can’t play GM anymore. We’re all better for it.
Jeff Wilpon will soon be gone. Good riddance to him.
Through the Wilpons majority ownership, we have seen one embarrassing moment after the next. It just never ended with them, not even when times were good.
Leigh Castergine was fired. Jose Reyes was brought back and held out as a role model.
They had Steve Cohen offer well over market value for the team, and the financially strapped Wilpons bungled the deal. They bungled it over control of the team and escalating salaries for them. Now, they’re looking to sell the team for what is likely a lower price.
By all accounts, 2020 is it for the Wilpons. After this season, they’re gone. But seeing them in action all of these years, you knew they couldn’t go out without embarrassing themselves, the Mets franchise, and all of baseball one last time.
Tonight was that night.
As a backdrop, Dominic Smith bore his soul in an emotional post game news conference. Michael Conforto said he’d have Smith’s back, and he made good by working with the Marlins to not play akin to what the NBA and other MLB teams were doing.
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen would address this with reporters. Keep in mind, this exchange which was supposed to be off the record was posted to the Mets website:
Holy shit Rob Manfred is trying to force the Mets to pull a social justice awareness stunt tonight by having the players symbolically leave the field at 7:10 before returning an hour later to play at 8:10 even though the players don’t want to play tonight pic.twitter.com/4BJLaPUkoy
— Nick Albicocco (@NickCocco18) August 27, 2020
Well, when you trash the commissioner, and it gets public, there are going to be ramifications, and the need for apologies need to proceed.
First up, was Van Wagenen who both apologized to Commissioner Rob Manfred and pinned the blame for the poorly received idea on Jeff Wilpon:
Well, that apparently wasn’t sufficient. This incident actually required the Wilpons to spring to action. Fred and Jeff Wilpon offered their version of events and apologies:
Both Fred and Jeff Wilpon managed to misspell Brodie as Brody. This was just a perfect encapsulation of who the Wilpons are and their failed stewardship of the Mets organization.
Their organization took the players emerging and bungled it. The same owners who had NOTHING to say publicly when Smith cried rushed to admonish their GM and misspelled his name in the process.
Even better, they took ownership of an idea universally dismissed as plain stupid and seen as insensitive by many. While this was happening, one of the Mets official accounts called for Manfred to be fired.
If this was anyone other than the Wilpons, you’d be absolutely shocked at the level of incompetence involved here. Seeing how this is the Wilpons, you can’t be remotely shocked they were a complete embarrassment one last time.
Remember that SNY is owned and operated by the Wilpons. It’s their network. If they don’t approve of the personalities or the coverage of the team, they can and will do something to change that.
After all, we have heard over the years on WFAN about different hosts relationship with the team over how the team is covered and how it impacts their ability to get guests.
The Mets are far from the only team who does that. It’s par for the course. As such when it comes to the Mets, the Wilpons have that same control over their own network which covers its own team.
So what type of coverage do we get as Mets fans? We’re told how awful we are.
Gary Apple, a Yankees fan, hosts Irrational Twitter Theater, where he mocks tweets from Mets fans. We also get Andy Martino, a Phillies fan, calling us awful people for our lack of empathy shown towards players who tested positive for COVID19.
We should note the complete lack of integrity in that Martino article. It paints the fanbase as unfeeling as a whole, which they weren’t. In fact, the vast majority showed concern.
It also does not have any attribution to the quotes. For all we know, he could’ve made it all up. We are also aware of the existence of trolls on the internet who make stuff up and say incendiary things just to rile people up on the internet. Those people are being treated as being genuine and representative of the fanbase.
Keep in mind, this was as disingenuous an article as you can write. Case in point was Martino’s article about the trades the Yankees should consider making with their injuries. You’ll note the complete lack of concern for the health of the players.
That’s all the more egregious when you consider what he wrote about Mets fans and the fact these Yankees players have to visit hospitals and medical facilities during a pandemic.
This selective morality for Martino should come as no surprise. There’s no article from him chastising Jeff Wilpon for firing Leigh Castergine. He also took no issue with the Mets bringing back Jose Reyes after he beat his wife.
Never even criticized Reyes signing. Only giving this attn bc shows how uncomfortable mere mention of DV makes many https://t.co/Mim5Kf00pG
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) June 26, 2016
But you know what Martino did write about? He wrote Mets fans were racists for booing Luis Castillo. He also wrote how a dirty player like Chase Utley, who broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg in the NLDS, should be more appreciated.
If you’re keeping track here, Martino has no issue with players who beat their wives or break other players legs. However, he really takes issue with fans.
The Wilpons and SNY knew what they were getting when they hired Martino. They not only hired him, but they continue to raise his profile within the network. They do it despite his dishonest work seeking to demean and antagonize the fanbase.
This is what the Wilpons have made SNY. If the Wilpons are able to maintain control of SNY after the sale, it’s what it will continue to be, that is, until the owner of the Mets gives them the same treatment they’ve given other media over the years.
Much like how the Mets are operated, Mets fans deserve better than SNY. They deserve better than Martino.
Mets fans have had enough of the Wilpons and their half measures. It’s dragged down the franchise and cost them a real shot at long runs of being in contention. Everything the Wilpons do is the wrong way to run a New York baseball franchise.
It’s looking at David Wright and Jose Reyes as an either/or as opposed to a both/and. It’s signing Michael Cuddyer to be a big bat. It’s letting players like Daniel Murphy and Zack Wheeler walk. It’s trading for Robinson Cano and keeping Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic instead of signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.
New Mets ownership was supposed to prevent this and other nonsense. No forcing Pedro Martinez to pitch through an injury, or trying to deny Carlos Beltran or Yoenis Cespedes career saving surgery. Having a real analytics department. There’s just so much which could be different under new ownership, including but not limited to, the Mets’ mid market payroll.
For Mets fans, there’s just one litmus test. The next owner must be fully committed to winning, and they will do what they need to do to win.
That’s exactly why Alex Rodriguez disqualified himself today when he said:
“The only way it’s going to happen is if they get to the table and say the No. 1 goal, let’s get from $10 to $15 billion and then we’ll split the economics evenly,” he said Thursday during a conference call. “But that’s the type of conversation instead of fighting and fighting against each other because there’s too much competition out there right now.
A-Rod later stressed he didn’t call for a salary cap, but that’s just backtracking. Truth be told, what he described was a salary cap. That’s where he lost each and every Mets fan.
Steve Cohen is out there ready to flex his financial might. There are other billionaires involved in the bidding. The Mets simply don’t need A-Rod and his cast of retired basketball players. No, they need someone who will do what it takes to win.
We’re already seeing exactly why A-Rod has been disqualified in Mets fans eyes. Hopefully, MLB feels the same way.