The New Evil Empire
Through all the pain and suffering that has befallen us Mets fans this past week, and these past years, it is very easy to lash out. To get mad, to get irrational. I myself have been guilty of it when I lambasted Sandy “Sand-bag” Alderson in a comment thread the other day. But I have to reel myself in for a minute. I have to get my feet back on the ground. I need to remind myself once again. This is not SA’s fault.
Just because he is able to employ a simple, basic approach, build from within, without over-spending. One that employs patience that I simply don’t have anymore, is no reason for me to want to get up and wipe that stinking smile off his smug puss. I need to remind myself that he is working for the worst collection of low-life’s in organized baseball. He works for the truly smug, the truly selfish, the truly stupid, the Wilpons.
Thank you Mike Vaccaro. Your article today brought my feet back down to earth. Wiped the fog from my eyes and enabled me once again to focus on the one true enemy of all Mets fans. The one true evil. The Wilpons. Until they are gone, we will always root for a team that stinks. It’s gratifying to me, on some small insignificant level, to have a well-respected journalist like Mr. Vaccaro see things the exact same way I do. Here’s an excerpt from his article I referred to before that summed it up for me rather concisely:
Look, the idea that Jose Reyes is gone forever stings deeply if you invest yourselves in the Mets, the way casting free Darryl Strawberry did for one past generation, and the exiling of Tom Seaver did for another. If the Mets were owned by different people, they might even be able to sell the notion — and it’s a fair one — that a player who relies on his legs and has a history of leg problems isn’t worth six years and $106 million.
But they aren’t owned by different people. They are owned by the Wilpons, and the Wilpons have done nothing — they’ve done less than nothing — since buying out Nelson Doubleday to be given the benefit of this doubt, or any doubt. Do you believe they will take advantage of their newfound payroll flexibility to strengthen a team earmarked for fifth place? Do you believe they aren’t meddling with Sandy Alderson’s plans any time those plans involve digging into coffers that ring hollow and empty, like so many Wilpon promises?
Forget for a second the question of whether the Wilpons had any inkling what Bernie Madoff was up to; understand that without Madoff, they wouldn’t have had a prayer of being solo owners of the team in the first place. That deferred deal with Bobby Bonilla that earns them such ridicule now? Done because they believed they were smarter than everyone else, and entered into a dim-witted, house-of-cards arrangement that they somehow believed would yield an exclusive windfall.
Even if Madoff had been on the up-and-up, the Wilpons were gambling your baseball team on the volatile nature of Madoff’s feel for the Market; in truth, it would be like financing your house based solely on your betting-window performance at Aqueduct.
And they wonder why nobody trusts them to do the right thing? Ever? Bud Selig has never had the heart to deal with the Wilpons as he should have, but there will be another commissioner eventually. His first order of business needs to be dealing with the Wilpons the way Selig dealt with Frank McCourt.
All that rides on it is New York’s status as a legitimate two-team, big-league town. A standing that frays a little more every day the Wilpons own the Mets.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
For Mike Vaccaro’s article in it’s entirety, click here.
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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