Fred Wilpon spoke.
Did you hear it?
Yes, it’s been almost a year to the day since you last read a quote from the Mets CEO, and I must say that he’s sounding like he has a lot more spring to his steps these days.
Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal caught up with the Mets owner at the owners meeting where he “smiled broadly” and shook hands with his colleagues as the meeting adjourned. And why shouldn’t he be smiling? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I said happy days are here again for the man who presides over the Mets?
According to Costa, Wilpon had this to say about the black cloud that has ben hovering over the franchise in the last 12 months, “How could anybody deny that it’s been a challenging time?” Wilpon said. “But I came from nothing. I meet the challenges. So does Saul and Jeff and our whole family. We’re meeting the challenges and I think we’ll be fine.”
His longtime friend of thirty years, Bud Selig, was all smiles as well today as he gave his acceptance speech to the news he had been extended as baseball commissioner for another two years. “He’s been a great owner,” Selig said of Fred Wilpon. “Loves his team. He’s everything you’d want in a local owner. He’s had some economic problems, not caused by himself, and I have a lot of faith in him that he’s working his way through them.” The two of them are like peas and carrots.
Fred Wilpon doesn’t sound like an owner filing for bankruptcy, and Bud Selig doesn’t sound like he’s ready to have MLB take over the team. I try to keep it real here when I discus the team with regard to the financial turmoil and the news and non-news surrounding it. That puts me in a tiny minority because nobody really wants to hear the hard, cold facts, when sweet nothings are much more soothing to the soul.
Better days lie ahead for Mr. Wilpon and he still intends to leave this team for his children and grandchildren as he has always said. He also lives and learns. By that I mean he learns from his mistakes.
“I think we have to get the fans back at the stadium,” Wilpon said. “That’s a necessity. That’s the lifeblood. And to do that, we have to have a good team. We have to be careful that we don’t make some of the mistakes that we made in the past, having long-term contracts that didn’t work out.”
Get used to it my friends, because nothing is changing anytime soon with regard to ownership of the team.
For the billionth time, the Mets needed to stop the bleeding and they have done that.
They neded to trim the fat and they have done that.
They needed smarter people to call the financial shots and the ones on the field and they have done that.
The loans that are due in 2014 and 2015 are adjustable and can be refinanced for a new 5-year term.
“This is a tough time,” Wilpon said. “We’re bearing up, I can promise you that.”
Yes, he should be bearing up because like I wrote yesterday he’s had two months in a row of forward progress. The arrows are pointing up, not down.
When you go to Citi Field and look up to the owners box in 2015, the man you’ll see sipping his chardonnay around the fifth inning will be none other than Fred Wilpon.