With Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all time, set to retire at the end of the season, teams across the MLB are honoring him in some fashion before games. This is true of the Mets, who honored him prior to Tuesday’s game against the Yanks.
He would throw out the first pitch of the game and, ironically, throw the last, as the Mets actually scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of ninth. In the wake of the Mets’ win streak, fans actually have something to relatively excited about.
This is great news for the owners, who over the past couple of seasons have experienced financial losses. This win streak may butts in the seats, they might be able to turn a profit. This is an excellent time to capitalize on the momentum created by this recent stretch.
So what does COO Jeff Wilpon do?He did what any other professional sports administrator would do, he mocked his team and their chances at the World Series.
While honoring Mariano, Jeff Wilpon, speaking to Mariano, said “Wish we could see you in the World Series, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen.” Rivera, always being a professional, said “You never know.”
Strictly dissecting what he said, nothing he said was particularly wrong. There were very low expectations of this year’s club, with the general consensus being that they would finish second to last, only because the Marlins exist. Furthermore, their lack of spending on free agents, even middle-tier players, indicated that this season was planned to be a “bring up the kids year”.
However, him going out and explicitly stating something like this publicly is absolutely ridiculous. In my opinion, this just shows the difference between the two New York ballclubs. If you ever heard anything like this from Yankees upper management it would be considered preposterous and outrage from the fan base would ensue. The Yankees aim to win no matter the odds. A perfect example is that Jeter, A-Rod, Granderson, Teixeira, and other top players have missed the majority if not the entire season. Do you hear the Yanks complaining? No. Sure they acknowledge their absences, but they still go out and play and expect to win.
This is a fundamental difference between the organizations. The Mets are selling this season to us as a rebuilding year – as a season that was lost before it ever started. What incentive is there as a fan to go buy a ticket to a game? Would you buy a product whose maker does not believe in it? No, you would not.
Another thing, what does Wilpon gain from saying this?. Perhaps, it was just a passing joke. But being in a major market, especially New York, scrutiny of every comment and move is to be expected. No he is not wrong, but he still should have not said it.