Amid the completion of the season and David Wright‘s grand sendoff, New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon’s statements to the media about what went wrong in 2018 and how they plan to address this endless stream of disappointment in Queens didn’t quite fly under the radar, but it cycled through our news feeds at a brisk pace.
Rather, diversion and distraction tactics could have very well been at play in Wilpon’s comments, but that’s neither here nor there at this point in time, as the team’s search for a new puppet, er, general manager continues to stumble along.
Many viable candidates, including Ben Cherington and Thad Levine, have already turned down the opportunity to even interview with the Mets. After Wilpon’s recent comments about the last front-office regime, that’s probably not a coincidence.
In an article by Tim Britton of The Athletic, a peculiar turn of events was brought to light that could hypothetically explain some of this clear aversion of the Mets’ vacant GM position.
As Britton notes, Wilpon told the Mets media corps, “I don’t think we haven’t made the investment” when it comes to manning the team’s front office with the proper personnel (modern, analytically based minds).
“What I can tell you is that the people that are in place are what was asked for by the administration that was here,” he continued, referring to former GM Sandy Alderson. “If somebody comes in and says we have to beef up this area or that area, we’re totally fine to do that. It’s not something that we ever said, ‘No’ to.”
However, as Britton later states, sources have told him Wilpon’s statements may not have been entirely true.
“According to multiple sources, the Wilpons did say “No” to Alderson when he asked for more full-time personnel in New York’s three-man analytics department, opting to hire interns instead.”
In other words, Wilpon lied and threw Alderson — who stepped down in July after a recurrence of cancer and likely dealt with these same kinds of shenanigans for nearly nine years while at the helm of the Mets’ front-office — under the bus. This is incredibly disturbing, but the fun doesn’t stop there.
Most ownership groups find the person or people they trust to lead their organization to prominence, hand them the keys, step away, and let the experts do what they do. That not quite how things work here, though.
When asked about how the team plans to tackle their front office and, in turn, the offseason, on-field personnel additions that are sure to come this winter, Wilpon continued to express the clear fact that he will hold the final say on all decisions, baseball or otherwise.
“We want to find somebody that’s going to help us build something for the long term, that’s going to be sustainable […],” he said. “They’ll know their final recommendation will go through me.”
May Joan Whitney Payson have mercy on us all.