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Mets Owner Fred Wilpon Rips Beltran, Wright & Reyes

Mets owner Fred Wilpon spoke rather candidly in a recent in-depth article done by The New Yorker that covered nearly everything from his modest beginnings, to Bernie Madoff, to the state of his financially troubled Mets, to his very frank take on some of the team’s most important, high profile players. It’s probably safe to assume Jose Reyes will not be wearing that splendid blend of orange, black and blue next season.

Here’s Wilpon on his shortstop:

“He’s a racehorse. He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money. He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it.”

While he’s absolutely right that Reyes won’t get Carl Crawford money, to publicly highlight his frustrating battle with injuries and flat-out say he won’t get the contract he desires is simply wrong to say about a player you currently employ. Some people often wonder why the Mets aren’t a big free agent draw, well here’s a perfect example. There’s not another owner in baseball who would talk about his own player in this manner.

On David Wright:

“He’s pressing,” Wilpon said. “A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.”

Yikes. Wright has been struggling this season, sure, but he played for nearly a month with a stress fracture in his back while members of the Mets medical staff were busy playing MLB The Show. Is a he a superstar? That’s debatable. What isn’t debatable is that right now he is the Mets superstar and the face of the franchise. The comment was unnecessary, especially considering we’re talking about a model player who’s done nothing but play hard and exhibit class since putting on a Mets uniform.

On Carlos Beltran:

“We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series,” he said, referring to himself. “He’s sixty-five to seventy per cent of what he was.”

Again, Carlos Beltran is still a member of the New York Mets. Unless he was six scotches deep, what owner goes down their list of superstars and verbally undresses them to a reporter? Beltran is still a player that can help the Mets win and he’s has had more than his share of issues with the media, so adding to his tray of questions is just plain foolish.

On Ike Davis:

“Good hitter. Shitty team—good hitter … We’re snakebitten, baby.”

It’s nice he found it in his heart to place some positive words on the shoulders of his young first baseman, but he’s not exactly doing himself a financial favor by more or less admitting that his team is fucked and possibly cursed. Accurate and hilarious, yes, but probably best left unsaid by the owner of a franchise experiencing a faster free-fall than Oliver Miller’s breasts.

So why would Wilpon say all of this? Well Wilpon himself has recently stated he might be willing to sell up to forty-nine percent of the team, up from the original twenty-five percent initially reported, which basically means there’s a chance he’s willing to give up the whole damn thing. Based on the quotes above, it certainly sounds like a man ready to throw in the towel.

In addition to being disgusted with his baseball team, Freddie is still feeling the sting from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme as he’s being sued for more than $1 billion by the trustee attempting to recover funds for the victims, though Madoff’s recent quotes absolve Wilpon and team president Saul Katz of any knowledge of wrongdoing.

“Fred and Saul were only guilty of trusting their friend and I will live with that guilt and shame forever,” said Madoff. “He must feel that I betrayed him, as do most of my friends who were involved. Hopefully, they will understand the pressures I was under. I made money for them legitimately to start, but then I got trapped and was not able to work my way out of it. It just became impossible for me to extricate myself, or even try and extricate myself.”

Madoff definitely saw the episode of Seinfeld where George poignantly said, “It’s not lie… if you believe it.”

Whether or not Wilpon slips out of this current lawsuit unscathed, it’s highly possible that the face of the Mets franchise next season will be Ike Davis, but there’s also a decent bet they’ll have a new owner, too. Think glass half-full, Mets fans. And cross your fingers.

Madoff’s Curveball [The New Yorker]
Fred Wilpon takes shots at Mets players [ESPN]

Photo via Getty

 

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