01.26.08

Matthews : Cheapskate Wilpons Wanna Sell You A Bridge In Flushing

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 6:35 pm by

Mets owner Fred Wilpon “is on the verge of a Steinbrennerian windfall with the opening of Citi Field, and his son Jeff (above), is James Dolan without the guitar”, seethes Newsday’s Wallace Matthews, who not only rues the departure of former punching bag Lastings Milledge, but accuses the not-so-Amazins of “conducting their offseason the way Rudy Giuliani is running his presidential campaign: hoping to win by doing nothing.”

They shed Lastings Milledge, Paul Lo Duca and Tom Glavine. In return, they brought in Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, paid more money to Ramon Castro, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes and Endy Chavez, and issued a stern warning to Duaner Sanchez to stay out of taxicabs in South Florida at 2 in the morning.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana still is a Twin, A-Rod still is a Yankee and Jose Reyes still is a Met.

And yet, to quote the words of Mets VP David Howard, “If you look at it objectively, [we] are a championship-caliber, playoff-contending team.”

And if you look at it rationally, Howard, or whoever is writing his material, very well may be out of his mind.

They act as if last season was some kind of hallucination, that the historic collapse (they led the Phillies by seven games on Sept. 12 with 17 games to play) never really happened, that despite what the NL East standings showed Oct. 1, the Mets actually were the best team in baseball and, as such, didn’t really need much in the way of tinkering in the offseason.

In fact, when it came to personnel, they didn’t really need anything at all.

All they needed, actually, was a little bit more of your money, because, as general manager Omar Minaya was quick to point out after the Mets lost six of their last seven games of the season, “We spent more days in first place than any other team in baseball.’”

Yeah. And Billy Conn was leading Joe Louis after 12 rounds, the Titanic sailed beautifully for three days and didn’t Lincoln just love the first two hours of the play?

Still, that was reason enough for the Mets to raise ticket prices by about 20 percent for the upcoming season. The reason for this, according to Howard, friend of baseball fans everywhere: “We’re not going to make business decisions based on a two-week period.”

The only saving grace in that statement is that perhaps Howard someday will use the same rationale to hold the line on ticket prices if the Mets ever manage to win a World Series on his watch. (And in other news, Pamela Anderson has asked me to marry her.)

6 Responses to “Matthews : Cheapskate Wilpons Wanna Sell You A Bridge In Flushing”

  1. Dave says:

    Wait, Wally has a problem that Reyes is still a Met? At least we know he has another player of a lesser race to sandbag now that Lastings has moved on.

  2. itsmetsforme says:

    i hate to say it, but wally is sounding less berserker crazy every day.

  3. Dave says:

    At the risk of hijacking Gerald’s site and turning this into some kind of Mets’ messageboard, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree, metsforme. If the Met had signed A-Rod, Wally would have said they added to their choking by signing Choker Numero Uno. Paul Lo Duca had two good months out of the whole season and was otherwise worthless and for Mathews to condemn the Mets for trading L-Millz is the kind of dishonest hackery one should expect from Mathews. As for Reyes, I’d love to hear this learned baseball scholar’s thoughts on who else should bat leadoff and play shortstop for the Mets, because everyone knows players like Jose grow on trees.

    All that leaves Mathews with is his faux-populist outrage over the Mets raising ticket prices. The thing is, we’re always angry when ticket prices go up, we don’t need Wally to make the case for us. He isn’t crazy and never has been. He’s calculating to the point where he’ one the worst kind of hacks, the professional grouch. If the Mets win a World Series this year, make no mistake, Wally will be there to wonder why they lost any games at all along the way.

  4. David Roth says:

    I’m inclined towards Dave’s view on this one. Were his sentiment that the Mets should’ve done more this offseason, I’d agree with him — I’m frustrated that they haven’t, I do think it reflects a problem in the organization’s concept of itself, and I think there’s a column to be written there. But this isn’t that column, or even close to it: it’s a flailing, disorganized mess in concept and execution, and I think that reflects (well, that and everything else Matthews wrote last year) a guy who can’t be bothered to do much in the way of actual baseball writing.

    The “professional grouch” gig must be easy, in a way: you just seethe about everything, question everyone’s integrity, and constantly believe the worst. This piece seems proof that it’s harder to do in January, though: with nothing to talk about and no willingness to actually find a story behind his inklings, Matthews sounds like he’s ripping through a boozy imitation of a discarded Lewis Black monologue.

  5. Greg D. says:

    You know with the Giants in the Super Bowl and the day after the Rangers retired Brian Leetch’s number, “Wallace” can’t find anything better to do then go back to beating the dead horse that is bashing Wilpon, Minaya and the Mets.

    And the fact that he’s going nuts over the L-Millz trade after trying to run him out of town shows what a two-faced piece of shit Matthews really is.

  6. itsmetsforme says:

    …thats what i get for commenting and running.

    i would never defend wallace, unless by defend you mean defend his right to keep providing blogs like this one and my own with a wondrous bounty of material. The guy is a hilariously consistent jackass; any Metfan with a couple bucks and a blogger password knows that.
    But despite all that, without a Johan transfer, Omar has had a really shitty offseason, and following an epic collapse with a disastrous trade and a ticket price hike is a classic Mets boner. The thrill is gone on Omar’s comeback tour so much so that even wally is beginning to sound less hackish. That’s what my comment was meant to reflect.

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