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When it rains, it pours for the New York Mets

Chris Ruddick,
MLB Editor


Rounding Third Logo Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Things are just never easy for the New York Mets.

As if losing two out of three to their hated cross-town rival Yankees over the weekend was not enough, now comes the news that owner Fred Wilpon blasts a few of his superstars in an upcoming article in the New Yorker.

Of shortstop Jose Reyes, Wilpon says, "He thinks he's going to get Carl Crawford money," referring to the seven-year, $142 million contract the outfielder signed with the Boston Red Sox this past winter. "He's had everything wrong with him. He won't get it."

Wilpon also chimed in on outfielder Carlos Beltran, saying. "We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series. He's sixty-five to seventy percent of what he was."

He, of course, is referring to himself as the schmuck.

Now what he says may be true, but probably not something the owner of the team should be saying, unless of course you are George Steinbrenner, and last time I checked, as much as Wilpon may like to be, he is clearly not.

I guess if there was ever any doubt that those two are gone, regardless of where the Mets are in the standings come the trade deadline, that has been put to rest.


Fred Wilpon blasts a few of his superstars in an upcoming article in the New Yorker.
It just doesn't make much sense from a business standpoint to call them out?

How many teams are going to make a deal for Beltran, or at least give anything of value up now, knowing that his current owner thinks he is 65-70 percent the player he used to be?

Forget the Reyes and Beltran stuff, though, since either at the trade deadline or this winter, both are leaving anyway, and most Mets fans could probably care less. It is Wilpon's comments about third baseman, David Wright, that were the most scathing and could leave the deepest wound.

"Really good kid," Wilpon said. "A very good player. Not a superstar."

It's that last line that bites the most. Not a superstar. That is something that Wright has had to fight with almost since his callup in 2004. Is David Wright a superstar? It's a topic that has been argued ad nauseam on New York sports talk radio. Even when things seemed to be at their bleakest, Mets fans always had David Wright. He was their guy. Well, according to Wilpon, he is not even the player you think he is.

I guess the Mike Francesa's of the world should have just asked Wilpon instead of fielding calls from fans, because the answer is apparently no.

It probably doesn't help now that Wright will be gone for a good while with a stress fracture in his lower back. Are things that bad for the Mets that Wilpon is now softening the blow of a Wright exit down the road?

Wilpon does seem to like first baseman Ike Davis, but still couldn't help himself in taking another shot at his ballclub in giving his young player a compliment.

"Good hitter," Wilpon said. "Sh--ty team. Good hitter."

Regardless of what Wilpon thinks of his club, the team has become a likeable bunch, despite the series loss this weekend. Much more so than teams in recent years that featured the likes of Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. They are a gritty bunch who have taken on the identity of their manager. Take a look at that roster, how in the world is that team hovering around the .500 mark?

To say it hasn't been a good year for Wilpon is an understatement. You still can't pin down an exact amount - and you likely won't - he may have lost in the Bernie Madoff scandal, but he has put a part of his team up for sale. Wilpon denies it, but some have speculated that this is just the first step in a full sale of the team.

Madoff, by the way, was also quoted in the New Yorker article and spoke fondly of Wilpon, who the bankruptcy trustee in the Madoff scam have accused of looking the other way as his group profited.

I'm not so sure what to think. On the one hand, Wilpon has this great rags-to- riches story. A true self-made millionaire. But on the other, who was naive enough to get swindled by Madoff? Who knows? I'm sure we never will.

The New Yorker article was supposed to be a tribute to Wilpon, showing how he overcome great odds to get to where he is today. It was going to offer Wilpon a little sympathy that he wasn't being offered anywhere else.

All it did, though in the end, was serve as just another black eye to the franchise he may very well soon lose his grip on.

BREATHE EASY PHILADELPHIA ... CHASE UTLEY IS BACK

If you listened to sports talk radio in Philadelphia, you would think the Phillies were a last place team instead of one who has the best record in the National League at 28-18.

Well Philadelphia, your long national nightmare is over because Chase Utley will be activated from the disabled list and will be back in the lineup in his customary three-spot on Monday when the team opens a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.

If anyone thinks that just having Utley back is going to transform this lineup into the 1927 Yankees, I think you may be sadly mistaken. Utley will help, of course, because even if he is not the player he once was, he is absolutely still better than Pete Orr and Wilson Valdez.

But, let's not forget, this is a lineup that struggled for a good part of the year last year with not only Utley, but also Jayson Werth in it. This is a team that is built on its pitching staff and, by the way, in case you haven't noticed, the results have been pretty good. Regardless of what some people in Philadelphia think.

The Phillies have moved into that class of teams that play 162-game exhibitions. They are making the playoffs. It doesn't matter how, they'll be playing in October.

As Bill Parcells once said, "just get into the tournament".

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Ruddick at cruddick@sportsnetwork.com.

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