Maybe outgoing commissioner Bud Selig knows something no one else knows, because with the way he heaped praise on the Mets embattled owners, you would think the team was owned by the Mara family and not the Wilpons.
“As far as I’m concerned, from my perspective, I think the way the Mets are doing this thing is correct,” Selig said on his victory tour whistle stop at Citi Field tonight. “There are a lot of teams in life that spend a lot of money that don’t do well, either. And I’m not trying to be facetious saying that.
“I’m going to see Sandy Alderson, whom of course I have great personal affection and respect for. And I often talk to Sandy, as I do all the general managers and people all over baseball about what they’re doing. I went to Houston early in the year and they were all exorcised about, ‘Oh my goodness, this is a bad team. This is this. This is that.’ And all of a sudden now they’re playing remarkably and so on and so forth. “
Ok fine. Building from within may be the right way to go for any franchise, but Selig seemed to go out of his way to praise the Wilpon family and distance the Mets woes from any other recent sports scandal, including what many thought was apples to apples with the McCourt situation in Las Angeles.
“There are big differences,” Selig said. “I think I’ve covered this subject many, many times. And I don’t want to go back into the whole Frank McCourt/Dodgers situation, because there were enormous ramifications there, many of which maybe weren’t public. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve said this in the past and I’ll say it again: I don’t have any problem with the Mets’ financing, with what’s going on as far as all of our economic rules, and we have a myriad of them. They are in compliance with them. They’re doing fine. The Dodgers were not in compliance with any of them.”
Look, no one is surprised by Selig’s comments today. There’s nothing new here, and it’s true that us humble media types do not have the same information as the Office of the Commissioner.
However, with his tenure ending, you have to wonder if new commissioner Rob Manfred will show the same compassion as Selig, who always viewed Flushing as a most favored nation. Even the newest Mets scandal involving the firing of Mets senior VP Leigh Castergine was dismissed by Bud.
“I monitor everything closely,” Selig said. “That’s employment litigation. There were a lot of charges there. Jeff [Wilpon] denies them vigorously. And I think in this particular case, they’re going to court. And we’re just going to have to see how that plays out.”
Ok sure, Jeff Wilpon didn’t beat a woman, a child or tried to ban a racial group from the ballpark (Fans of all races seem to be doing a good job doing that on their own.), but to view this as a an internal issue – with everything that is going on in the sports world – is naïve at best.
On this issue, though, Selig seems to want to punt – kicking the can down the road for his successor.
“It’s in litigation. It’s disputed,” Selig said. “And there’s nothing else to talk about. We’ll see what happens with litigation, if the litigation goes forward. We don’t even know that.”
That’s fine and dandy, and Manfred will have a tough decision ahead of himself, if Castergine’s claim are proven true, because it may be one of the first major tests the new commissioner will have to make.
Then we will see if Park Avenue remains Flushing friendly.