(above : the young Fred Wilpon)
While citing the Mets’ Monday acquisitions of LHRP’s Alex Torres and Jerry Blevins, the New York Daily News’ Andy Martino takes issue with principal owner Fred Wilpon’s reticence — today’s clubhouse pep talk aside — to take the sort of high profile approach to public relations you might associate with, well, our friend Randy L. “Wilpon,” writes Martino, “speaks on the record roughly as often as Bob Dylan these days.” Though if you’re counting the Bard Of Hibbing, MN’s recent AARP interview and public remarks concerning Merle Haggard, it would be more correct to say Wilpon speaks on the record far less often than Bob Dylan.
“Fred has communicated that he’s going to be 79 this year, and he wants to see us win — now,” said one Mets person.
Added a longtime friend of Wilpon’s: “Fred isn’t going to stand for any more losing.”
This not-so-subtle pressure actually fits with the culture Sandy Alderson has tried to establish. Whether it was in privately discussing 90 wins last year, or talking big to the press this winter, the GM has been trying to sow a winning mentality around a team founded in Marv Throneberry punchlines. Alderson’s actions on Monday reflected that attitude, when he moved aggressively to fill a need by acquiring two lefty relievers.
On Monday, Mets people resisted the notion that Jeffrey Toobin’s New Yorker piece from 2011 begat an unofficial media embargo by Wilpon, saying there was no direct link. My own observation is that Wilpon is almost always pleasant, but approaches potential interviews in the same way that one might hop around a field of landmines.