The drama surrounding the New York Mets doesn't seem likely to end any time soon. The drama surrounding Dave Hudgens' firing has taken on a life of its own, as he went on a media tour yesterday essentially spilling the beans on the inner workings of the Mets. Then a report surfaced this morning that Hudgens' firing didn't come from Sandy Alderson, but COO Jeff Wilpon, Howard Megdal of Capital New York reports.
According to Megdal's report, Wilpon overruled GM Sandy Alderson on the matter of Hudgens' employment status. Hudgens has had a long history with Alderson, going back to their days working with the Oakland A's in the 1980's, and Alderson had nothing but praise for his work ethic in interviews after the firing. Megdal's report states that Wilpon sent multiple angry messages to Alderson during and after Monday's loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and essentially ordered Alderson to fire the hitting coach.
Sources within the Mets refused to comment on Megdal's report, instead referring to Alderson's comments after the firing as their official response. Alderson himself has denied the charge of being ordered to fire Hudgens, and insists that it was his decision and his alone. The perception from the Mets doesn't seem to be matching what Hudgens told reporters in interviews, however, as he indicated that Alderson isn't being allowed to mold the team in the way he wants by ownership.
If this report is true, the Mets are in deep trouble. The Wilpons, Jeff in particular, have shown zero baseball acumen and business sense over the last decade. The Mets have had only three winning seasons since the Wilpons attained full ownership in 2002, and Mets fans have long been afraid of Jeff Wilpon constantly meddling with his baseball people like a poor man's Jerry Jones. This incident will do nothing to calm their fears.
If the Mets want to stop this drama from building, they need to let Alderson execute his plan and be honest about the team's finances. Alderson's comments to the press yesterday came off as organizational spin about trying to generate ticket sales for a terrible product, instead of genuine visions for the future. If Jeff Wilpon doesn't let Alderson execute his plan, there is a good chance he will walk away after his contract expires at the end of the season. It will be very difficult to convince anyone to take a GM post with the Mets after that, as many around the league are convinced the Wilpons are more involved in baseball decisions than is presently reported.
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