The Mets Are The Same As They Ever Were


Jim Rome
August 28, 2020 - 9:16 am
Brodie Van Wagenen

USA Today


The New York Mets and Miami Marlins took the field last night with the Mets players taking up their positions in the field. The Marlins lined up along the third base line and the Mets bench players along the first base line. That was followed by a 42-second moment of silence in honor of Jackie Robinson. Then the players left the field, leaving a Black Lives Matter shirt covering home plate.

It was quite a statement. And it was supposed to be the biggest statement the Mets made all day. And yet, in true New York Mets fashion it wasn’t. Because while they were trying to create a moment, bring awareness, and make a statement, they did what they always do – which is trip on their own shoelaces and fall on their faces. And embarrass themselves and their fans all over again. You know, pretty much what they do every single day, whether they play or not. 

This is New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen talking about the team’s planned demonstration for last night.

There is so much to love about that clip. First off, the fact that he starts with “this can’t leave the room.” And sure enough, it left the room. And I’ll get to how it left the room in a moment, because that thing was flying out of the room.

BVM lays out the situation at the beginning: "Baseball's trying to come up with a solution to say, you know what would be super powerful -- three of us here, can't leave this room -- you know what would be really great: If you just have 'em all take the field, then they leave the field and then they come back and play at 8:10. And I was like, 'What?'" 

Then someone who isn’t identified says, “Who said that?”

And BVM comes back with “Rob.” As in the commissioner of baseball. Then BVM continues: “And with Jeff, scheduling's gonna be a nightmare, and there's so much at stake. And I said: 'Jeff, that's not happening.'"

Jeff is Jeff Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer.

An unidentified voice says “They're not dealing with reality."

Then BVM really comes with the hammer for the commissioner: “But that's Rob's instinct. And Rob -- exactly what you and I were talking about -- at leadership level he doesn't get it. He just doesn't get it."

Absolutely perfect. That is pure gold. The general manager of the Mets saying that the commissioner of the sport “at a leadership level, he doesn’t get it. He just doesn’t get it.”

And look, let’s be fair, I think BVM might be right about that. If the commissioner thought having the players leave the field for an hour and then come back later and play the game was going to be a powerful statement, he really doesn’t get it. That really is a truly asinine and pointless gesture.

The importance of not playing is that you are making a statement about not being a distraction and you are directing everyone’s attention to the larger issues. If you don’t play for an hour, what does that do? That’s a rain delay. So BVM isn’t wrong in what he says about the commissioner. If the Mets are right about something, when has that ever happened,….and you’re on the wrong side of them, what the hell does that say about you? Nothing good, Robert. Nothing good. Then again, when was the last Robert did anything right?  Ever. All of that aside, to the real issue at hand: how did I get my hands on that audio? How is that BVM, started by saying by insisting that this can’t leave the room, and that’s exactly what happened? How did I get my hands on it? Did I bug their offices: did someone from the Mets ass dial me?  Nope, none of that: it’s even worse and even more Mets.

It was streamed on Mets dot com. THE TEAM’S WEBSITE.  hahahahahaha (insert all our great laugh tracks). Seriously, how funny is that? 

A 20-year old Mets fan found it while he was browsing for content. He told the New York Post: “I found the video on when I went to look for an update on whether they would play tonight,”. “It was sitting on their home page for who knows how long. When I heard [Van Wagenen’s comments,] I couldn’t believe it.”

Neither can I. Actually, that’s not true. Because it’s the Mets, I totally believe it. I totally believe that their general manager would be livestreamed on the team’s website crushing the commissioner of the sport. In fact, the only shock here is that the Mets didn’t something this stupid even sooner.

And I definitely believe that he would preface all of it by saying “this can’t leave the room.” There is nothing like saying “this can’t leave the room” when you are standing in a media room. Forget a hot mic, that’s a hot room. That room is so hot it’s a damn sauna.

You could take a steam bath in there. And if you think the Mets are done making an embarrassment of themselves, if you think they were just going to stop with the GM bashing the commissioner on camera, you don’t know the Mets. Not only were they not done, they were just getting started.

BVM released an apology, of sorts: "Jeff Wilpon [Mets COO] called Commissioner Manfred this afternoon to notify him that our players voted not to play. They discussed the challenges of rescheduling the game. Jeff proposed an idea of playing the game an hour later. I misunderstood that this was the Commissioner's idea. In actuality, this was Jeff's suggestion. The players had already made their decision so I felt the suggestion was not helpful. My frustration with the Commissioner was wrong and unfounded. I apologize to the Commissioner for my disrespectful comments and poor judgement in inaccurately describing the contents of his private conversation with Jeff Wilpon."

Uh, okay, so that’s what you’re going with? That the one hour delay was your boss’s idea and not the big boss’s idea. That’s a great explanation. It wasn’t the boss of the league who had this terrible idea, it was the guy who signs my checks who had this terrible idea.

And by the way, that still doesn’t explain you saying to someone off camera “But that's Rob's instinct. And Rob -- exactly what you and I were talking about -- at leadership level he doesn't get it. He just doesn't get it."

That implies that you have had previous conversations, most likely not on camera, where you’ve been bashing the commissioner. Clearly, you don’t respect the guy: or his ability to lead. You can’t explain your way out of that one. You would’ve been better off just saying, no, I wasn’t talking about Rob Manfred, I was talking about Rob Lowe. That guy does not get it at a leadership level

Rob Kardashian simply does not get our game. He just doesn’t get it. Let me tell you something about Rob Gronkowski.  Freaking out of touch man. Dude, the hell is wrong with Rob Reinder? Has ever even been to a baseball game. Freaking Rob Riggle is running out game right into the ground! Holy crap. How the hell did Rob Thomas even job in baseball, much less the most important job…..yeah, nice try with that.

And the Mets still weren’t done. Team CEO Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon released statements. Here is part of Jeff’s:

“To clear up any misunderstandings, it was my suggestion to potentially look into playing the game later because of scheduling issues. Brod[ie]’s misunderstanding of a private conversation was and is inexcusable.”

Never good when your boss is saying that you misunderstood a private conversation and it was inexcusable. But even better that that? Would you like to know the best part about those statements? They spelled Brodie’s name wrong. Multiple times. And not his last name, his first name. In both statements. Hell yes

Ben Van Wagenen was wrong when he did that. Bart Van Wagenen really didn't act like the Boris Van Wagenen we know or the Barry Van Wagenen we hired. Brent should never do something like that.

Oh, and yes, the organization that consistently pukes all over itself did it again and managed to ruin and overshadow a powerful statement that their team made on the field. Let’s go Mets!  But you me, I’m not here to hate.  and I’m not here to murder the Mets: I’m here to provide objective balanced analysis: so If I something that might be perceived as negative about the Mets I will quickly chase that with something positive about the Mets: as an example, if you’re a butt hurt Mets fan thinking damn, Rome, get off these guys already, why don’t something about them.  Ok...  I will.  When I think back on the the truly great Mets and a truly great moments, this met and this moment immediately comes to mind: (insert Mets kid going crazy)

The New York Mets: same as they ever were: don’t ever change.  I know you won’t.