UPDATE: Here’s a transcript of Ramirez’s whole session with the media and additional comments from “clubhouse leader” Wes Helms. Quick take: why would a reporter ask Ramirez if he had lose respect for Fredi Gonzalez? Sure, Ramirez could have answered it any way he wanted to, but that’s awfully leading, isn’t it? That aside, it’s not like Ramirez was taken out of context or anything. What started as a booted ball and a a moment of hustle impairment has revealed what is apparently a deeply divided clubhouse. Stay tuned, kids, because this is about to get interesting.
10:50 A.M. OK, it was bad enough that he got sent packing from last night’s game, but now Hanley Ramirez is just going nuts. According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, Ramirez told reporters Tuesday morning that he “lost some
respect” for manager Fredi Gonzalez after Monday’s benching.
To which I’d respond: if you had any respect for him to begin with, Hanley, you wouldn’t have loafed after that ball to begin with. Our respect for you, however, is plummeting quite quickly, thank you.
said that Gonzalez
doesn’t understand playing through
pain because “he never played in the big leagues,” which may as well be code for “I don’t feel like I have to listen to anything my manager says because that excuse applies to absolutely everything.”
According to Capozzi’s game story last night, Marlins’ owner Jeff Loria was in Fredi Gonzalez’s office after the game. How happy would Loria be if he had a legitimate excuse — say, clubhouse chaos — for trying to unload Hanley Ramirez’s $70 million contract?
And yes, I realize that would be monumentally stupid form a competitive point of view. But it is Jeff Loria we’re talking about here, and he’s not exactly immune from letting financial considerations trump competitive ones. You can’t tell me that the thought hasn’t crossed his mind.
Marc Carig of Newsday took Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon to the woodshed over the weekend. He, quite justifiably, lambasted them for their inexplicable frugality, their seeming indifference to wanting to put a winning team on the field and, above all else, their unwillingness to level with the fans or the press about the team’s plans or priorities.
Mets ownership is unaccountable, Carig argues, asking everything of fans and giving nothing in the way of a plan or even hope in return:
Mets fans ought to know where their money is going, because it’s clear that much of it isn’t ending up on the field . . . They never talk about money. Whether it’s arrogance or simply negligence, they have no problem asking fans to pony up the cash and never show the willingness to reciprocate.
And they’re not just failing to be forthcoming with the fans. Even the front office is in the dark about the direction of the team at any given time:
According to sources, the front office has only a fuzzy idea of what they actually have to spend in any given offseason. They’re often flying blind, forced to navigate the winter under the weight of an invisible salary cap. This is not the behavior of a franchise that wants to win.
Carig is not a hot take artist and is not usually one to rip a team or its ownership like this. As such, it should not be read as a columnist just looking to bash the Wilpons on a slow news day. To the contrary, this reads like something well-considered and a long time in the works. It has the added benefit of being 100% true and justified. The Mets have been run like a third rate operation for years. Even when the product on the field is good, fans have no confidence that ownership will do what it takes to maintain that success.
All that seems to matter to the Wilpons is the bottom line and everything flows from there. They may as well be making sewing machines or selling furniture.