This is really no surprise given how smoothly the Rangers’ season has gone, but the Rangers made it official: Ron Washington, whose contract was set to expire after the season, will be back for 2011. The details will come later.
How many people would have guessed we’d be saying this back in March when it was revealed that he had tested positive for cocaine last year? At the time most people wouldn’t have bet a bucket of warm spit that Washington would make it beyond 2010. Of course, a lot of that had to do with it being March, and people jump to all kinds of crazy, moralistic conclusions about such matters when there are no real baseball games going on.
The most important thing in baseball remains winning. Ron Washington has the Rangers winning, and he’s done so in a season when a lot of people wouldn’t have been surprised if off the field events distracted them. And for that he is being justly rewarded.
It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.
What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.
You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.
Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:
I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.
This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.