File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York

Fred Wilpon apologizes to the Mets, but it’s not good enough for some

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Fred Wilpon was going to fly to Chicago to apologize to the Mets in person, but after talking to Terry Collins and other team officials about what made the most sense, he chose to avoid a possible media scrum and apologize via speaker phone to Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and the Mets, who took the call in the Wrigley Field clubhouse.  According to the Daily News he called David Wright separately, as he is not with the team at the moment due to his injury.

So I guess our short regional nightmare is over.

Or not, because according to Mike Vaccaro in the Post, Wilpon needs to apologize to fans too.  Which I find kind of confusing because I’m not sure what injury his comments in the New Yorker caused them.  Were they under some Wilpon-fueled delusion that the Mets were championship contenders? And that this delusion was firmly in place until the moment the evil Wilpon let his guard down and revealed that — no! — the team was, in fact, “shitty?” Is that the betrayal for which Wilpon needs to apologize?

Seems like a stretch. Most Mets fans I know are more than familiar with the state of the team. And while they wish that Wilpon’s comments didn’t happen due to the distraction they have caused, I don’t get the sense that their substance represents an insult, the kind of which the angry season ticket holder Vaccaro quotes complains of.  If you bought what Wilpon has been selling for the past couple of years that’s your own fault bub. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that the team has been a mess for a while. The people who were actually harmed here were Beltran, Reyes and Wright, it seems.

Back to them: I did find one thing that Jose Reyes had to say rather amusing:  “he’s the boss and he can say what he wants to say.”  That’s right out of the Derek Jeter play book back when George Steinbrenner was running the show in the Bronx.  That little quote usually ended any Big Stein-inspired flap and, over time, diminished the significance of any given incident.

So, the lesson: if you want to sound off on your team, make a habit of it so that everyone can get into a good serve-and-volley rhythm, thereby defusing the story.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.