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Nelson Doubleday was a Prophet

By Mike Silva ~ January 16th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

The chaos that developed over the Carlos Beltran knee surgery is a clear indictment of the Mets poor management structure. Steve Phillips described it as a “collegial” last summer. Essentially this means people down the ladder can go to people up on the ladder, and people up on the ladder can go down the ladder to any level and have conversations, share thoughts, ideas. Good in theory, but very difficult to run a business when some people have personal agendas or limitations. The lack of a chain of command leads to bad decisions and poor communication, hence why the Mets have situations like they did with Beltran. Should this be a surprise? Not if you look back at some comments by former owner Nelson Doubleday. These are courtesy of ESPN from July 21st, 2003.

Eleven months ago, Nelson Doubleday cut ties with the Mets by completing the sale of his half of the team to co-owner Fred Wilpon. Although he still refers to the franchise as “we,” it appears Doubleday is glad he’s no longer aboard for the ride.

“I think it’s been awful out there,” Doubleday said for a story published in the Newark Star-Ledger on Monday. “I don’t want to fire shells at somebody, but we’re 22 games out. It’s so close that it gets you nervous. We might fall into a minor league. We might not even make it into Triple-A.”

The last-place Mets are actually 25 games out of first after Sunday’s collapse against first-place Atlanta. New York’s struggles have been magnified in the last month following the trades of second baseman Roberto Alomar, outfielder Jeromy Burnitz and closer Armando Benitez for prospects.

Their low point may have been Sunday night, when the Mets blew a five-run, eighth-inning lead and lost to the Braves 11-8. The Mets were swept in four to fall to 40-57, and they easily could finish with the worst record in the NL.

Doubleday especially had some harsh words for Jeff Wilpon, Fred’s son, who is heavily involved in the daily operation of the franchise.

“Mr. Jeff Wilpon has decided that he’s going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year,” Doubleday told the newspaper. “Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail.”

In fact, Doubleday still owns box seats at Shea Stadium, but apparently does not attend games partly due to the presence of the younger Wilpon.

“Jeff sits there by himself like he’s King Tut waiting for his camel,” Doubleday told the paper. “Hump one. Hump two. They like that, two for the price of one.”

Doubleday also criticized the Mets for how they handled the Mike Piazza situation. The Mets want Piazza to learn to play first base to ease the physical workload of his catching duties.

“I like the skill and finesse with which they told Mike he is going to be a first baseman,” Doubleday told the paper. “That’s like an oversized truck trying to get through the Midtown Tunnel. ‘Here’s your hat. What’s your hurry?’ “

Doubleday left very few of the Mets unscathed in his remarks to the Star-Ledger.

- On Mo Vaughn, who’s out with a serious, possible career-ending knee injury: “They made him lose weight so they didn’t have to feed him so much in the team lunch basket.”

- On Tom Glavine, who has struggled after signing a $35 million, three-year contract during the offseason: “Somebody ought to check his record in the second half of last season.”

- On 42-year-old reliever John Franco, who recently returned from major elbow surgery: “There’s a great pitcher. The other night, it didn’t look like he could throw it through the hole in a life preserver. But he’s from Brooklyn! Watch out! He goes home to Ebbets Field every night. He takes a ride on the Cyclone.”

Let me leave you with the one that should stand out the most:

“ We might fall into a minor league. ” — Nelson Doubleday

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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3 Responses to Nelson Doubleday was a Prophet

  1. Pedro

    Ya gotta love Nelson Doubleday. He makes some good points but he almost sounded like he was drunk during the interview.

  2. kranepool

    Drunk or not everything Nelly D is quoted on in the pieced is 100 % accurate unlike the b.s. we are getting now over Beltran’s injury/surgery I nominated Nelson Doubleday for enshrinement to the Mets Hall of Fame

  3. willy k

    No fan of the Wilpon’s nor the liberal vote, but the 2 for 1 slur was inappropriate. Doubleday got us Piazza and I thought that he was a class act. The Wilpons brought Santanna, Beltran, Delgado, Krod, etc hardly cheap.

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