In 1980, Wilpon bought a one-percent stake in the Mets when Charles Shipman Payson sold the team, with publishing company Doubleday & Co. holding the remaining interest. In 1986, Doubleday president Nelson Doubleday, Jr. sold Doubleday & Co., the owner of his interest in the Mets, to Bertelsmann AG. Wilpon had a right of first refusal in the event of a sale and threatened to exercise it. In the resulting settlement, Doubleday and Wilpon agreed to purchase the Mets for $81 million becoming equal partners in the team. In 2002, the Wilpon Family purchased the remaining 50% of the Mets from Doubleday for $391 million.
Since the Wilpon family took ownership in 2002, the “very talented” Mets have won 2 division titles, 1 National league championship and 0 World Series. They bought the team 16 years ago and have nothing to show for it!
Here are the general managers under the Wilpons since 2002:
- Steve Phillips 1997-2003 (Fired in June 2003): 1 NLCS title (before Wilpons were complete owners)
- Jim Duquette 2003-2004 (Reassigned in September 2004)
- Omar Minaya 2005-2010 (Fired in October 2010): 1 Division title
- Sandy Alderson 2010-2018 (stepped down after medical issues): 1 division title, NLCS title.
The problem lies not with the general managers but with the ownership. Fred and Jeff have been meddling in with day to day operations since day one of complete ownership. The Wilpons have obscuring the total payroll, interfered in medical decisions (Beltran, Martinez), took control over trades and free agent signings (Piazza, Glavine, etc) were involved in Ponzi schemes (Madoff) and engaged in employee harassment (firing of pregnant women).
I pray for the next general manager stepping in. He has to work with terrible ownership that is going to interfere with his day to day operations. He is going to be a puppet for the Wilpons and he is going to be forced to seek medicore free agents because they are cost efficient.
Jeff is the problem with the organization, and he is never going to realize that. He cannot help himself. He has to be involved. He will never hire anyone who will not let him have major input. He will not hire anyone who does not run every personnel decision through him. – Joel Sherman (2010)