The “2 Guys” team recently enjoyed unparalleled access to the inner workings of Mets management. Here’s our report . . .
Scene: Fred Wilpon’s office. Fred Wilpon sits at a ramshackle desk made of old boards, duct tape, and cinderblocks. He gazes misty-eyed through the dusty pages of the 1954 Lafayette High School Yearbook. Fred’s son, Jeff Wilpon, is sprawled on the floor, surrounded by crayons and scrap paper. Jeff is wearing a white shirt, loose tie, and jacket with matching schoolboy shorts, looking like Angus Young’s pasty-faced twin. A knock on the door and in enters . . .
SANDY ALDERSON: Fred, I’m glad I caught you.
FRED WILPON (ducks under desk, speaks in a ghost-like voice): Fred is not heeeeere. Go awaaaaay.
SANDY: Don’t worry, Fred. I’m not here to ask for money.
FRED (returns to chair): That’s good, because that ship has sailed, my friend! The cow is out of the barn! That shit’s been shot! Can I get you something to eat. A cracker? A glass of water? Tap, of course.
SANDY: No, I’m fine, thanks. I realize that times are tough.
FRED (muses): Did I ever tell you how Omar used to come into this office? I swear he used to pull some kind of voodoo magic on me. He’d start talking and I’d go into a trance . . . and before I knew it, I was writing checks to Third World countries. That’s why I like you so much, Sandy. You never ask for money! What’s that phrase you use so often?
SANDY: One of the key tenets of our approach, blah blah blah?
FRED: No, that’s not it.
SANDY: We do understand and are actively engaged in blah blah blah?
FRED (shakes head): Nooo.
SANDY: Still exploring internal options before blah blah blah?
FRED: Bingo, that’s the one! Exploring internal options! Ha-ha, love it! You know what else I like about you, Sandy? You’ve got the Good Face! You can make burnt toast smell like, um, er . . . toast that isn’t burnt!
SANDY: Obviously, you’ve seen my work in San Diego.
FRED (laughs): That whole speech you gave the other day about wanting to keep R.A. Dickey, and how much you like him, but then leaking the organization’s “fears” — quote/unquote — about his age and injuries and -–“
SANDY (laughs): Don’t forget the anonymous GM tipster who opined that Dickey will demand 4 years at $15 million per.
FRED: That was you?!
SANDY (grins, blows on fingernails): It’s not lying, exactly. I see it more as the art of rolling up your sleeves and gently massaging a pile of poop. You’ve got to get your hands in the muck. Well, not my hands! That’s why we pay Ricciardi and DePodesta.
FRED (points): It’s like every time you talk about Jason Bay still possibly being a productive player!
SANDY: Lots of massage. Big, huge, steaming piles of poop! (Laughter.)
FRED (leans in, hopeful): Speaking of Jason . . . ?
SANDY (shakes head): No, sorry. He won’t surrender those photographs. Really, Fred. You should be more discreet.
FRED: Blackmail’s a bitch. You’re so right, Sandy. You know I love that name, Sandy. I used to play ball with a fellow by the name of Sandy. Turned out to be a pretty good ballplayer, too. I ever tell you that story?
ALDERSON (sighs, sits uncomfortably, reaches for a cracker): Yes, several times.
FRED: Lafayette High, those were the days. I was a pretty good prospect myself, some scouts thought I was even better than Koufax, actually, but –-“
SANDY: YOUCH! Damn it, Fred! Little Jeffy just stapled my leg! Jesus, that hurts!
FRED: Ha-ha, kids. Jeffy, did you take Daddy’s stapler?
FRED: Sandy, look what you did. You made him cry.
SANDY: I’m bleeding here!
FRED: Now you have to make my boy happy, Sandy. You know what little Jeffy loves, don’t you?
SANDY: No, absolutely not!
FRED: Just this once.
SANDY: Fred, I already let Jeffy make a trade last winter! Remember? Angel Pagan for Torres and Ramirez! Who on EARTH would want Andres Torres??!! We can’t afford another lame-brained move like . . . I mean, miscalculation, like that.
JEFF (whines, bangs head on floor): Daddy, I wanna pway Genewal Manager!
FRED (cajoling): Come on, Sandy. Just let him make one eensy-weensy trade this winter. Who’ve we got on the blocks? Niese, Dickey, Davis? Let Jeffy get on the phone and cut a deal.
JEFF (speaking into toy phone): Hewwo? Dis ish Jeffy Wilpon and I wanna bwoker a deawl width you!
SANDY: Heaven help us. Do you have any Tylenol, Fred? Bayer aspirin? Excedrin?
FRED: Pish and tosh! No need spending on expensive brand names. Generic is just as good! (Fred cuts crumbling aspirin tablet in half.)
SANDY: Ah, yes, thanks. (Chuckles to himself.) The Mike Nickeas of pain relief.
FRED: Don’t be so glum. You know this is a family business, Sandy. Why even my son Bruce was instrumental in helping us scout Kaz Matsui. Remember Kaz? Talked funny?
SANDY: Talked funny? Oh, Christ, Fred. He was Japanese!
FRED (whispers): Oh, I thought he was gay. Threw like a girl. Even I didn’t understand why Bruce wanted to move rocket-armed Jose to second base.
SANDY (bends down, pats Jeff on head, sighs with resignation): I suppose I could let the little tyke sign another free agent. What harm could it do?
FRED (demurs): I don’t know, that stuff costs money. I don’t have my good old pal Bernie anymore. Guy used to practically print the stuff — ho, ho! I still think you never should have let my brain-addled son sign Frank Francisco. I mean, come on, Frank Fran-Freaking-cisco!
SANDY: Um, that’s was me.
FRED: Well, the idiocy of signing D.J. Carrasco to a 2-year deal. Only a certified moron would have –
SANDY: No, that was me, too.
FRED: Oh, crap. You’re killing me here! No more Daddy Bigbucks, Sandy. You’re on your own. (Pops remaining half-tablet of aspirin into mouth.) 2013 is going to be a loooong season.