Jeff Wilpon, Home Alone

imagesScene: It is early in the morning at the Mets Spring Training Complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The players are due to report within a few days. Sandy Alderson walks in and finds Jeff Wilpon, wearing short-short gym shorts, knee pads, an old sweatshirt (ripped Flashdance-style), and matching lime-green sweat bands on his wrists. He is on his knees, slathering grease onto the floor of the weight room with a paint brush. Naturally, Jeff is wearing his favorite fireman’s helmet.

Sandy: Jeff! I didn’t expect to see anyone . . . (he pauses, taking in the scene). What in the world are you doing?

Jeff (beaming brightly): Setting booby traps!

Sandy: Excuse me?

Jeff (rises to his feet, gingerly walks toward Alderson): I’ve been here all night, setting booby traps!

Sandy: I thought that’s what you said. But . . . why?

Jeff: You saw that contract Clayton Kershaw signed with the Dodgers. Two hundred and fifteen million! That’s more than I got for my bar mitzvah. It’s more than I have in my trust fund. We can’t afford contracts like that!

Sandy: Well, we have a little time before we have to worry –

Jeff: — you said it yourself, Sandy! “There are limits to how effective an overall team can be with their payroll concentrated in a small number of players.”

Sandy: Yes, well, but I still don’t understand why you are greasing the floor in the weight room. That’s dangerous. Someone could slip and –

Jeff (smiling): “– and break an elbow — or a neck!”

Sandy: Oh, no. Jeff, what have you done?

Jeff: I got the idea a few nights ago. I was watching this really intense documentary on television. It was about this poor child in Chicago, just a boy, and he was abandoned. Terrifying, absolutely terrifying.

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Sandy: This was on television?

Jeff (excitedly): Then, get this, robbers come and they want steal everything in this kid’s house. I mean, I identified with that kid, Sandy. I was that poor child in Chicago! But this kid, he’s like MacGyver, you know, he comes up with all these awesome booby traps.

Sandy: Wait a minute, Jeff. It sounds like you are describing the movie “Home Alone.”

images1Jeff (walks over to Zack Wheeler’s locker): Here, watch this. You might want to step back, Sandy. (Jeff opens Wheeler’s locker and a giant boxing glove shoots out, propelled by a spring mechanism. Jeff claps his hands in delight.) That’s a major concussion at the least!

Sandy: Jeff, this is crazy.

Jeff (holds up glass jar): I’ve got tarantulas . . .

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. . . flame-throwers, a red-hot iron, broken glass, tar, feathers — all kinds great ideas inspired by that sweet blonde boy in the documentary.

 

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Anyway, this one is my favorite. (Jeff pushes a button on the coffee maker, quickly steps to the side,  and a giant anvil falls from the ceiling and crashes through the floor.

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Sandy: Jeff, this is insane. We don’t want to kill our own players! Besides, I’m pretty sure you got that last idea from a cartoon. A cartoon, Jeff! About a coyote!

Jeff: We can’t kill them, but can’t pay them, either. We’ve got to face facts.

Sandy: That’s why we do the whole Super 2 thing, Jeff. It’s why we’re keeping Montero down. You saw the way we screwed Tejada last year out of a full year before he’s arbitration eligible.

Jeff: But then you gave him a big raise. Why?

Sandy: He was going to file a grievance, I had no choice. How do you think we came up with that idea of pitchers needing at least 150 innings at Triple-A? We pulled that number out of our gazoos, but it’s going to save us big money down the road!

ejection-seat-af-acesiiJeff: Look at this idea, you’ll love it. (He walks over to a chair, places a cinder block on it, and — sploinnnngggg! — it ejects the block through the ceiling. Plaster and bricks rain down all around them.) Ha-ha-ha. That’s d’Arnaud’s chair! It’s really an ejection seat. Ha-ha-ha-ha!

Sandy: Jeff, that movie you saw wasn’t real. It was all pretend, performed by Hollywood stunt men.

Jeff (shakes his head): No, I’m pretty sure it was a true story.

Sandy: It was a movie, Jeff. You can’t do that to real people. They’ll die!

Jeff: They’ll be fine, just a few months on the DL. I saw it with my own eyes. They jumped right back up. It was funny.

Sandy (sighs): It’s fake.

wilpon1-150x150Jeff (soothingly): Let’s agree to disagree, okay, Sandy? Anyway, I’m trying to help the team out. Just like you said, it would be a terrible mistake to pay lots of money to good players. You can’t win that way! That would be the ruination of my savings account! See, I’m learning. I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!

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3 comments

  1. Alan K. says:

    Great stuff, Jimmy! I’ve always thought that Jeff should replace Selig as commissioner. That would prevent Jeff from having any role with the Mets, it would give Jeff a cool title and a chance to travel across the country and get to wear a lot of different hats and he’d be a media magnet because one never knows what he might say next.

    • Thanks, Alan. I’m sure there’s folks who hate these satiric one-act dramas of mine — where’s the news? — but I find them entertaining. There was just something funny in the idea of Jeff watching “Home Alone” and believing it was a documentary. Also, there’s value in portraying Jeff Wilpon as an object of ridicule. He’s just the worst, and we should never forget it. Thus, reminders like this one.

      • Alan K. says:

        I love that stuff-very funny although the actual conversations between Sandy and Jeff might be even funnier. This reminds me of that line from Robin Williams in “Good Morning Vietnam” in which he said about Nixon – “there’s a man who is screaming out to be made fun of.” I wonder if Jeff as a taping system…

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