Fred Wilpon: Cheap or Just an Idiot?

Randy MedinaCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2009

Last night, in section 534 in the upper de...errr...I mean Promenade at Citi Field, I got into an interesting debate about Mets owner Fred Wilpon.  The gentleman sitting in front of me contended that Fred "Coupon" is a cheap owner while I contend that he is not necessarily a cheapskate, just an idiot.

First of all, I just wanted to go on record saying that the whole "Coupon" nickname drives me crazy.  It was cute for a while, but now it just sounds childish and silly when I hear fans say it.  Plus, every fan that uses it acts like they invented it, but I digress.

Secondly, please understand that I know that Wilpon and his staff are all very intelligent, educated people.  The point I am trying to argue is that when it comes to understanding his fanbase, or as Wilpon would prefer, his customer base, he is an idiot.

My counterpart argued that the Met's lack of recent signings is a sign that he is cheap.  I disagree.  After all, our payroll is still near the top of the list.  While there were free agents who the Mets mysteriously passed on, I think that is more a function of money foolishly misallocated by our GM. 

I argue that this proves that, relative to running a team, Wilpon is simply an idiot.  He hired a GM who could not make proper decisions on contracts and continues to stick by him.

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I think the lack of Mets history in the ballpark further proves his idiocy.  I don't think that Wilpon maliciously decided to exclude any Mets flavor from the ballpark.  I just think no one ever bothered to think about it because when it comes to understanding the wants of their fans, they are simply too idiotic to have someone advising them.

Fred wanted his Ebbets Field, and I respect that, but he needed to have the common sense to hire someone (me perhaps?) to be in his ear saying, "Great, let's do that, but let's also do this."

We continued our debate on our way out of the park as we walked down the stairs.  For those who have never had the pleasure, the stairwells at Citi Field are these unfinished ugly things that are screaming for decoration or at the very least a coat of blue and orange paint. 

My counterpart once again argued that Wilpon was too cheap and would not spend the money on the paint.

Again, I believe Wilpon would gladly do it if anyone on his staff would have simply explained why.  But there is no one there to say, "Hey, let's give these walls some color.  Maybe a mural or some great Mets moments?" 


The people he has making these decisions are idiots, directly appointed by the head idiot.  These people probably never leave the Acela or Caesars club long enough to ever notice anyway. 

What do you think? 

Who is right?

Is anyone right?

Maybe Fred Wilpon is the greatest owner in team history, and I am too big of an idiot to notice?


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