Fred Wilpon was profiled in the New Yorker and he dropped some bombs. In particular, he said David Wright was a good player but not a superstar, and that Jose Reyes was crazy for wanting Carl Crawford money. He said Ike Davis was a good hitter on a ‘shitty team.’ He besmirched his brand new field.
In general, he showed himself to be a bad owner, and a bad manager of people.
It’s one thing to talk about your players in the press. George Steinbrenner did it, and had success. Jerry Manuel did it and had no success. It could be a point of personal belief – you could think that some players are playing so poorly that they should be outed. You might think that those players will play better once they are called out in public and their reputation is put on the line. All of that is fine, even if I don’t agree.
But to talk crap on your entire team, on your organization, and your building – that’s just stupid. There’s no other way to say it. You’re in charge of a brand, and you’ve just denigrated your own brand. You called your own team ‘snake bitten?’ How does that help put butts in the seat? How does calling the team ‘shitty’ make anyone want to work for you?
Great managers have a unifying vision and champion that vision through tough times. They call on all of their employees to share that vision and make every effort to help make it happen. It takes some cheer leading and some genuine belief. It takes the ability to look forward while also being reasonable. It’s no easy feat, because great managers must be able to have fortitude of belief while exercising flexibility of mind.
Fred Wilpon is no great manager.