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Some Mets visited Walter Reed Hospital; some didn’t; world did not end

Apr 26, 2011, 4:32 PM EST

Walter Reed Hospital

Remember the ridiculous controversy — or was it a nontroversey? — last September when Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez failed to make the voluntary team visit to Walter Reed Hospital while in Washington to play the Nats?  How Jeff Wilpon and then the New York media went absolutely bonkers over this, calling out those three for not doing something that reflected that there are things in the world that are bigger than baseball? Even though they never, ever would have been called out for it had it not been for their subpar performance as baseball players?

Yeah, that was totally not fun.  But at least it served one purpose: it put everyone else on notice that, boy howdy, they have better have their stories straight for the next visit to Walter Reed. Which occurred today:

The Mets visited Walter Reed Medical Center on Tuesday and unlike last year, the only two players who didn’t attend — Francisco Rodriguez and Taylor Buchholz — notified the team in advance that they wouldn’t arrive until Tuesday and had permission to miss it.

It’s neat that one needs “permission” to miss a voluntary outing like this, but such is the world the Mets live in now. A world in which fear of a public shaming by team ownership and the press instills patriotism and fosters a strong belief in public service. And what better motivation is there than that!

  1. cur68 - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Clearly team ownership is immune to public embarrassment and shaming otherwise they’d notify New York that they are selling.

    • Old Gator - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:07 PM

      Who needed Francisco Rodriguez punching out an aging veteran anyway?

      • cur68 - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:23 PM

        He probably stayed away so he wasn’t tempted do anything rash. Some of those veterans can be right impertinent. I should know; my old man is one. Jeffy shoulda been thanking him.

  2. steve keane - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    word is Rodriguez was visiting his kids through court appointed visitation and Taylor Buchholz got permission to visit his 5 year old in Philadelphia. I don’t know what’s more disturbing the knee jerk reaction to this visit or non-visit to the hospital or the fact I know why these players didn’t make the trip to the hospital

  3. chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Whoa … if anyone is guilty of blowing the Walter Reed visits out of proportion it is primarily the media — especially you, Craig. How “Jeff Wilpon wasn’t happy” turns into going “absolutely bonkers” is a mystery to all but those intent on obsessing about the Wilpons and spinning things into caricatures of reality. smh

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      Jeff Wilpon didn’t get pissed in a vacuum. He got pissed and then told people — or had subordinates tell people — in the media about it as a way to publicly shame his employees he didn’t much care for at the time.

      You can criticize me and others for making too much of it, but Wilpon was being a grandstanding classless ass about it last year.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:56 PM

        If the media reports on something then of course it isn’t in a vacuum. But no one said he got “pissed” or went “bonkers.” That’s YOUR characterization and quite a stretch and exaggeration from what was actually reported. He might have been merely mildly annoyed. If he wanted to grandstand there are better ways to do it than to just tell people he was “not happy.”

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        If he was only mildly annoyed he doesn’t seek out members of the media to communicate it. He does that if he’s either (a) more than mildly annoyed; or (b) he’s not really annoyed at all, but rather, is trying to take advantage of a situation where he could use a visit to wounded soldiers as a means of trashing his team’s unpopular players.

        Quibble with my verbiage all you want, but neither speaks well of Wilpon.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:01 PM

        “Going bonkers” is what George Steinbrenner did all the time. It’s what Lou Pinella and Ozzie Guillen are famous for doing. Your choice of words is intended to distort things all out of proportion.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:04 PM

        Steinbrenner? You mean how he used to make big media stories out of the smallest, beside the point things in order to distract from other things like, say, the team not doing well or his own personal or business issues?

        Yeah, Wilpon did nothing like that at all.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM

        Also, you don’t know if Jeff Wilpon sought out the media or if the media asked him FIRST about the absence of the players. You’re just assuming he sought them out, which is not always the case, especially with the NY media.

        He might have said something like “it would have been nice if everyone went. I hope they have a good reason for not going.” That would certainly qualify as “wasn’t happy” but in no way would anyone without an agenda say that’s going “absolutely bonkers.” That’s fiction.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        Steinbrenner — No, I mean how he used to yell at everyone around him and call his players names in the media and demean them personally. I would call that “absolutely bonkers.”

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:20 PM

        Cool: just wanted to confirm that your issue is my use of the term “bonkers” and that you don’t actually think that Jeff Wilpon distinguished himself in any way. Because that would be nuts (is that word OK?).

        Seriously, Chris: is you spent a tenth of the time on substantive points that you do on sharpshooting semantics, you’d really get someplace.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:27 PM

        Huh, it took you 8 or 9 posts to figure out I was quibbling with your choice of words? It was clear in my very first post what I was aiming at:

        “How “Jeff Wilpon wasn’t happy” turns into going “absolutely bonkers” is a mystery …”

        And you can belittle my taking issue with semantics all your want, but that’s your stock and trade now and if it didn’t mean anything, you wouldn’t engage in hyperbole and exaggeration so much.

        Bottom line is you’re making something out of nothing and blowing things out of proportion.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:29 PM

        And again, this idea that Wilpon sought out the media is a mere concoction on your part, Craig. There is no indication he sought out the media to make a point. The media is already there on these trips. Someone could have simply asked him his views on the missing players.

      • jwbiii - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:59 PM

        Also, you don’t know if Jeff Wilpon sought out the media or if the media asked him FIRST about the absence of the players.

        Does Jeff Wilpon, or any other team owner for that matter, hold open Q&A sessions during the season? If so, I can’t imagine the Walter Reed brouhaha would have come up in the first hour or two.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM

        “Does Jeff Wilpon, or any other team owner for that matter, hold open Q&A sessions …”

        He was on the trip with the players. The Mets owners always go on these trips.

        The idea that he “sought” out the media to go “absolutely bonkers” on his players and trash them is 95% pure concoction by Craig. Not just a semantical issue.

      • Charles Gates - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:04 PM

        Ok, so even if a reporter or someone else brought up the subject first to Wilpon, he certainly didn’t handle the situation in a classy manner or show any modicum of PR skill. Your point is moot, Chris. Regardless of whether Wilpon was prompted or if he spoke on his own, his public comments on the situation were cheap and inept.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:04 PM

        Yes, it did take me that long to realize it. Because I didn’t think someone would honestly come to Jeff Wilpon’s defense because a blogger used the term “bonkers” rather than say something like “Jeff Wilpon’s irrational displeasure at a minor event turned it into a fairly major late-season distraction.” Mostly because only the most pedantic of people would think that the blogger’s use of the term “bonkers” was actually meant to convey literal Daffy-Duck-bouncing-around-the-room insanity.

        But if that’s unacceptable to you — and it seems to be — allow me to restate: The fact that three players missed a visit to Walter Reed would not have been a story if Jeff Wilpon didn’t think it a big enough problem that his displeasure was communicated to the media about it, however it was in fact communicated. And his displeasure is not communicated to the media if he, as the Chief Operating Officer of a Major League Baseball team doesn’t have it within him to ignore petty crap like this.

        That OK?

      • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:14 PM

        I nominate this for post of the year.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:38 PM

        “Regardless of whether Wilpon was prompted or if he spoke on his own, his public comments on the situation were cheap and inept.”

        Charles, do you have any idea what his “public comments” were on the situation? Very interested in your response.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:58 PM

        “…only the most pedantic of people would think that the blogger’s use of the term “bonkers” was actually meant to convey literal Daffy-Duck-bouncing-around-the-room insanity.”

        I think the choice of words was purposely meant to convey the idea that the owner lost his temper, screamed and yelled and made a big thing out of a few of his players not showing up for the trip. But to the contrary, the report on the owners’ reaction was so skimpy, vague and non-specific that the picture you tried to paint is a mere fiction.

        That’s your shtick. To be controversial. To inflame. To get page clicks. So you intentionally take liberties when relaying a story, and are especially prone to gross exaggeration. I guess I should just ignore you, but I drop by sometimes for all the baseball bloggers and news, and if I see a Mets story, I’m likely to click on it, especially if it concerns the owners as I want to see if they’re getting a fair shake (based on YOUR previous misrepresentation of the facts). . But it’s useless. If it’s something you feel strongly about — like Bonds, steroids or the Wilpons — you’ll twist the truth. I saw that exchange between you and Gwen Knapp, and she was correct in criticizing the way you described the jury foreman.

        I guess that’s a blogger’s right to exaggerate this way. You’d never make it as a reporter.

        “…doesn’t have it within him to ignore petty crap like this.”

        Well, I guess Wilpon is a lot like many of his players then. Because some — like Pelfrey and Dickey sure didn’t think it was “petty crap” that players missed the trip.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM

        “If it’s something you feel strongly about — like Bonds, steroids or the Wilpons — you’ll twist the truth.”

        If what I write constitutes “twisting the truth,” I’d argue that you and I are very much alike in that regard.

        As for the Gwen Knapp exchange: you have more than demonstrated your ignorance of the legal system over the past several months on these comment pages, so I’ll decline to explain to you the myriad ways Ms. Knapp was out to lunch in her criticisms of me, nor will I go into the private email correspondence she and I had following them that made it all too clear what motivated her comments.

        As for you, this blog gets a healthy amount of visitors. No one besides you seems to believe I’m playing fast and loose with the facts or that I’m leading readers astray like you claim I am. Multiple people, however, seem to think that you’re a shameless shill for the Wilpons. With whom you have never, ever disagreed on a single substantive point to my knowledge. Hmm.

        In any event, if you don’t like my style, there are plenty of other places to get baseball content. The door is always open for you to walk out of.

    • jwbiii - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:35 PM

      Actually, this was leaked by the Mets. Mike Puma at the NY Post:

      According to a clubhouse source, COO Jeff Wilpon wasn’t happy that the trio of underachievers skipped the team’s visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center

      Matthew Cerrone at MetsBlog used the word “angry”. Jeff Pearlman at SI‘s comments qualify as “bonkers.”

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:03 PM

        I don’t think “angry” is quite the same as “absolutely bonkers.” As for Pearlman, does he own the Mets?

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:05 PM

        IOW, how is Pearlman relevant to this?

      • jwbiii - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM

        Member of the New York press corps.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM

        And how is Pearlman being part of the NY media relevant to this discussion?

        No one is disputing the irrational overblown reaction of the NY sports media to this or other stories.

    • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      Reply below.

  4. chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    “Regardless of whether Wilpon was prompted or if he spoke on his own, his public comments on the situation were cheap and inept.”

    Charles, do you have any idea what his “public comments” were on the situation? Very interested in your response.

    • Reflex - Apr 26, 2011 at 7:50 PM

      Jeff? Is that you?

    • Charles Gates - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM

      Giving this about 90 seconds of research, I was not able to find a direct quote from Wilpon. I inferred a direct quote as as result of your saying, ‘Also, you don’t know if Jeff Wilpon sought out the media or if the media asked him FIRST about the absence of the players.

      To the extent that I inadvertently implied that I was commenting about a Wilpon quote, I apoligize. However, the original story (last summer) was attributed to a Mets clubhouse source who reportedly heard directly from Wilpon. Any person holding a position of stature like Wilpon knows, or should know, that they are always on the record and that the things they say are very likely to find their way to various media outlets. Unless the source completely fabricated it, which I’ll assume it didn’t happen given that an opposition statemenet was not released, this does not change my mind about Wilpon’s lack of PR grace and general ineptitude in such matters.

      And, your argument still generally pertains to diction and not the greater issue in question.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM

        Charles, there never was a direct quote from any of the team brass on the matter. The fact that you not only inferred one, but inferred one that was “cheap and inept” out of nothing, says that Craig is doing his job of character bashing and fiction writing very well. He sure sold you on the spin.

        Also, where did you get the idea the story was attributed to a clubhouse source vs. the reporters simply getting the story directly from the involved individuals? I’d like to see the actual story,,

        And I’m not taking issue with the brass’ displeasure over the absence of some players at all. I’m taking issue with Craig’s characterization of Wilpon’s response as “absolutely bonkers.” That is so far from what was actually reported.

  5. chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    “If what I write constitutes “twisting the truth,” I’d argue that you and I are very much alike in that regard.”

    I only attempt to correct your fictional scenarios. Such as when you incorrectly quoted Cashen regarding Wilpon and Madoff and when you said Wilpon sought out the media to trash his players.

    [i]”you have more than demonstrated your ignorance of the legal system over the past several months on these comment pages.”[/i]

    Name one instance.

    “you’re a shameless shill for the Wilpons. With whom you have never, ever disagreed on a single substantive point”

    And that shows you aren’t interested in the truth. Because I have. Hmmm.

    “In any event, if you don’t like my style, there are plenty of other places to get baseball content. The door is always open for you to walk out of.”

    Yeah, I can always ignore you and just let your fiction stand. But I choose not to in some cases. As long as I see you stretch the truth, I will call you out on it.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:22 PM

      “Name one instance”
      The pedant seeks a misstatement of fact. I don’t know that you’ve made one.

      You’ve offered several opinions, however, mostly in connection with the Bonds trial and also with respect to the Wilpon case, about what a jury would find persuasive, about witness credibility, about what a criminal defendant and/or defense attorney would consider a victory, about who has the effective as opposed to the technical burden of proof. My view of those opinions is that your judgment in such matters is poor and they are based on a lack of understanding of how the system works both technically and practically.

      You may disagree. If you do so, however, I would ask that you at least admit that I have more experience in these matters than you do. And even if I’m wrong about that, your certainty in these matters is fairly laughable, as no one who has any experience with the legal system — even those with decades of experience — would ever feel comfortable making the kinds of judgments you make. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would never deign to know the likely outcome of a billion dollar bankruptcy case/fraud investigation. The most experienced prosecutor in all of criminal jurisprudence harbors doubt about what a jury would do and what they find convincing. You don’t seem to, however.

      At this point I believe I’m experienced enough with your retorts to guess that you are going to offer some fact about which you were right and I was wrong. Or to take some sentence out of the above and parse it half to death in an effort to expose me as some distortion artist. Allow me to save you the time:

      It is my opinion that you are a full of shit, Chris. And though you no doubt may quibble with the basis of my opinion, at this point, doing so will only reinforce it more.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:45 PM

        “You’ve offered several opinions, however, mostly in connection with the Bonds trial and also with respect to the Wilpon case, about what a jury would find persuasive, about witness credibility,””

        What a jury would find persuasive or how a jury perceives witness credibility is more about common sense and human nature than about the ins and outs of the legal system. And at any rate, it’s just opinion. No one knows what a jury is going to do. Or how it will arrive at its decision. It’s anyone’s guess. For you to mistake my opining about how a jury will vote as a declaration of my understanding of the legal system is just ludicrous.

        “… about what a criminal defendant and/or defense attorney would consider a victory”

        Fine, believe if you want that Bonds, now a convicted felon, scored a victory here. He is still liable for retrial, additional legal fees, and a sentence of at least home confinement, if not actual jail time, on the obstruction charge.

        “ … about who has the effective as opposed to the technical burden of proof.”

        Huh? When was I incorrect about who has the burden of proof?

        “I would ask that you at least admit that I have more experience in these matters than you do.”

        Since when does experience equal competency and understanding?

        “…your certainty in these matters is fairly laughable, as no one who has any experience with the legal system — even those with decades of experience — would ever feel comfortable making the kinds of judgments you make. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would never deign to know the likely outcome of a billion dollar bankruptcy case/fraud investigation.”

        LOL. Are you serious? Especially in my replies to you, Craig, I use a lot of rhetoric. Do you really believe I think I know for a fact what will happen in a clawback lawsuit? I don’t. And II told you that before. Just about anything can happen in any legal proceeding. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a fundamental weakness in the side that may win a case. And, I’ll repeat what I’ve said before — Picard may win on the net equity part of his suit, but I believe he will lose on the “should have known” part. No, I am not certain Picard will lose. But I am pretty certain he is WRONG (on the “should have known part”) based on what I’ve read about the case so far. That’s why I think he will ultimately lose there, if not with Lifland, then on appeal.

        “The most experienced prosecutor in all of criminal jurisprudence harbors doubt about what a jury”

        Exactly. And if you go back and look at all my comments, I’ve said as much regarding the Bonds jury. Before there was any verdict. At least we agree on something.

        “It is my opinion that you are a full of shit, Chris.”

        The feeling is 1000% mutual.

      • cur68 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:52 PM

        “1000%”? Hmmm… this is so wildly overstated it’s bonkers.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:59 PM

        LOL, my overstatement was intentional there and anyone who knows how to read would know that.,

  6. paperlions - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    The response of Chrisny to anything even moderately anti-Wilpon are the responses of someone taking each of the comments personally. Combined with the irrational disregard for the facts in the defense of the Wilpons, leads me to believe that the writer is a member of the family or a family friend. Just about anyone else would elide right over the “absolutely bonkers” phrase and most would barely realize it applied to Wilpon as well as the NY media. Who else would regularly pick semantical arguments to distract from the thrust of any news/posts regarding Mets ownership?

    • paperlions - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:33 PM

      …and the poster does not seem to be a baseball fan in general as responses are restricted to posts about Met’s ownership, few posts even seem to stray into the realm of baseball as related to the Mets.

    • cur68 - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:52 PM

      Hang on there ‘lions. He’s got a boner for Bonds steroid use as well. So he’s an authority on the Wilponian mess the Mets are in and he’s a wiz at bio-chemistry, too. Otherwise he has no interest in baseball.

      • snowbirdgothic - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:23 PM

        To be fair, he does have demonstrated expertise in the exact definition of going bonkers, as that seems to be his usual and immediate reaction.

        And I hate to do this (OK, I don’t hate doing this, but I have to make the disclaimer) but if you’re going to argue nit-picky semantics with the metronome regularity of Omar Minaya handing out ridiculous contracts, you should know that the phrase is “stock in trade”, not “stock and trade”.

        Unless, of course, you’ve gone so completely bonkers you can’t type straight any more.

    • Reflex - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM

      As you state, and as many of us picked up, clearly chrisny is involved in this mess somehow. He is quite literally the *only* Mets fan on these forums who supports the Wilpons, and indeed the only Mets ‘fan’ I know who thinks they are a remotely competent ownership group. Everyone else knows for a fact that the sooner they are gone the sooner Alderson can get to work building a consistantly competitive team as he has a great track record of accomplishing.

      I believe he’s either involved on the legal side(although much of his legal arguments seem shoddy or misguided), or a family member or friend. And short of him losing his anonymity, I don’t see any way to prove that(Craig, can you pull the IP? I could perform quite an analysis on that for you. Yes, I know you can’t for privacy reasons, but I would love to find out.)

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:15 PM

        In Chris’ defense, I will note that he has been around here a bit longer than the most recent round of the Wilpon legal issues. If I recall, he commented in some of the Wally Backman threads last fall and, if I recall correctly, he was pro-Backman.

        But no, I will not be pulling or even checking IPs. Anyone is welcome here as long as they wish to be here and as long as they observe the very loose rules of the room (i.e. no racism, misogyny, or bigotry; no excessive personal attacks, no spam).

        I suspect that Chris has some connection to the Wilpons. I don’t have any evidence for it, though. And he has denied it. Even if he does, I kind of don’t care, even though I find it rich that he is (a) the one who tut-tuts everyone here about “spin”; yet (b) he is the most consistent spinmeister to ever grace the HBT comments.

      • Reflex - Apr 27, 2011 at 4:18 AM

        I will point out that given the recent Scott Adams story, it *is* actually legitimate to blow open a sock puppet charade. Normally I’d be on the side of privacy, but this guy goes beyond in his attempts to spin. If it were my site, I would not hesitate in the slightest to see who was really pulling the strings. I do not appreciate attempts to manipulate public opinion by creating astro-turfed ‘supporters’ of those acting unethically.

        If it turned out inconclusive or a Wilpon could be ruled out, I can see not saying a word. But if thats Jeff or another of the immediate family or someone on their payroll, in my opinion this is a story.

        I’d also bet that the thumbs up/thumbs down system is being manipulated similarly by him. Its caught my eye that literally every commentator disagrees with him, yet somehow he has a balanced or even positive ‘thumbs up’ on most of his posts, and thumbs down on those who disagree…

  7. raysfan1 - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Not to flog a deceased equine further, but here is a relevant quote from NY Daily News on Sept 9 last year:
    “The players’ absences became a concern after the event when team brass seethed behind the scenes. Jeff Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer, had come to Washington specifically for the hospital visit…”
    .
    Now, before any bombastic nitpickers try to dissect the minutiae of this quote, I will readily admit that “seethed” is not the totally crazy, Daffy Duck style of “bonkers” that some seem to demand. However, in addition to insane, bonkers also means “slightly drunk.” Also, “seethed” is clearly more than “merely mildly annoyed.” Also, although the sentence that contains the word “seethed” does not expressly say Jeff Wilpon, the very next sentence makes the association pretty clear.

    • chrisny3 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:48 PM

      “Also, although the sentence that contains the word “seethed” does not expressly say Jeff Wilpon, the very next sentence makes the association pretty clear.”

      No, it doesn’t. It’s pretty unclear in fact. It would not be illogical to infer from the sentences that it was him, and it would not be illogical to infer it was someone else. Either way, it would be just a guess.

      • cur68 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:56 PM

        As good a guess as you make. You guessed about the Bonds trial, what the Wilpons know and do not know, about law, about jury mindset, legal victories, on and on, you guess all the time. rasfan1’s guesses are as good as yours and at least have the bonus of being not coming from some sort of Wilpon apologist. Hey, I agree with him 1000%. Or is that wildly overstating?

      • chrisny3 - Apr 27, 2011 at 12:03 AM

        My prediction about the Bonds trial is no different from your ridiculous prediction that it would be a slam dunk win for Bonds. I was right and you were wrong, especially in your ridiculous frictional response to Bell’s testimony which I told you would never come because Bonds would not testify.

        At any rate, a prediction about the future is different than “guessing” about what actually happened in the past.

      • cur68 - Apr 27, 2011 at 1:06 AM

        I suppose your “predictions” aren’t “guesses”? I suppose not, if you spin it right. And “you won”? In what arena? The theater of your overblown imagination, no doubt. Still with the wild overstatements, eh?

        PS: FYI “1000%” is a wild overstatement, humor or otherwise. Just like when Craig writes “bonkers” as humor. Of course it’s only ok when you do it, I understand that’s how it works in your world. Do look up the meaning of hypocrisy, there’s a good chap.

        Oh yes; LOL (just like you do it, see? Now its all ok to be a condescending blow hard).

      • Reflex - Apr 27, 2011 at 4:21 AM

        I don’t know about you guys, but from now on I’m reffering to Chris as either Jeff or Mr. Wilpon. Which one depends on my mood. Even if its not him, it might as well be.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        cur68, predictions are always guesses. And one can only guess about the future, even if certain guesses are more likely to come true than others. But that’s not the case with the past as it’s already set in stone, much of which is already known.

        Talking about overblown imagination! You take the cake with your hilarious imaginary hypothetical counter arguments to Bell, almost all of which was from Bonds’ perspective, and which was not realistic given Bonds wouldn’t be testifying. To add to your comedy, you then went on to say Bonds would win his case with the jury because most of the commentators in that particular thread were pro-Bonds/steroids and would therefore be representative of the jury at his trial. That’s when I pointed out the obvious (to most but not you) – that the posters at HBT were not representative of the jury pool in the SF area (nor of the general population). Maybe the system is different in Canada, but you’ve demonstrated quite well you know squat about the American legal system. Why you pretend to is beyond me seeing how foolish you came off looking in that Bonds thread.

        As for winning and losing – I’m referring to predictions about the Bonds case. You lost. I won.

        As for overstatements, I don’t think Craig would admit to most of his exaggeration being intentional. And he doesn’t write it with the intent that people read it that way. My statement was clearly intentional hyperbole, which anyone with a basic understanding of the English language would understand.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 27, 2011 at 8:16 PM

        If you bother to look up the article I quoted, you will note the quote is the first and part of the second sentences of a paragraph. Anyone who’s taken basic English comp should understand that the first sentence of a paragraph sets the theme of said paragraph and that each subsequent sentence within that paragraph should be related to that theme. As a result, no, I did not guess that there was an association between Jeff Wilpon as the subject of the second sentence and the first sentence. You should also note I said “associated” and not that Jeff Wilpon himself expressed displeasure or himself “seethed.” Congratulations on proving yourself just as semtantically imperfect as the rest of us.
        .
        As to the reader above who mentioned SI’s Pearlman, I believe it’s because he wrote an over-the-top condemnation of the players who did not participate in the hospital visit with the rest of the team–something “chrisny” could have used as a defense that Mr Wilpon’s displeasure, however intense it was or wasn’t, was not out of line with other observers. He could also have pointed out that Mr Wilpon takes opportunities to honor vets very seriously, went out of his way and put a significant effort into organizing that trip and thus was understandably put out with those who didn’t show–at least without first letting him know they couldn’t/wouldn’t attend.
        Instead, he chose to impugn Craig’s integrity. Whatever, dude. (The last two words are my preemptive response to any rejoinder “chrisny” might choose to post. It’s the only further response coming.)
        .
        Last point, I promise: As a 25-year military vet and medic, I have participated in numerous such visits. They are great and always lift the spirits of the men/women in the hospital. I’ve never once heard any complain that any particular person wasn’t present, just appreciative of those who were there. In fact, it would be difficult to know who wasn’t there. Hospital rooms aren’t large enough to fit an entire team–instead, we split them into smaller, more manageable groups to (a) not crowd/overwhelm the patients, and (2) enable them to canvass a larger proportion of those patients (WRAMC has something like 1000 beds). The patients probably didn’t truly know anyone was missing from the Mets until hearing it on ESPN or reading it in the news. Shameless plug time–what I wrote about the vets’ day being brightened by these folks visiting is not based on their fame. ANYBODY visiting is greatly appreciated, just please go through the hospital’s PR department.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:12 PM

        Raysfan,

        1) I did look at the article you referred to. And anyone with a good understanding of the English language would know that the first sentence of a paragraph does NOT necessarily set the theme for that paragraph. It could set the theme OR it could merely setup or introduce the theme of that paragraph. Maybe English is not your native language so your misunderstanding of that would be understandable.

        2) While it’s true that each sentence of a paragraph should be related to that paragraph’s theme, it is not true that each sentence is directly referring to the content of the previous or subsequent sentence. One can in no way say definitely say that the sentence regarding team brass was referring to Jeff Wilpon specifically. It might have or it might not have been. So yes, you did guess.

        3) I don’t see how your adding in “associated” makes a difference. With or without, you’re claiming the article says Jeff Wilpon was the one who got angry.

        4) Re: Pearlman … yes I know the fan referenced Pearlman because his story was over the top. But it had no relevance to the ongoing discussion in this thread as there was never any disagreement that the media in NY is so often over the top. As for why I didn’t use Pearlman to support Wilpon’s view … for what purpose would that serve? You obviously don’t know that my criticism of Craig involves what I believe are his ongoing “over the top” and exaggerated criticisms of the Mets owners and that I think he is strongly biased against them, using every opportunity along with writer’s license to demonize them. Do you really think me pointing out Pearlman’s criticisms of the absent players is going to score points with someone like that? I hardly think so. And besides, I already mentioned previously here that other Mets players such as Dickey and Wright already supported ownership’s view that all players should have attended. Any attempt of mine to try to convince Craig that the Mets owners are highly revered in the community for their past and present philanthropic good works will fall on deaf ears and be only met by claims I was spinning. And such a viewpoint doesn’t produce page clicks.

        5) It would be a cinch to know who was and who wasn’t there at the hospital. There are only 25 players on the active roster who would have travelled to D.C. They took a team bus to the hospital. If team brass didn’t notice they were missing at first from who was on the bus, you better believe their teammates noticed – especially the ones like Dickey and Wright who, as I already pointed out, expressed displeasure over the missing players and were in agreement with team brass.

        Finally, I do want to thank you for serving our country. Your sacrifices are greatly appreciated. But I disagree with your take on this issue and caution you about stepping into a long-standing disagreement I have with Craig over how he has covered the Mets. The disagreement is much broader than just the Walter Reed issue.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        “Any attempt of mine to try to convince Craig that the Mets owners are highly revered in the community for their past and present philanthropic good works will fall on deaf ears and be only met by claims I was spinning.”

        No, the attempt doesn’t fall on deaf ears. They fall on ears that realize that their reputation in the community for X (philanthropic works, etc.) has no bearing on any other specific issue Y (e.g. their chances in a legal case; their reaction to players not making trips to army hospitals).

        You, on the other hand, would argue that, by virtue of their reputation, they should always be assumed to be in the right. Which is absolutely bonkers.

        But carry on in your efforts to explain how multiple reports that called Jeff Wilpon “angry” didn’t really mean that Jeff Wilpon was angry.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        “They fall on ears that realize that their reputation in the community for X (philanthropic works, etc.) has no bearing on any other specific issue Y (e.g. their chances in a legal case; their reaction to players not making trips to army hospitals).”

        Thanks for proving my point to raysfan — which is regardless of the reason, trying to do as he suggested would not be received well. It would have been pointless and a waste of time.

        “You, on the other hand, would argue that, by virtue of their reputation, they should always be assumed to be in the right. Which is absolutely bonkers.”

        I have never said this. And your claiming I did is absolutely bonkers.

        “But carry on in your efforts to explain how multiple reports that called Jeff Wilpon “angry” didn’t really mean that Jeff Wilpon was angry.”

        I have never said this. In fact I believe he was angry. He just didn’t go “absolutely bonkers.” And again, absolutely bonkers is what Ozzie Guillen and Pinella are known for. Absolutely bonkers is how Jose Reyes reacted last night. It is not how Jeff Wilpon reacted to the missing players, according to reports. Characterizing his reaction that way was an attempt to demonize him.

      • Reflex - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:58 PM

        Hey Jeff, does your special understanding of English come with a decoder ring? I am curious since your whole argument seems to be based on “Everybody is reading it wrong except me!”

      • raysfan1 - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:14 PM

        Thanks for the well-wishes. My service is a privilege, so thanks aren’t necessary but appreciated all the same.
        .
        When I stated it would be hard to tell if any players were missing, I meant it would be hard for the patients to tell. That is because the most common way of handling group visits is to split them into smaller groups to “divide and conquer.” Assuming there were 22 or so players + the manager + the coaches + Mr Wilpon + other Mets personnel present, then it’s safe to say there were at least 30 in that group. It would be common to break them down into groups of 10 to cover a couple wards each over a couple hours. Those groups of 10 are then typically further broken down into groups of 2 or 3 so as not to crowd the patient rooms and overwhelm the patients. As a result, any individual patient likely only saw a portion of the group that went to the hospital that day and therefore would like only know who didn’t come when the no-shows became a news story.
        .
        I’m well aware of your back and forth between yourself and Craig. I’ve been posting on this site for not quite 2 years and read many of your exchanges. I generally find them amusing. I’ve no issue with your disagreeing with me as long as you’ve no problem with the fact I obviously disagree back. Two reasonable people can have opposing viewpoints and both achieve them logically.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 29, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        “When I stated it would be hard to tell if any players were missing, I meant it would be hard for the patients to tell.”

        Gotcha, raysfan. I assume then your point is Mets ownership was unhappy because they felt veterans would notice and be disappointed by the players’ absence? Sounds logical but the story as reported by the media didn’t say that. For all we know, ownership simply thought the players should be generous with their time in terms of charitable work. The point is, we really don’t know the reason, and the fact that there were no direct quotes, and no specifics in these reports make it hard to form judgments about the reaction by ownership, unless of course one already has a strong bias.

        “I’m well aware of your back and forth between yourself and Craig. I’ve been posting on this site for not quite 2 years and read many of your exchanges.”

        Well then with all due respect, you should have known that following your suggestion in regards to Pearlman’s take would have been useless. There can be no valid defense of the Wilpons in Craig’s eyes. They are evil incarnate.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:12 PM

        Oh, no doubt trying to directly say that Mr Wilpon said or felt anything in this matter is conjecture. This is why I was careful to say the newspaper article I quoted associated him with the word “seethed” instead of saying elpicitly that he did so. My own personal guess? I think it likely that he was indeed upset and felt that the absent players slighted both him and the vets. I do not blame him for that emotion at all as he’s just as human as the rest of us. This really shouldn’t have been a story last fall, but unfortunately for him, he lives in NY and must deal with the tabloids as a matter of course. I think he could have defused the situation with better PR, but likely figured it’d blow over in a few days anyway. Who knows? Maybe it was a staffer that was angry on his behalf & he elected to “take the fall” for it so to speak–that would certainly be good leadership on his part if true, and engender a lot of loyalty with that staff.
        .
        “Evil incarnate?” A big ‘ol Braves fan-boy like Craig should be happy to have Beelzebub as the owner of the Mets!

      • chrisny3 - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:33 AM

        Yup, damn right. I picked up the mud and threw it right back at ya and stooped to your level. Couldn’t resist. But I didn’t do it first and am all too happy to stick to the relevant points of a discussion,. You can’t however. Whether it’s due to your immaturity or lack of intellectual abilities I can’t say. But the result is all the same and pretty pathetic.

        You can call me whoever you like. It’s such a silly and lame game. I know now that’s about the best we can expect from you.

        Still waiting for that analysis from a respected writer that backs your viewpoint.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:47 AM

        Above comment meant for Reflex below.

    • paperlions - Apr 27, 2011 at 7:36 AM

      Hey, kudos to Wilpon for the making the trip for the hospital visit. I realize that meeting a rich guy who would never ever in his life have to consider the possibility of military service may not be high on the list of goals for injured veterans, but the fact that Wilpon considered the trip important does say something good about him.
      .
      In contrast, thinking he can force his employees to do something outside their job description and getting upset like a spoiled brat does not (even if he was in no way responsible for the fact becoming public).

      • chrisny3 - Apr 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM

        It’s funny how you, a Cardinals fan, are so obsessed with the Wilpons but have nothing to say about McCourt who has been far far worse for his team and baseball than anything your bitter mind can dream up about the Wilpons.

      • Reflex - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:27 AM

        Actually I think they are about equivilent and extremely similiar. McCourt is accused of defrauding the IRS, taking money illicitly from his team, and generally mismanaging them into the financial ground. Wilpon is being accused of helping a scammer defraud billions, possibly defrauding the IRS, and mismanaging his team and his team finances into the ground. I’d also add that both took teams in the biggest media markets in the nation and demonstrated the absolute worst ways to run them.

        Sorry, I don’t see what the McCourts did as ‘far far worse’, they are roughly equivilent, except in the Wilpon’s case they possibly helped harm others get defrauded, where as in the McCourt case they pretty much defrauded themselves.

        Good enough for you Jeff?

      • chrisny3 - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        There are huge differences between McCourt and the current Mets owners. HUGE. For those too biased and dense to see them, let me count the ways:

        1. The McCourts used the Dodgers as their personal piggy bank, using team resources to purchase fancy homes across the country and to give no-show jobs to their sons. The Mets owners have never done this.

        2. The McCourts are under criminal investigation by the IRS for tax evasion. The Mets owners have never been accused of criminal wrongdoing (except by some delusional loony fans such as Reflex and paperlions).

        3. The McCourts in an effort to save money cut essential services such as security with disastrous results. The Mets owners never did this.

        4. The McCourts cut their team payroll significantly while siphoning off funds for personal use. The Mets owners never did this.

        5. The McCourts fell into financial troubles through their own wrongdoing and mismanagement of resources. The financial troubles of the Mets owners grew out of being defrauded by a big-time scammer. The Mets owners were victims. McCourt was not a victim.

        6. The McCourts are disliked by the other owners in baseball. The Mets owners are well liked and widely respected.

        About the only thing the McCourts and the current Mets owners have in common is that both franchises are in heavy debt and face big financial pressures.

      • Reflex - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:04 PM

        Ah, but Jeff, you do not understand the response. YOU made an equivolency argument, essentially saying that whatever a person thinks about the Wilpons, its not nearly as bad as the McCourts, so we should just be looking over there.

        In reality we have the ability to watch several situations, and judge and equivocate each, to say nothing of the fact that we can all agree that it is all bad and likely unethical in each case. You are welcome to your opinion that what the McCourts are doing is worse, but from where I sit, with a reasonable amount of education and understanding of finances, and having read quite a bit of articles on this and other sites about the legal situation, the cases are not dissimiliar.

        In fact, oddly enough, Tom Hicks is the one who looks better to me after all this mess. Was he a good guy? No. But at least he wasn’t committing fraud or aiding others who were, and he was willing to spend on his franchise(even moronically). Not that he didn’t deserve to get booted out, mind you…

        You are welcome to your opinion that the McCourts were worse, Jeff. But I am just as correct in my opinion that the degrees of seperation are slim at best, and that if any complicity is determined in the Madoff scandal the Wilpons are immediatly far worse in my and many others’ books.

        BTW, since you feel a single conviction on a minor issue in the Bonds trial was proof of his evil, we will be keeping that in mind if even a minor technical matters gets the Wilpons a conviction. No matter how small or nonsensical. Fair is fair.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        “YOU made an equivolency argument, essentially saying that whatever a person thinks about the Wilpons, its not nearly as bad as the McCourts, so we should just be looking over there.”

        Thank you for demonstrating you not only can’t spell but you also have a poor understanding of moral equivalency.

        My list clearly shows that there is no equivalency to the conditions underlying the financial problems of the two franchises. Your trying to equate the two is a clear fallacy of moral equivalency.

        As for where you should look, you can look wherever you want, for however long you want. If you or paperlions want to waste your time obsessing about the owners of a team you don’t even root for, that’s your business. I’m not telling anyone where they should look. But when you make erroneous statements about the Mets ownership, I will correct you.

        “…we can all agree that it is all bad and likely unethical in each case”

        How totally arrogant of you. You think you can speak for “all” but you can’t. And there is no evidence of any unethical behavior on the part of Mets ownership – unlike with the McCourts.

        “You are welcome to your opinion that what the McCourts are doing is worse, but from where I sit, with a reasonable amount of education and understanding of finances, and having read quite a bit of articles on this and other sites about the legal situation, the cases are not dissimiliar.

        And you are welcome to your weak opinions. From where I sit, having a good amount of education and understanding of finances and the law, and having read quite a bit of articles on this and other sites, the cases are greatly dissimilar.

        “But I am just as correct in my opinion that the degrees of seperation are slim at best, and that if any complicity is determined in the Madoff scandal the Wilpons are immediatly far worse in my and many others’ books.”

        So, all you’re saying there is that we disagree. Which is obvious. We each believe we are right.

        As for any complicity with Madoff, no one would even argue that that would be an awful situation for anyone. But the fact is, there is not one iota of evidence, nor any allegation even, that the Wilpons were complicit. And more than 2 years after the fall, anything would have come out by now.

        But we already have evidence of McCourt’s criminal activity – and investigation for such activity by the IRS.

        So, yes, there is a world of difference between McCourt and the Wilpons.

        “BTW, since you feel a single conviction on a minor issue in the Bonds trial was proof of his evil, we will be keeping that in mind if even a minor technical matters gets the Wilpons a conviction.”

        There’s where you’re demonstrating your extreme ignorance of the legal system There can be no conviction without a criminal indictment or criminal investigation. There are none going on now regarding the Wilpons. You seem to be really confused by criminal vs. civil law.

        As for Bonds, your take on my viewpoint of his trial is also hilarious. No, I don’t think a single conviction on what was NOT a minor issue means Bonds was “evil” and I never anything of the sort.. I thought he was “evil” well before the trial. There has been enough written about Bonds over the last decade for any average baseball fan to come to that same conclusion. The single conviction merely means the feds won their case, even if it was a limited victory.

        Finally, let me restate what a lot of people around baseball believe as I do: It’s true the Mets and Dodgers both have financial issues, but that’s about where the similarities end.

        I challenge you to find a detailed analysis of the two situations that concludes the circumstances are similar – outside of the debt and financial stress of the two franchises.

      • Reflex - Apr 29, 2011 at 6:24 PM

        Jeff –

        The rest of us understand english just as well as you do. You seem to conflate your personal opinion with fact. It is not. Myself, Craig, Paperlions and the rest at least are willing to admit that these things are our opinions. On some aspects we feel we have more knowledge than the average commentator or in some cases, news analyst.

        I understand that your personal connection to the situation may give you some insight into the matter, but your view is obviously biased by your own needs, and outside, neutral observers tend to see things differently. That does not make you always wrong, you have often pointed out corrections that did make sense. But it also does not make you always correct, due to your closeness to the case you have more to lose, and as such more to gain by buying in to the most positive interpretation of the situation.

        I do not agree with you on the overwhelming majority of this. And I certainly do not think you or the rest of your family were very ethical in all this. And pointing at what you percieve to be a larger cloud of smoke in LA does not distract me from your situation, I can follow more than one situation at a time. Honestly if you really cared about the Mets, you would let them go. Your reign over the team has been poor, and someone else could do more justice by the team and the city.

        Do the right thing.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:48 PM

        Reflex, there are many with a firm grasp of the English language, but you aren’t one of them. Nor do you understand the legal system, which you have so abundantly demonstrated by your replies. Yet you try to opine in these areas which you have so little knowledge of. When you venture into the dark like this, of course you are going to fall flat on your face. No wonder you then come up with the pathetic response of calling me “Jeff.” You clearly have no intelligent way to respond to these issues. Ad hominem attacks and diversionary tactics are apparently your only recourse and a sure sign of the defeated.

        I have no illusion what is opinion and what is fact, unlike you. Nor do I have a grossly inflated sense of self like you do, arrogantly pretending to speak for “all” and claiming you have more knowledge than news analysts.

        You can follow as many situations as you’d like, but I would advise that given your limited abilities as displayed here that you limit yourself to a few at a time. This will in turn limit your confusion.

        I’m still challenging you to find one detailed analysis of the 2 situations by a major writer that agrees with your delusional point of view. I don’t think you’ll find one. Because anyone who truly looked at these cases with intelligence and common sense would understand the big differences.

        I do know that at least one major baseball writer agrees with me on this. Totally. Don’t think you’ll find anyone of major importance in the media who agrees with you. Oh, but then I guess that doesn’t matter. Because according to you, you know more than news analysts. Yeah, right.

      • Reflex - Apr 30, 2011 at 5:43 AM

        So you accuse me of ad hom, then proceed to ad hom me in your entire post. Does the word irony have any meaning for you?

        And as I said before, I call you Jeff because you either are Jeff Wilpon himself, or you might as well be given your position on these issues. Where you are Jeff personally dosen’t even matter at this point, you represent him on these forums more or less so I might as well cut the crap and stop pretending that your just some concerned fan in New York.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

        Yup, damn right. I picked up the mud and threw it right back at ya and stooped to your level. Couldn’t resist. But I didn’t do it first and am all too happy to stick to the relevant points of a discussion,. You can’t, however. Whether it’s due to your immaturity or lack of intellectual abilities I can’t say. But the result is all the same and pretty pathetic.

        You can call me whoever you like. It’s such a silly and lame game. I know now that’s about the best we can expect from you.

        Still waiting for that analysis from a respected writer that backs your viewpoint.

      • Reflex - May 1, 2011 at 1:05 AM

        I don’t know or care if such an analysis exists. Far as I am concerned, Craig is a respected writer on baseball and the law, and his analysis is as good as any(and frequently far more accurate than the legal talking heads on ESPN). Your proposing a game wherein I do a ton of research to find what you request, present it, and then you will turn around and tell me how that analyst is not qualified, not ‘respected’ enough, not a big enough name, etc. In other words, the very request is itself a setup to move the goalposts.

        At the end of the day, the news for the Wilpons has done nothing but get worse for the past year. Every time you have proclaimed that they will be vindicated, something even worse happens. I’ll wait until something goes in your favor before bothering with your requests. To this point, nothing has.

      • chrisny3 - May 7, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        Reflex, you do not need to do a ton of research. Just google McCourt and Wilpon and you can find many articles where the two are compared, even if very briefly. I’ve seen many articles, and where they take the time to compare the situations, a stark difference is made between the two apart from the financial pressures.

        If you do happen to find something, post it. But, no, I don’t think anything from any blog will do. Anyone can start up their own blog and write whatever they want. Just find one article from a major newspaper, major columnist, or major website and I’ll consider it creditable.

        I’m confident in knowing the bulk (if not all) of the articles are on my side and agree with my point of view. You can continue to believe whatever skewed version of reality you like.

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