In recent years, the Wilpons have been made a mockery of by the media, painting them as unwilling or unable to cough up money to produce a winning team. Now, all of a sudden, the Mets are storming towards their first World Series since the year 2000, having pushed aside the Chicago Cubs and produced hints of a franchise that could for several years be a fixture of October baseball.
Fred Wilpon, the Met’s principal owner, appeared on the scene in the beginning of the 1980s as a minor hand in the Mets’ ownership group, but slowly became the lead voice. He had a pleasing public image, partly because he appeared reasonable and intelligent in contrast to Steinbrenner in the Bronx. Also advantageous to him was the fact that the Mets were good in the 1980s.
Unfortunately the Mets hit rock bottom in the 1990s. They were terrible on the field and a sad group in the locker room. Two decades ago, Wilpon got involved and said that although the club was in last place and hit all season by embarrassing problems off the field, things were going to change. That was in 1993. Now Wilpon rarely affirms himself in public. In fact, he has retreated out of the public view, often allowing Jeff – the team’s chief operaring officer – to be the most seeable member of the ownership group.
The overwhelming feeling was that the Wilpons had to spend a lot more money to come up with a team capable of being a formidable competitor.
Currently, Jeff Wilpon runs the day-to-day working of the team. He sat down with the team’s General Manager and discussed their options. Over the course of a few days, they obtained Tyler Clippard (a setup man), Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe (valuable bench players) and an A-list outfielder named Yoenis Cespedes.
When the Mets won the series-clinching game, Fred Wilpon accompanied his son for the presentation of the trophy and commended the team in a short television interview before retreating to the background.