You have to understand that the Mets were in a no-win situation when it came to Larry Jones.
Did you like seeing Jones honored at Citi Field on Friday? If you’re a Mets fan, chances are you didn’t. Some were very vocal in that regard. I understand it. I hate it too … just not as much as I thought I would (and not as much as I hated when the Mets dug up their pitching rubber for Mariano Rivera after his 500th save.) I expected to hate it more than I did. I expected to wash down rancid fruit with some Liquid Plumbr.
But I look at it this way: As upset as we may be over honoring Larry for kicking our asses in, the Mets would have looked petulant for not honoring Larry. Imagine the bad press the Mets would have gotten for not doing anything after pretty much every team in the league had honored Jones in some way. (Hell, the Cardinals gave Larry an authentic Stan Musial jersey for crissakes.) Imagine how many times Mike Francesa would have used the word “classless” in a five minute span. It wasn’t worth the aggravation. And what would have been the point?
I listened to very little of the ballgame tonight and only saw highlights (and thank heaven I did … I really didn’t feel like seeing Paul Maholm resume his role as Mets Kryptonite after being knocked of his previous start after two innings … yet another no-win Met situation) But the little I listened to, I heard Josh Lewin talk about what everybody’s favorite owner’s son, Jeff Wilpon, said before the game while showing his smiling face during the Jones backstage ceremony, reminding everybody that he’s still relevant. He said that Larry’s son Shea had more Mets stuff in his room than Wilpon’s own son.
Of course Shea Jones has more Met stuff than Jeff Wilpon’s kid. Shea Jones probably has more Mets stuff than Jeff Wilpon put in Citi Field in 2009. So why would this surprise you? It sure as hell didn’t surprise me. And really, how sad is that? How sad is it that Jones shows more respect for the former home of the Mets than the team’s own Chief Operating Officer, who hated the place? Sure when Larry named his kid “Shea” of all things, it sure as hell seemed like a slap in the face. It kinda still does. But this eight year old kid from Atlanta has more nostalgia for Shea Stadium than the f*cking owners of the team that once played there.
(And why shouldn’t Shea Jones have respect for the place? His dad once owned it.)
But what should I have expected from the Wilpons, who have mismanaged this franchise so much that on a night which should have featured a packed house booing and chanting “LAAAAAAAAA-RRRRRRRRRRYY” at the top of their lungs, we got a near empty place that showed the minimum required emotion. The people that would have tortured Larry are all on the internet … replaced at the ballpark by people who cheer more for the Kiss-Cam than anything happening on the field.
And Braves fans.
There was an interesting side show to this whole thing, as before the game Larry discussed something that has some relevance to David Wright:
“I can honestly say one reason why the Atlanta Braves and I have had such a good marriage is because the Braves have never allowed me to go to free agency. They’ve never allowed me to get close to free agency. I’ve never gotten into a free-agent year without having a long-term deal signed before spring training. That’s huge. When your employer impresses upon you they want you there and they don’t want you to go somewhere, they don’t even want you sniffing the other side of the fence, that’s big.”
Hopefully Wright’s employers won’t be too busy finding painters to commemorate enemies to see what they can do for a friend.