3:20 pm: Mookie Wilson would like it be known that he was once unhappy with the Mets, but has since moved on (Newsday, Apr. 25).
10:52 am: In his new book, “Mookie: Life, Baseball and the ’86 Mets,” Mookie Wilson says the Mets organization has made him feel like a “hood ornament.”
Wilson wrote that he wants to know the reasoning behind his move from first base coach after the 2010 season to team ambassador and roving instructor through the minor league system (NY Post, Apr. 25).
“It was a strange season coaching under that new regime,” Wilson wrote. “I felt like I was watching the deterioration of the Mets.”
According to Wilson, members of his 1986 team are not welcome by the current organization.
“The Mets have shied away from that iconic club because they don’t want the current one exposed to that hard-partying culture which, while well-documented, has also been somewhat exaggerated at times,” Wilson writes in his book.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
For what it’s worth, Tim Teufel, Wally Backman, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Bob Ojeda, as well as John Franco and Edgardo Alfonzo, are all working for the organization in some capacity…
That said, this Mookie thing is convenient for people who entered the day already disliking Sandy Alderson, despite the organization’s strengthened farm system, popular pitching prospects and 12-10 record so far. If you don’t like Sandy, if you don’t have the patience or understand how he’s systematically rebuilding this franchise, if you think spending equals success and you don’t mind inconsistent, boom-and-bust cycles from season to season then you likely LOVE what Mookie had to say. On the other hand, if you’re like me, and you see what’s happening here, some of what Mookie says may actually make you more confident in the direction of this franchise.
Let me explain…
I respect this team’s past. I appreciate it. I love it. This is why I should not be a GM or in a position to make decisions. I’m emotional. My decisions are influenced by every good or bad moment that has happened with the team before. For instance, I tend to think my favorite former players could make great managers, though that isn’t likely the case. I’m afraid of pitching prospects because of previous flame-outs. This is irrational, though, because the past has nothing to do with the present. Instead, leadership, forward thinking and smart decisions are based on confidence, intelligence, information, experience, evidence and a strong vision. They have nothing to do with groundball miracles and racing stripes. This is also why I don’t think former players are deserving of positions simply because they’re former players.
I appreciate Mookie’s point of view. But, frankly, I like that Alderson may have been valuing character. The goal was to rip down what had been. Part of the rebuild may have been to try and change the organization’s attitude, not just its structure. This doesn’t bother me, assuming it’s even true. If it was, it doesn’t mean it’s still true, by the way.
It sucks that Mookie feels unwanted. It’s never fun being on the outside of change. We’ve all probably experienced it before, whether in baseball or our own careers. It happens. In regards to office politics, promotions, salaries, etc., “The people keeping score are usually the people who feel they’re getting a raw deal,” someone smart and successful recently told me. It’s a good point. My guess is we’re not going to see any tell-all books or columns in newspapers from guys who are feeling good about their current situation. Mookie has every right to feel bad. He has every right to express his opinion. However, his personal, emotional view is just that: personal and emotional. Instead, I plan to judge this franchise based on what I see and how confident I am in where they’re heading. And, right now, I’m feeling pretty good…