Brodie Van Wagenen: A Czar Is Not What The Mets Needed

Brodie Van Wagenen: Out of control (Photo: Yahoo)
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Brodie Van Wagenen is not doing the Mets any favors by micromanaging the franchise. His footprint is everywhere and it’s time to rein him in…

Brodie Van Wagenen may or may not still be the Golden Boy the Wilpons thought they had hired. But if fans can see the continuing dysfunction in the Mets front office, then surely you would think ownership can see it too.

The trouble, of course, is that there are no do-overs in baseball. Van Wagenen, after this season, still has three years remaining on his contract with $7.5 million due over that span. Although that amount is trivial compared to the $65 million the Mets are obligated to pay Robinson Cano through 2023, one can only wonder how long Van Wagenen will be able to camouflage his ineptitude from the Wilpons.

The Cheapskates: Mets Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon Photo Credit: Politico
The Cheapskates: Mets Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon Photo Credit: Politico

Kicking the can down the road has always been the modus operandi of Fred and Jeff Wilpon. Sold a bill of goods by Van Wagenen in the Cano trade, they only saw the immediate savings of $34 million in unloading Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak to the Mariners. Too good to be true? Not for the Bernie Madoff stricken Wilpons.

Mickey Callaway paid a price (a $10,000 fine executed by Van Wagenen) when his clubhouse tirade went viral, reaching the back pages of the New York Post and beyond. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?

Think again. Can you imagine Czar Van Wagenen fining himself for the display he put on during a meeting he called with all coaches and Callaway? During which he threw a chair across the room and told Callaway to “go f_ _ _ _g do your press conference?

Van Wagenen’s Match: To Be Determined

Who is there to rein in Brodie Van Wagenen? It would be refreshing to see Jeff Wilpon hold a press conference condemning the adolescent behavior of his General Manager, complete with a negligible, yet message sending, fine. Instead, not a peep from either of the Wilpons.

We can’t expect anything from Mets players. They have enough to deal with in trying to salvage a season over the second half on the field. And besides, who among them is ready to jump up to bite the hand that feeds them?

Omar Minaya – maybe. He has the ear of ownership and an excellent resume with the Mets to back it up. But then again, would his warnings about cancer in the organization be seen as a play for Van Wagenen’s job. We don’t know.

Brodie Van Wagenen: Meet The Real Mickey Callaway

No, believe it or not, Mickey Callaway is the man for the job. Callaway took a baby step a few days ago when he slid Cano down from his mandated three-hole spot in the lineup. Maybe it was a test-flight of sorts. But anyone with half a baseball brain knows the Mets do not need a .240 hitter with four home runs in the middle of their order.

Mickey Callaway, Manager New York Mets
Mickey Callaway, Photo Credit: New York Post

It’s not like Callaway has a list of ways he can combat Van Wagenen. He can cover his ears when a “message” is delivered to him about removing a player from the game (the Jacob deGrom incident). 

Callaway can also pretend another one of Van Wagenen’s signing busts, Jeurys Familia is no longer on the team and not pitch him except in blowouts.

But the big one is Cano. Mets fans, as well as the media, will overwhelmingly support a permanent move down for Cano in the lineup. Cano is still playing, so he will be (sort of) earning his keep.

And when Cano goes through his annual ritual of deciding to play in the second half to up his pitiful numbers, fine, let it happen. The Mets will only be good for it.

A Callaway State Of Mind

Callaway has or should have by now, a devil may care attitude regarding his future with the Mets. He’s too good a person to take on The Czar publicly. But he is the man who delivers the Mets lineup to home plate each night, not Van Wagenen. That’s power.

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. The chip on The Czar’s shoulder is getting bigger and bigger. He walks through the Mets clubhouse like “The Boss” used to do in his Yankee heyday. The difference, however, is George Steinbrenner’s ego extended only to winning baseball – and if you did your job you had a friend and supporter for a lifetime.

An Ego Equal To None

Brodie Van Wagenen’s moves (so far) as the man with the power to change people’s lives in an instant have served only to disable a team which somehow still has life in it.

His exploding ego is a detriment to the organization, and we can only shudder at the trades he might make over the next few weeks. Brodie Van Wagenen wanted dearly to be known in baseball as The Gunslinger.

He earned the title, but now we know that Billy The Kid and Jesse James weren’t that big a deal after all. Same with Brodie…

Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.

2 thoughts on “Brodie Van Wagenen: A Czar Is Not What The Mets Needed

  1. This article is one of the finest articles I’ve read on any blog. While Brodie is the immediate problem the long range problem is, as always, the Wilsons, specifically Jeffy. It’s not spending or not spending that is wrong with Wilpons, it is the dysfunction and the meddling they create that is the problem. Because the Mets are their “toy” there’s nothing frustrated and suffering Mets fans can do about it except to stop putting money in their pockets.

What do you think?