New York Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon have always disappointed fans

Fred Wilpon (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Fred Wilpon (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

After New York Mets ownership made their latest excuse about why they can’t sign a major free agent, we talk about how long the Wilpons have disappointed.

The year was 1980 and the New York Mets were finishing another decade of losing, and doing so badly. In 1979, the Mets finished in sixth place for the fourth straight season. Shea Stadium drew 788,905 fans. Divide that by 81 home games and you will realize that means nobody watched them play.

Joan Payson and her family owned the Mets since their inception in 1962. After two World Series appearances in 18 years and a lot of last place finishes, they sold the team. 80% of the purchase price was put up by an heir to Doubleday Publishing, Nelson Doubleday.

The other 20%? Some guy we are all familiar with named Fred Wilpon.

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Yes, our favorite owner, Fred Wilpon.

He built a contender with Doubleday back in the 1980’s, including the World Series title in 1986.

From that point on, the two men had their relationship deteriorate until Doubleday sold his shares to the Wilpon family in 2002, and here we are.

Fast forward to the present, and all the problems we deal with when talking about Mets ownership.

Most recently was the statement about why the Mets can’t sign Machado or Harper. We talked about the lame excuses by the Wilpons yesterday.

The truth is, from the Wilpon family took over, the Mets have by and large been a disappointment.

Look at the records. In the decade of the 1980s when Doubleday spent the most time with the team, the Mets produced their best decade in franchise history in terms on winning percentage with .526.

They never really approached that winning percentage again.

Since the year 2003, the first year without Nelson Doubleday as a partner, the Mets finished in fifth once, fourth seven times, third twice, second four times and first once.

The 2010’s is the first complete decade without Nelson Doubleday. It’s also the Mets’ worst winning percentage for a decade since the 1970s at .485. That includes a trip to the World Series.

So for the most part, once Nelson Doubleday parted ways with the New York Mets, the franchise fell apart. They have become, well, what we have all seen them become. The word that comes to mind is laughingstock.

Add to that the financial problems they “didn’t have” with Bernie Madoff and all of the lame excuses right up until the last one. The Wilpons are a disappointment and the fact is that they have always been a disappointment.

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It gives Mets fans the feeling of no hope.

Mr. Doubleday may have known exactly what was coming after he left. Take a look at what he had to say 11 months after officially dropping his shares in the team:

"“I think it’s been awful out there,” Doubleday said for a story published in the Newark Star-Ledger on Monday. “I don’t want to fire shells at somebody, but we’re 22 games out. It’s so close that it gets you nervous. We might fall into a minor league. We might not even make it into Triple-A.”"

What are we seeing now? It seems like he was absolutely right. The excuses are appalling, and not surprising.

The Wilpons have never been any good.