Brodie Van Wagenen fires back at Zack Wheeler for taking shots at Mets
The New York Mets made virtually no effort to resign Zack Wheeler this offseason and in one of his first interviews since joining the Phillies, the starting pitcher took the opportunity to poke at his former club.
“Because it’s them,” he said. “It’s how they roll.”
Wheeler continued his pointed criticism of the Mets: “Obviously everything starts at the top and it filters down,” Wheeler said. “Whether it be somebody’s fault or not, it starts at the top and goes down. Maybe the top gives them the OK but lower down they don’t want to do something. Or maybe up top, they don’t give you the opportunity to do something but everybody else wants to do it. That’s kind of how it was there at certain points. Everything was kind of jumpy because certain people would want something, others wouldn’t. I don’t think everyone was on the same page.”
Wheeler's comments are probably not too far from the truth, but were not particularly well-received by General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. The Mets have had a bit of inner turmoil with a messy ownership situation as the Wilpon's pulled out of a potential deal to sell the team to billionaire Steve Cohen.
The Mets claim that they're still actively looking to sell the club, but it's unlikely that a potential buyer will agree to some of the Wilpon's ridiculous demands. In response to criticism from Wheeler, Van Wagenen hinted that the organization set the former Met pitcher up for the success he enjoyed, but expressed little remorse for letting him walk this offseason.
“Our health and performance department, our coaches all contributed and helped him parlay two good half-seasons over the last five years into a $118 million,” the Mets’ general manager said Friday. “I’m proud of what our group was able to help him accomplish. I’m happy he was rewarded for it. Players deserve to be rewarded when they perform well. More than anything else, I’m thrilled with the pitching staff we have.”