The Mets invited most of their 2000 team to a weekend reunion at Citi Field. Last night, the Mets honored several stars of that team prior to their game against the Yankees.

The manager of that team was nowhere to be found. Bobby Valentine wasn’t on the guest list.

If that does not convince folks he will not be managing the Mets again, nothing will. It’s clear Jeff Wilpon has no use for Valentine.

It’s too bad the Mets did not feel the need to include him in the ceremony. Before Valentine managed the team, that team had zero identity. They expected to lose, and the team was boring to watch.

If people think fans are indifferent about the Mets now, they should go back to the Dallas Green years. The Mets couldn’t convince anyone to watch or attend their games.

The Generation Ks failed to produce for the Mets. Green couldn’t get his team to have winning records. That team had washed up veterans.

The Yankees started building a good team in 1993, and from there, it became a Yankeetown.

Fred Wilpon loved what he saw out of Valentine in the minors. He decided his team could use a boost from an energetic manager who could relate to the young players.

Valentine was hired in the summer of 1996. In his first full season, the Mets overachieved. Valentine won win with unheralded players. Matt Franco, Todd Pratt, Andy Tomberlin, Carl Everett, Luis Lopez, Roberto Petagine, Rick Reed, and Corey Lidle helped lead the team to 88 victories.

Look at that roster. That roster was bad enough to win at least 63 games. Valentine found a way to have those guys believe in themselves. In fact, the Mets actually were in the wild-card race that season. That team did not have the depth to keep up with a great Marlins team.

It did not matter though. Fans enjoyed that season. They related well to those underachievers.

Mets fans started to support their team again. They were proud to be associated with the Mets.

Valentine made this team relevant in this market. He backed up that great season by having his team make the playoffs in 1999 and 2000.

Valentine outmanaged Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa to get his team to the World Series in 2000. He forced La Russa and Baker to change pitchers often by using bench players to bat against the opposing team.

There’s something to be said about a manager making an impact on the team. Managers need players to help them win, but players need a manager to motivate them.

Valentine’s dynamic personality rubbed off on the players. The players expected to win, and they were not afraid to tick the other team off by doing whatever it took to win. They would steal bases and act exuberant out on the field.

Ever since the Mets fired Valentine, we haven’t seen any of those things. The players are disinterested, and they don’t seem to take winning seriously enough. They accept losing.

The Wilpons took Valentine for granted. One would think they would appreciate Valentine after he left, but that’s not the case.

If anything, they prefer he did not exist at all. They disdain the bad publicity he brought to the team during those winning years. He was feuding with Steve Phillips, Todd Zeile, John Franco, Todd Hundley, Al Leiter, and Daryl Hamilton often.

He would disrespect the Wilpons by not obeying their ultimatums.

That’s his punishment for not listening to them. They decided to get back at him by being petty.

They can talk about how they did not want Valentine to be a distraction to Jerry Manuel, or how he was busy on ESPN, but that’s a bunch of crap.

If the Mets don’t want Manuel to feel insecure, how come Jeff Wilpon decided to go to Atlanta to meet with his embattled manger in light of the Mets being swept by the Marlins last weekend?  Plus, ESPN would have given Valentine the night off.

It’s too bad it has gotten to this. They should remember what was it like before he came to town. The team earned publicity thanks to Valentine.

An appreciation should have been made. Valentine was a big part of the team’s success whether the Wilpons like it or not.

He wasn’t fun to deal with, but despite that, give him his night by acknowledging his success. It’s the least this organization could have done.

Instead, they offer a course on how to fail in public relations.

Is it any wonder why people savage the Mets?



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