Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

An ugly situation in Queens


I’d rather be talking about the remaining pennant races, making playoff predictions or showing off some cool baseball cards.

I’d probably even have more fun trying to guess Sandy Alderson‘s plans for improving the Mets this winter.

But I keep coming back to a story that broke last week.

At, columnist Emma Span rightly criticizes outgoing MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for turning a blind eye towards a troubling situation in Queens.

I’m not talking about the Mets’ payroll – as a fan, I wish they’d do more to acquire the talent they need to become a pennant contender, but I don’t pretend to understand enough about high finance to know whether the team is in violation of baseball’s “internal economic rules.”

Former Mets executive Leigh Castergine‘s lawsuit against the team and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon alleges that she was discriminated against and ultimately fired for being a single mother.

The Mets issued a statement saying that the claims in the suit are without merit.

I believe in due process, and that’s really the only reason I can continue to be a Mets fan while Jeff Wilpon maintains an important leadership role with the team.

What Wilpon is alleged to have done is worse than the actions that cost Donald Sterling and Bruce Levenson their NBA teams. It’s wrong to discriminate against African-Americans, and it’s wrong to discriminate against women. But Wilpon is the only one accused of having someone fired.

Until the suit is resolved, it’s not appropriate for Selig to take any punitive actions based on its claims. After all, they are only allegations, not proven facts.

But Selig’s statement during his Citi Field appearance this week was still disappointing:

“That’s employment litigation. There were a lot of charges there. Jeff denies them vigorously,” Selig said. “I think in this particular case they’re going to court, and we’re just going to have to see how it plays out.”

As Span notes in her column, Selig could have easily condemned discrimination of any kind and said that action would be taken if the allegations were proven. Instead, he punted. (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell might have handled things better – at least he would have avoided a media stop guaranteed to lead to questions he didn’t really want to answer.)

But I guess that was too much to expect. Hopefully incoming commissioner Rob Manfred will be ready to take a stronger stand.