Details of how the video was mistakenly uploaded (or possibly leaked, as Newsday’s Tim Healey noted that the 70-minute video was blank except for a few minutes that included Van Wagenen’s comments) remain scarce, although they naturally sent a storm of controversy around the world of baseball. Shortly after the Mets and Marlins left the field, the GM released a statement saying he was wrong to think the idea came from Manfred. Van Wagenen’s full statement:
« Jeff Wilpon called Commissioner Manfred this afternoon to inform him that our players had voted not to play. They discussed the challenges of rescheduling the game. Jeff came up with an idea to play the game an hour later. I misunderstood that was the commissioner’s idea. In fact, that was Jeff’s suggestion. The players had already made up their minds, so I felt the suggestion was not helpful. My frustration with the commissioner was wrong and unfounded. I apologize to the Commissioner for my disrespectful comments and poor judgment in misrepresenting the contents of his private conversation with Jeff Wilpon. »
In a subsequent interview with the New York Post and other media, Van Wagenen expanded on his apologies for including Mets players. ” This conversation is about players making a statement», A déclaré Van Wagenen. « This conversation aims to recognize the pain and anguish that black people experience every day in this country. The fact that I bring myself and this organization into the conversation in a way that takes away the real point, I am disappointed in myself… and accept responsibility for it. »
For his part, Manfred released his own statement later, with the commissioner saying:
« Over the past two days, players from several clubs have decided not to play games. I have said publicly and privately that I respect these decisions and support the need to fight social injustice. I have in no way attempted to prevent players from speaking out by not playing, and have not suggested any other form of protest to any Club member or player. Any suggestion to the contrary is false.«
Adding to the surreal nature of the hot mic incident were two statements from the Wilpons, which each included misspellings of Van Wagenen’s first name.
De Fred Wilpon: « I am very stressed and disappointed to learn this evening that our Executive Director, Brodie Van Wagenen, has made disrespectful and inaccurate comments about our Commissioner, a longtime close friend. I hold Rob in the highest regard and Brody’s comments do not reflect my views or those of the organization. Rob continues to be a great leader in Major League Baseball. I apologize for any damage this incident caused to Rob. »
The Jeff Wilpon: « To clear up any misunderstanding, I suggested considering playing the game later due to scheduling issues. Brody’s misunderstanding of a private conversation was and is inexcusable. We fully respect the decision of our players and the Marlins players not to play tonight and appreciate the sincerity of all who wish to draw attention to the social injustices and racial inequalities that need to be addressed. The entire Mets organization remains committed to creating meaningful change in our company. »
This has only heightened speculation that Van Wagenen’s days as GM may be numbered, even though New York is still in the race for the NL wild cards with a 13-16 record. Van Wagenen’s contract spans the 2022 season, though his future is seen as uncertain as the Wilpon family prepare to sell the franchise (final offers are due by Monday) and a new group many owners might well prefer to make their own choice. for the post of general manager. The Mets had a strong 86-76 record in 2019, Van Wagenen’s first season at the helm of the Mets front office, but his tenure was marked by the off-field drama that has come to define the team. under the ownership of the Wilpons.