fred wilpon mets
via Anthony DiComo/Twitter

Spring training is officially underway in Florida and Arizona for Major League Baseball teams. When it comes to the Mets, players have descended upon Port St. Lucie to begin taking care of unfinished business.

We knew Steve and Alex Cohen were heading down to PSL to see the squad this weekend. Do you know who else showed up, though? Our old friend, Fred Wilpon! MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo shared this news on the Twitter machine:

As you can imagine, the replies were a slightly hostile (and definitely funny) place to be:

Of course, his appearance comes shortly after news of Keith Hernandez’s newest SNY deal finally getting agreed to. It took way too long, and since the Wilpons still own the network, the sequence of events made everyone quickly remember what it was like watching them run the Mets.

But still, why would the Cohens allow Wilpon to show up and have access on the field and with the players? Fred has seemingly shown up at some point each spring since the Cohens took over. DiComo called Fred the former owner, but he actually still owns the team — he’s just not *the* owner anymore. He (and his family) is just a minority owner now.

When the Mets’ sale became official in November 2020, Cohen officially paid $2.4 billion to take control of the franchise. However, this didn’t give him complete control (although it’s plenty because he does what he wants). The Cohens own 95% of the franchise, while the Wilpon family is still holding onto a 5% stake.

This is why we still see Wilpon showing up in Port St. Lucie for his annual picture/public appearance. But it’s really just for show. Even though the Wilpons technically still have their proverbial hat in the ring regarding Mets’ ownership, they can’t actually do anything. So take a deep breath for those who need one.

And while seeing Wilpon in PSL immediately makes me shudder, I don’t mind Fred too much. As long as I don’t see Jeff trying to sniff around the backfields, it’s all good.

Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.