Originally written on Mets Merized Online  |  Last updated 2/28/12

26 Oct 1998: Mike Piazza of the New York Mets shakes hands with Mets Owners Fred Wilpon (R) and Nelson Doubleday (L) during a Press Conference in New York City, New York. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squire /Allsport
Whether he was speaking out of defiance or knowledge, Mets owner Fred Wilpon vowed he wasn’t parting with his team. Period. “Well, (Mets fans) shouldn’t be concerned about us owning the franchise, because we intend to own the franchise for a very long time,’’ Wilpon said this morning in Port St. Luice. “Whether they’re happy about that right now or not, I don’t know. Don’t forget, we cut a lot of payroll that wasn’t producing.’’ That much is true, as gone are Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. Also gone are Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, but they were productive Mets last season. Wilpon reiterated the refrain often sung by the Mets in recent seasons in hoping for bounce back seasons from the injured (Johan Santana, Ike Davis and David Wright) and the non-producing (Wright, Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey). If all those things are realized and GM Sandy Alderson’s patchwork bullpen is productive, the Mets could overachieve. Perhaps the key personnel issue facing the M
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