What we're about to find out as the New York Mets regroup, revamp and retool (and re- anything else that sorry franchise can think of) in the wake of firing general manager Omar Minaya and field manager Jerry Manuel is this:
Whose philosophy will emerge?
That of owner Fred Wilpon, the old man owner who might finally be humiliated enough to take charge of his own franchise?
Or that of Jeff Wilpon, Fred's son, who as the chief operating officer makes a very good bull in a china shop, bullying his way through the front office while essentially acting as the de facto GM?
Fred, according to sources, is said to favor an older, more established general manager such as Sandy Alderson or John Hart.
Jeff, according to sources, has favored the promotion of assistant GM John Ricco in what most view as a completely transparent attempt to put a puppet in charge who would continue to allow Jeff to pull the strings.
"Jeff Wilpon has been the GM this year," one source within the Mets' organization told CBSSports.com. "He has made Minaya's life hell.
"Omar was better off when he was in Montreal and Washington. Since Fred backed off and Jeff stepped up, it's similar to Baltimore. It's like the [Peter] Angelos kids. The Mets are going to end up like Baltimore if they don't watch it. What GM is going to want to go there unless Jeff backs off? It's amazing."
A veteran GM with West Coast ties who was hired to run the Diamondbacks last month, Kevin Towers, according to sources, received a back-channel overture from the Mets earlier this summer as the wheels were coming off but wanted no part of a dysfunctional situation in which, currently, Jeff Wilpon runs unchecked.
"We are extremely disappointed in this year's results and the failures of the past four seasons," Jeff Wilpon said in a statement Monday announcing the firings of Minaya and Manuel. "We need to hire a new general manager with a fresh perspective who will transform this club into a winner that we want and our fans deserve."
Not that Minaya didn't make his share of mistakes, because he did.
But what the Mets need most is a chief operating officer who will back off and actually let the baseball men
run the baseball operations unchecked, without constant interference.