Updated Jul 22, 2003 10:46 AM ET
Former co-owner Nelson Doubleday has kept mostly quiet since he handed off full control of the team to Fred Wilpon late last summer, but that wasn't the case this week, when Doubleday broke his silence in a scathing interview with the Newark Star-Ledger. Doubleday, who always had what you could term a dysfunctional relationship with Wilpon, took shots at any number of people within the organization, including Art Howe, , and . The publishing magnate wondered aloud why Howe, a small-town guy stuck in a big city, was picked to lead such a large market club. "This isn't Paducah," he said and spoke with disdain for Franco, a Brooklyn native who is a hand-picked favorite of Wilpon's and should coast easily into a front office job once his playing career is complete. "There's a great pitcher," Doubleday said in the article, published Sunday. "The other night, it didn't look like he could throw it through the hole in a life preserver. But he's from Brooklyn! Watch out! He goes home to Ebbets Field every night. He takes a ride on the Cyclone." However, Doubleday reserved his harshest criticism for Wilpon's son, Jeff, who has moved up to the big club this season after running the show at the Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones. Wilpon's official role with the is as the team's chief operating officer, but to listen to sources around the club in recent months, his real job is to roam Shea Stadium and antagonize security guards and team employees. Doubleday touched upon those thoughts: "He got thrown out of Greenvale (Private School) in the fifth grade for being arrogant and he hasn't improved," Doubleday said. "I saw a comment in another paper after the (Roberto) Alomar trade, that it was a very good trade, but it would have been an excellent trade if they had included Jeff Wilpon." Franco and Leiter meet with Mr. Jeff Wilpon everyday. Mr. Jeff Wilpon has decided that he's going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year. Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail." For the record, both of the Wilpons declined to comment publicly to the media through PR director Jay Horwitz, hoping to take the high road and let Doubleday's comments stand alone as sour grapes. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of truth to what the former owner said to the paper. Both Leiter and Franco have a good deal of influence upon management regarding player transactions and the like, with Glavine expected to have the ability to chime in this coming off-season when the dip into the free-agent market. That kind of on-field scouting can be helpful, to be sure, as players in the trenches can often pick up personality traits and such that observers in the box seats or on the press level might not. But sometimes, personal grudges can get in the way as well. After the 2001 season, infielders and dissuaded then-GM Steve Phillips from pursuing outfielder in a trade from the Los Angeles , believing that Sheffield would become a "clubhouse cancer." Sheffield has been nothing of the sort for the divison-rival Atlanta , where he is hitting .327 with 24 home runs and 74 RBI, ranking among the league leaders in nearly every offensive category. Runnin¿ Roger? Not lately: manager Art Howe believes that OF has packed on a little something extra around the midsection, and could afford to drop a few pounds to revitalize his stagnant running game. "He could get a hair more quickness. He's slowly put on more weight," Howe told reporters. "He's not overweight. He's just not as light as he was when he was younger, like any of us." It was just two years ago that Cedeno stole 55 bases for the Detroit , but he's swiped just 32 in 1-1/2 seasons with the . Earlier this week, the normally good-natured Cedeno ¿ in the second year of a four-year, $18 million contract ¿ spoke openly about being unhappy with his fourth-outfielder status and hoped that a trade might rescue him from the last-place club. "Same shit, every year," Cedeno told The New York Post. "it doesn't make sense paying me all this money and bouncing me everywhere. I don't care. I need to know."