The already infamous Brodie Van Wagenen-Rob Manfred video was public when diehard Mets fan and aspiring sports journalist Nick Albicocco stumbled across it on the team’s website as he searched for the status of Thursday’s game.
“I found the video on Mets.com when I went to look for an update on whether they would play tonight,” Albicocco, a 20-year-old diehard Mets fan, told The Post. “It was sitting on their home page for who knows how long. When I heard [Van Wagenen’s comments,] I couldn’t believe it.”
The video titled, “Mets Pregame Press Conference 8-27,” according to Albicocco, interested him enough to click on it.
In the video, Van Wagenen told two others that what he was going to say, “can’t leave this room,“
Manfred, the video seems to indicate, wanted the Mets and Marlins not to take the field for an hour to take part in the social injustice protests that have gripped the sports in the aftermath of the Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“At the leadership level, he doesn’t get it,” Van Wagenen said in the video that can be faintly heard. “He just doesn’t get it.”
In a later statement, the Van Wagnen said the ill-received idea to leave the field for an hour before playing was actually Jeff Wilpon’s, not Manfred’s. Van Wagenen apologized to Manfred.
It turned out the Mets didn’t play on Thursday night. They took the field with the Marlins, took off their hats for 42 seconds of silence, laid a Black Lives Matter shirt at home plate, and then promptly left the field .
Earlier, Albicocco posted the comments on Twitter for his 490 followers. It quickly went viral.
Mets spokesman Harold Kaufman said the team was looking to get “clarity” how the video was on the site in the first place.
The video has since been taken down by the Mets.
Albicocco stressed that he didn’t want any harm to come to Van Wagenen or MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. It was already public so he was just sharing it with his followers.
Still, Albicocco is sort of like a modern day Brad34. In 2000, a Penn student named Brad Rosenberg was on the Mets.com chatroom as Brad34, posted inflammatory quotes he attributed to then Mets manager Bobby Valentine. What became known as “Whartongate” nearly cost Valentine his job.
Albicocco’s role in the BVW caper was more as a passerby, as the video already was public and displayed prominently.
A 20-year-old double major (sports journalism and economics) at Maryland, scheduled to graduate next year, Albicocco now has a little footnote in team lore.
Maybe it will be an omen. In 2000, Valentine eventually led the Mets to the World Series.