How would you deal with an employee who engages in gambling and has a very public extramarital affair with a 19-year-old woman? How about a different employee whose erratic behavior included lecturing people about the use of anti-depressant drugs and hopping onto a couch in the middle of an interview?
The two management teams acted very differently. In the first instance, the management is the New York Mets and the employee is star catcher Paul LoDuca. In the last month, Lo Duca’s gambling habit became public news within days after a 19-year-old Long Island woman "outed" the All-Star catcher and their affair after discovering he had lied to her about being married. Mets manangement was strangely silent throughout the double crisis and has doggedly stood behind their man. Sumner Redstone and Paramount Studios have taken an entirely different tact with wacko superstar, Tom Cruise, ending their 14-year relationship yesterday.
Obviously, these are two totally different scenarios. But, the fact remains that a management team’s treatment of an erratic employee clearly reflects on its image and reputation with all constituent audiences.
Are the Mets sending a subliminal "boys will be boys" message by turning a blind eye to Lo Duca’s behavior? Are they saying that they’re willing to win at any cost, regardless of the message it sends to kids and their parents?
Is Paramount, on the other hand, drawing a line in the sand, and telling its actors and fan base alike that Cruise’s various meltdowns reflect poorly on the film studio, and that it will enforce certain behavioral guidelines moving forward?
I, for one, am heartened by Paramount’s moves and disheartened by the Mets’ inertia. Both send strong, distinct messages. And, both indicate the kind of society we’ve become. Sadly, though, Sumner Redstone’s resolve seems more of a quaint reminder of what American morals and ethics used to be, while Omar Minaya and the Mets seem to reflect where we are now and where we are headed.
Thanks to Chris "Repman Jr." Cody for this idea.