January 29, 2011
One thing is certain in Corporate America. Big business will do whatever it takes to maintain a strong and secure image. When adverse times befall that corporation, it is easier to cover up the mess by pulling the wool over the eyes of those peering in from afar than it is to tell the ugly truth. Even more, it is imperative to keep that ugly truth locked away from those that can come back to hurt the company. After all, the truth can be deadly to future business operations, and to the bedrock that founded the company in the first place.
Such is the case with the Wilpons and Sterling Equities these days. Just over two years ago, in the wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal, Mets ownership stated to its fan base that baseball operations would not be affected by the Wilpon family’s massive losses in this incident. I am not sure how many Met fans actually believed this garbage at the time, but nevertheless, it was still the Wilpons’ decision to proceed in this manner.
This mantra was all that was needed until more glaring evidence arose to discount the Wilpons’ claim. Certainly ownership had to know that once the fans and media took notice of the team’s declining player payroll, that more questions would be asked. After all, you don’t quickly move from free spending to cutting payroll without even the most numb of a fan taking notice of this change in policy. Such was the case leading into the 2010 trading deadline, when the Mets were still in contention for post-season play. Not even a mild consideration was given to adding a big name to help the club at that time. What followed was a second half plunge into obscurity, and another failed season.
Shortly after this, more evidence arose that proved the Wilpons were lying about their company’s business, and how it would relate to the operations of their baseball club. A lawsuit was brought against Sterling Equities in regards to massive financial losses suffered by former employees in the Madoff Ponzi Scheme. This was getting quite ugly for the Wilpons.
More recently, yet another lawsuit was brought against Sterling Equities in relation to the Madoff scandal. Even after this news, the Wilpons impossibly danced around the matter with the following statement. “Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, we want to emphasize that the New York Mets will have the necessary financial and operational resources to fully compete and win,” Sterling Equities said. “That is our commitment to our fans, and to New York.” Oh really?
Well fans, how do these previous statements look today? Apparently, the strain was just too much for the Wilpons to bear, because yesterday the Wilpons made an about-face, when announced that they will be selling a share of the team. This is a complete contradiction to previous statements within the past few years. Shocking isn’t it? I think not. Of course the Wilpons still want to maintain a majority ownership of the Mets. This gives them the ability to control the club just as they have for years, and continue to do wrong for the franchise. They will try to skate by for as long as they can, spitting out lies to the public whenever they need a new one to keep the growing opposition at bay.
What are we to make of this? What we do know is that you have to take a big businessman’s word with a grain of salt. After all, they are usually not the most trustworthy of people. What we have here is an ownership group that has been lying through its teeth for years (or even decades) to its employees, business associates, and most importantly to us, the Met fans. Some of us have been seeing this for years, and some have not. Perhaps some people actually needed to see cold, hard evidence that ownership could lie to our faces like this. Well, let the wake-up call begin, Met fans. The truth has just arrived at your doorstep in a pretty package with a bow and greeting card in bold print. What does the card state? It states “The Wilpons are not the right owners for this team!”
I have been shouting about this for years to those who know me. I have been blogging about it for just over a year. My voice will only get louder now with this absurdity flying across the media mainstream.
The question you as Met fans have to ask yourselves is this. Do you believe the Mets will ever recover with the Wilpons at the helm? The recent lack of success of the club, along with the airing of its owners dirty laundry certainly proves that a turnaround is not likely. The next question you need to ask yourself is this. Do I want such crooked men who obviously have bigger issues to deal with running my team’s “baseball operations”?
Think long and hard Met fans. You as judge and jury have the ability to have an impact on this. If you feel that the Wilpons need to go, then you need to take certain steps.
1) If you buy tickets or merchandise, you support the Wilpons’ finances. The best way to get them out of here is to slow down their revenue flow. There is not much you can do about the large quantity of money they garner from SNY. However, ticket sales, vending, parking and merchandise are certainly items that you can control.
2) Even more important than step number one. Spread the word to other Met fans. Tell them to follow step one, and what the consequences are if they continue to line the Wilpons’ pockets with additional sources of revenue.
I am by no means starting an organized protest. If I had the time away from my real career, I would certainly contribute more to such a cause. (Perhaps a ‘Be Gone With Wilpon!’ protest?) I am, however, voicing my opinion on this matter, and I hope that others who read my post feel the same as I do about the Mets’ current situation.