February 14, 2012
Unbelievable. If one word could sum up what has transpired recently, that would be the one. Yesterday, it was reported that the Mets GM was taking jabs at Met ownership’s finances. This comes from the same guy who was also recently quoted as saying, “We feel that we are going to be far more interesting to watch than most are anticipating.” Maybe that was meant to be an indirect dig at the state of the Mets as well. Perhaps it was a read between the lines sort of statement.
Regardless, Alderson was not pulling any punches when he tweeted, “Will have to drive carefully on trip; Mets only reimburse for gas at a downhill rate. Will try to coast all the way to FL.” This has been the buzz on Twitter for the past 24 hours, and has seemingly taken on a life of its own.
One thing is certain. The Mets PR department is more defenseless than ever when it comes to social media. Not that they were very good at anything before social media became a prominent way to spread news and discussion either.
It becomes more and more clear by the day that the Wilpons face an uphill battle that holds little to no reward upon reaching its apex. When the team’s GM has no choice but to attack the growing disdain for his financially strapped employers, where else can this really go?
The Mets enter the 2012 season as a virtual non-entity. The only news that anyone creates or writes about is the upcoming hearings to be held in March. If the Mets were not a New York professional sports team, they would be a complete afterthought. Ticket sales will surely decrease to unheralded lows this year as well. This will be extremely troublesome for the Wilpons, as they have publicly stated that they need the revenue from ticket sales to help them skate by financially this year.
All of this spells big trouble for the Wilpons and Mr. Katz. However, as stubborn as this trio is, they will fight tooth and nail to hold onto majority ownership of the franchise.
How can they dig their way out you say? Unfortunately, they have been afforded an escape hatch to this sinking ship.
ONE – Bud Selig, Fred Wilpon’s friend and crony, had his reign as MLB commissioner extended recently. Unlike the situation with the Dodgers and the McCourt’s, Selig will afford the Wilpons every opportunity to dig their way out of this debt. He would even approve another loan or two if need be to keep his buddy in good standing.
TWO – The Mets have already found family and friends, the only people dumb enough to invest a collective $20 million, as minority owners. This dough is being used to desperately pay off some outstanding loans, which will enable ownership to take out future loans in good standing when they need them next year and beyond.
THREE – The lawsuit pending has already taken a turn in the favor of the Wilpons. The principal moneys that Irving Picard was pursuing in the Bernie Madoff case have already been dismissed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff in the United States District Court of Manhattan. There are many sources who believe that the Mets may only be responsible for about $83.3 million. If the Wilpons become responsible for only this amount (originally Picard was seeking $1 billion), they would achieve a stay of execution. Once this occurs, the Wilpons will invest money back into the team in a matter of three to five years. This will bring the fans back into the stadium and get them to start spending on everything from tickets to t-shirts to concessions once again.
Sounds rosy for the Wilpons and the Mets doesn’t it?
This scenario ensures that the Mets will continue to be run by inept baseball owners, whose only care in the world is the bottom line. Unfortunately, this does not include a little thing called winning, regardless of how much they preach its importance to them.
Let us not forget that the Wilpons’ track record has been completely muddled with poor decision-making from the minor leagues on up to every post held for the big club over the past 25 years.
Finances aside, we can be assured that bone-head decisions will continue for years to come with the Wilpons at the helm. We can also be assured that the Mets will never, ever win a World Series as long as the Wilpons remain in control.
This is true even if their GM stops cracking jokes publicly about them on social media outlets.