Mets For Sale

So much for the conspiracy “theory” — as it turns out, the Madoff scandal did and does affect the Wilpons and the New York Mets in particular, despite countless denials to the contrary.

From last week’s press release:

As Sterling Equities announced in December, we are engaged in discussions to settle a lawsuit brought against us and other Sterling partners and members of our families by the Trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy. We are not permitted to comment on these confidential negotiations while they are ongoing.

However, to address the air of uncertainty created by this lawsuit, and to provide additional assurance that the New York Mets will continue to have the necessary resources to fully compete and win, we are looking at a number of potential options including the addition of one or more strategic partners.

I’ve always enjoyed the Mets’ strategy of releasing bad news on a Friday, whenever possible, so that the media pickup is somewhat lessened. They’ve done it consistently with player injuries, arrests, suspensions, and firings, for example.

Another consistency regarding news out of Flushing: telling us things are fine, when they aren’t — a theme that ran repeatedly with the player injuries of 2009 and 2010.

I was going to write my own, original response to this latest situation, but someone already published a piece that pretty much sums up my thoughts, so why reinvent the wheel? See Barstool Sports NYC. That site could be considered NSFW and has some foul language, so I’ll give you snippets of the best parts.

But mark my words, this is the beginning of the end for the Wilpons owning the Mets. For 3 reasons – 1. This is how the Mets … operate. How many years have we heard about a Carlos Beltran “strain” and 6 weeks later we find out he needs season ending surgery? How many times have we seen Reyes as “day-to-day” and it turns out to be like 90 … days? This is what they do. The come in real low in an effort to keep everyone calm and as time goes on you realize just how (bad) of a situation they are in and all the sudden its a full blown disaster. So all this “just looking for financial partners” and what not is the tip of the iceberg. 1 year ago the Wilpons promised Madoff wasn’t an issue at all. Now its somewhat of an issue. And in another year we’ll find out it they’re completely broke.

Pretty much how I see it, too. But there’s more good stuff from Barstool:

2. The fact that they announced this without a bidder lined up means this Madoff lawsuit is 150 times worse than they ever expected. Seems like they were sucker punched by the potential severity of this suit. This is a New York baseball franchise. Top 3 profitable franchise in all of baseball. And they are basically putting out an open casting call for financial partners? Thats like the kinda (stuff) I do on Barstool. Put up a picture of a chick and ask the Stoolies to find her. Just announcing you are now open to whoring yourself out without any prospective partners already lined up is … desperate. It’s like online dating. The Mets are … J-Dating right now.

Barstool sums up the Wilpon ownership era thusly:

I’ve always maintained this team will never win a World Series under the Wilpons management. Too incompetent, too timid. Always willing to go three quarters of the way, but never willing to go the distance. The Mets will always be stuck in no man’s land with the Wilpons – Never rebuilding, but never winning. That’s New York Mets baseball under Fred and Jeff Wilpon.

I agree with most of these points. In particular, that this recent news is only the tip of the iceberg; there will be much, much more as this lawsuit drags on.

By the way, in case you missed it, we had an interesting discussion in a comments thread from December 8, 2010, where we suspected “something big” regarding the Madoff situation was going to come out eventually.

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Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Ryan January 31, 2011 at 11:51 am
    Mets fans could have seen this coming when the Wilpons hired Alderson on Selig’s recommendation. That new front office crew is there to maintain a functional baseline – or to promote a quicker sale – as ownership in the club transitions. Not sure what the profit-share from Flushing into the Bud’s coffers our but I am sure he does not want the national league’s bulwark in the NYC market collapsing.
  2. Walnutz15 January 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    The staples of a Wilpon-led “revelation” —

    1) “REMAIN CALM, ALL IS WELL!!!!” — envision, if you will, one of the final scenes in Animal House where a young Kevin Bacon tries to quell a town riot at the parade.

    (As we know — Bacon is ultimately trampled and flattened by the same crowd of frenzied townies.)

    2) “Hey….do you guys smell gas?” — of course, you’d be dismissed and told that it’s probably just the heat coming up from the furnace.

    3) The culmination of a panicked George Costanza, rushing out of a kitchen blaze — knocking over elderly women, children, Eric The Clown, and anyone else in their way……”FIIIIIREEEEE!!!!!!”



    I’m just glad that everyone in MLB’s executive offices already knew this was coming, so that Bud Selig could force a reputable regime upon us. Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for The Wilputzes.

  3. gary s. January 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm
    Joe, thanks for the stuff from bartsool sports.I could not agree with him more.In the immortal words of ex NY Knick Michael Ray Richardson “the ship be sinking” and for most met fans if it involves getting rid of the Wilpons, it can’t sink fast enough.
  4. mrtasan January 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm
    This could actually be a godsend for the mets as a professional and competitive baseball team which can equate to better for mets fans.

    talk about needing a change in managers to send a message to the team in terms of performance…how about a change in ownership?? that’ll send a message from top to bottom!

    talk about irony…all those years of being “cheap” are coming back to bite them in the ass…

    for the record i didn’t call them cheap…just stupid with their money…