Will Mets Move To Montreal?

Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, right?

How about one that sees the Mets moving to Montreal, Citi Field being bulldozed for real estate, and the Wilpons winding up with a Major League in their beloved Brooklyn?

Here’s the best part: it’s not even my theory! Rather, it comes from Herald de Paris, a media outlet published for French ex-pats.

If you read the story, titled Hoodwinked: Are the Wilpons About To Pull Off the Ultimate Developer’s Dream?, all the well-researched pieces fit — much like any great conspiracy theory. The story also sounds eerily similar to the plot of the movie Major League — wherein, the Indians owner stocks her team with has-beens, never-wases, and misfits in an effort to cut payroll, lose on purpose, drive down attendance, and therefore have sufficient motive to move the club out of Cleveland.

Hmm …

Feeding fuel to the fire is the upcoming “Expos Day 2014” — when supporters of a MLB team returning to Montreal are planning to attend a game at Citi Field.

It’s a far-fetched theory, but there are salacious nuggets that will at minimum make you pause. Even if you don’t believe there will one day be French-speaking fans rooting for their beloved “Montreal Mets,” some of the article’s details may cause you to think about the current Mets situation and the motivation of the Wilpons and Bud Selig.

For example:

With the Willets Point project moving forward, how much more valuable would the adjacent Citi Field site be if it were also developed as a mixed-use development, and no longer played home to the Mets? Fully developed, each piece of the Flushing-Corona properties could easily yield $4-5 Billion. Thus, the Wilpons are sitting on a $10 Billion section of New York. Maybe more. They just need to move the Mets off the site to realize their developer dreams. All they really need to do is strip the club of its top players and its high salaries, then drive the fan base away with a lousy product on the field. They seem to be doing just fine, in that regard.

The Flushing-Corona location is a developer’s dream. It has water, sewer, an electrical grid, roads, a subway platform, a LIRR stop, highway access, and is located close to LaGuardia Airport. Nothing makes a developer drool more than a property which needs no infrastructure, as it has already been provided by the municipality. That the property is free, to boot, is like a perfect storm scenario for a property developer.

And this:

Selig has insisted he is leaving the Commissioner’s post since 2012. His latest decree has him in the position until January, 2015. Is Selig part of the whole plan? Seems likely. It also seems likely that upon exiting the Commissioner’s Office, Selig will turn up as a trustee of the Corona-Flushing development.

What do you think of all this? Anything plausible to take away from this conspiracy theory? Answer in the comments.

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. meticated June 16, 2014 at 7:09 am
    Cerainly, the Wilpon’s are the nuevo illuminati, they embrace the disposable economy, when they’re finished raping and pillaging our precious ball team, they will let the pathetic carcass be picked over by Canadian birds of prey, whilst they excavate the golden encrusted mega mall whose immensity will dwarf the landscape ..named aptly Wilponcewashea…its craveness pays fealty to the almighty multi national corporations they are the kingpins of…moreover, Mr. Met is surreptitiously a masonic symbol denoting the superiority of a giant cranium whose function is to subjugate inferior life forms to its twisted will…he’s actually a skull and bones alumni…and roomed with George W.. ….Selig is actually the mastermind who’s nefarious scheme includes world domination. His plan is to never actually relinquish his precious jeweled throne, acquire a dirty sweat sock bomb and extort billions as the executive director of the New Amalgamated Madoff trust resurrecting the staid tradition of pyramidal greed and fraud …thus, Alderson becomes the dark gatekeeper whose necromancer familial roots preserve the tradition of smoke and mirrors with haughty condescension..He knows full well all the ritual incantations for media consumption. ..Together they will systematically take over the sacred baseball ground of Queens and Brooklyn, leaving scorched earth, rosin and horsehide as the only vestiges of a once hallowed pastime…say it isn’t so Joe!!
  2. meticated June 16, 2014 at 7:13 am
    I left out **incantations and obfuscations ..
  3. DanB June 16, 2014 at 8:16 am
    We all knew that Fred Wilpon wanted to recreate the Dodgers but who would of guessed it involved sneaking the team out of NY and breaking the hearts of loyal fans just because of a real estate deal. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to relive it. More believable would be the Wilpons refusing to sell the Mets, no matter how bad it gets, because they feel City Field is essential to the Willets Point Development. What is worse, the Mets in Flushing owned by the Wilpons or the Mets in Montreal owned by owners who cared and have the capital to run the team?
  4. Regis June 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm
    I just threw up
  5. Peter June 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm
    Another reason for mets fans to be vigilant about this far-fetched but plausible plan… The Braves recently announced an essentially signed, sealed, delivered deal to leave Atlanta for similar motives, aka development that bypassed the democratic process. So don’t assume we’d have a chance to stop this when and if.
  6. john June 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    This is a excellent assumption to what I’ve said all along the Wilpons are not just a joke, but they are turning out to be the JOKER in the deck and we are the rest of the cards they don’t care to use. But be used! I can only hope as a Mets fan for over 40 year’s this theory has merit and they abolish the Mets to Canada. I wish them good owners and luck!!! And on the other hand now that Brooklyn is the place to be give them back a team. Build their economy. We all know surely Queen’s doesn’t need any help. But in all this the new commish should ban the Wilpon’s from baseball forever for the Madoff infraction. That would be perfect in my eye’s!!!!
  7. Do the Geren! June 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    Don’t forget the part where this author referenced your amazing interview with Jeff Wilpon’s minor league coach… the coach who said JEFF NEVER PLAYED MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL EVEN THOUGH IT WAS IN HIS BIO FOR DECADES!
  8. Seymour June 16, 2014 at 5:03 pm
    I can’t imagine the ego of NYC allowing their franchise to move to freakin’ Canada
  9. argonbunnies June 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm
    If I remember right, the Wilpons initially made their money in real estate. Accordingly, it’s implausible to think they don’t know the value of their Flushing property — if they really can get $10 billion for it, then they probably will.

    How the Mets fit into that, I don’t know. The team is clearly a vanity possession that the Wilpons don’t wish to part with. It’s not like the value of the Flushing property will go away any time soon. I imagine status quo until something happens to force a decision. If that day ever comes, then yeah, a Mets relocation does make some sense.

    After the last decade of empty Expos games, I doubt they ever get an MLB team again. The Expos were never division favorites after ’94, but still got off to good starts often enough to engender hope. They had Pedro, and then Vlad. But no fans.

  10. DanB June 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm
    I read the article and it has a lot of holes. Willis Point is not as set with infrastructure as it implies. The demand for residential housing in Flushing is not that high. And you don’t build a $750 million stadIum to tear it down in 10 years. Mortgage companies don’t like that. And the SNY partners would never allow the Mets to leave. However, I would not be surprised if the development is effecting the operations of the Mets.
  11. The King June 16, 2014 at 8:14 pm
    I’ve heard crazier. Montreal never got a fair shake, anyway.
  12. Robert colavito June 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm
    They wouldn’t have signed Granderson for 4 years and wright long term. If they develop willets point it will draw more people to citi field, and they’ll make money staying there.
  13. John D. June 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm
    Many, many holes in the article, as other posters have pointed out. The Mets may be worth $2 billion in New York but they’re probably not worth 1/4 of that in Montreal. Therefore, nobody in their right mind would move a team from the #1 media market in North America to a hockey-crazed town not even 1/8 its size. Also, unless the Wilpons convinced the city to slice off a piece of Prospect Park to build a new stadium (good luck to any politician who agreed to that), I have no idea where in Brooklyn they would build. Also, to suggest that Fred would send the Mets north in exchange for the Expos drafting Jeff with a low-round pick over 30 years is absolutely preposterous.
    • Joe Janish June 17, 2014 at 10:35 pm
      All conspiracy theories have holes — that’s why they’re “theories.”

      For me, the details of the theory uncover other motivations that relate to the Mets’ resistance to spend money on payroll, and what the Wilpons and Selig may be doing in the near future.

      • John D. June 18, 2014 at 9:28 am
        They did sign David Wright long term and I think the chief motivation behind the signing was that they were afraid attendance would bottom out if he left. Trading Wright or letting him leave via free agency would have been the biggest thing they could have done to wreck the roster and further alienate the fan base.
  14. George June 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm
    The plot thickens when you throw the Dodgers into the mix. Although there is a 100 million dollar renovation to Dodgers stadium under way as ownership has said they are not sure if the Dodgers will be in L.A. In 5 years. The Wilson’s sell the Mets, build Ebbitts Field version 2 in Coney Island and the Dodgers come home. Then MLB holds L.A. up for ransom of a new ballpark not in the ravine and a team like the Devil Rays relocate.
  15. Jim July 8, 2014 at 9:57 am
    I hope the Mets leave NY, and the Wilpons are banned from baseball, The worst thing that happened to this franchise was the day the Wilpons acquired ownership.
    If it was ever possible the NY Mets should trade the Wilpons away.
  16. paulw July 16, 2014 at 2:59 am