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.
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.
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.
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.
About the Author
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.