Tag: bernie madoff

Sterling Filtered Madoff Funding

NOTE: pass on this article if you are tired of all the Madoff talk; we’ll return to baseball stories soon.

Yes, I’d really like to focus on the baseball stuff right now, being that the players are out on the field and running around in the sunshine of Florida.

Unfortunately, I for one cannot stick my head in the sand and ignore what’s happening with the Madoff situation — because it has already, and will continue to, affect the team on the field and ultimately our fan experience of the Mets (i.e., “consumers of the product on the field”).

So, while I won’t linger over small developments in the case, I will react when bombshells drop — such as the one reported by The New York Times yesterday.


The Cardinals Don’t Need Pujols

My ESPN SweetSpot buddy in St. Louis — Matthew Philip of Fungoes — cracks out the calculator to prove that the Cardinals don’t need Albert Pujols to win. Matthew may win the battle on this one, but will he win the WAR?

Another SweetSpotter, Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley, is running team-by-team previews with other NL East bloggers. So far there have been previews on the Braves, Nationals, and Mets. That guy he interviewed for the Mets sounded pessimistic.

Bernie Madoff speaks from behind bars through the mouthpiece of The New York Times. Madoff claims that the faceless, nameless administrators and bureaucrats of banks “had to know” that his investments were a fraud — but insisted that his best friends since childhood (Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, et al) “knew nothing”. We’re supposed to believe this?

In a refreshingly welcome escape from the morbid reality surrounding the Mets right now, Matthew Callan is going through his old This Week in Baseball videotapes at Amazin’ Avenue. The latest episode of TWIB he remembers is the 1988 spring training preview. How about that!

Are there still players available who can help the Mets? Kerel Cooper shares his thoughts on the remaining free agents over at OnTheBlack.


Mets Made Money with Madoff ?

According to an article posted today by The Wall Street Journal, the trustee recovering money on behalf of victims of Bernard Madoff’s fraud sued New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and his real-estate investment firm, Sterling Equities Associates.

From the article:

Sterling Equities and its partners are among the so-called “net winners” whom Mr. Picard claims withdrew more than they originally invested with Mr. Madoff.

In a court filing last year, Mr. Picard alleged a partnership associated with the baseball team, Mets LP, gained a net $48 million through its investments with Mr. Madoff.

The partnership deposited about $523 million over the years with Mr. Madoff, a longtime friend of Mr. Wilpon’s, and withdrew about $571 million, Mr. Picard said at the time.

So while many rumors circulated that the Wilpons lost a significant amount of money as a result of the Madoff scam, the truth could be the opposite — if these allegations are proven.

Though, I imagine it’s possible that some of Sterling Equities’ assets may have been frozen as a result of the investigation. If there are any financial types out there who can provide some insight, please do so in the comments.

For what it’s worth, Sterling Equities has issued a statement:

“Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, we want to emphasize that the New York Mets will have all 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.”

The Mets’ payroll for players is already nearing $140M, so I don’t think this news significantly affects the current state of affairs; it’s not as though the team was looking to spend far beyond the current budget.


Is MLB Killing Its Future Fan Base?

Many Major League Baseball fans can trace their allegiance to fond memories from their childhood — visiting a big league stadium and falling in love with the drama on the field. It was those early trips to the ballpark that instilled fanaticism on impressionable young children — and created passionate, lifelong baseball fans.

But what happens if


Phillips Spills Beans on Madoff Relationship

How close were the Wilpons and Bernie Madoff? Just ask former Mets GM Steve Phillips, who had this to say last night on ESPN:

“I heard Bernie Madoff’s name once a week every week for 13 years,” said Phillips, who worked in the Mets front office from 1990 to 2003, the last six as general manager. “He was that close of friends and had a relationship with the Wilpons.”

Again: “once a week every week for 13 years”. Ouch.

We already heard that Fred and Bernie were trusted friends, as are their sons, who were high school chums. But we were assured that Madoff’s Ponzi scheme had little effect on the running of the Mets.

But, how could that be possible, when Steve Phillips — a man who was most assuredly on the baseball side of the business — constantly heard Madoff’s name bandied about?


Citi Field Firsts

It was not the most auspicious start for a new ballpark — at least, not for the home team — but the list of “firsts” has already begun. Print this out and keep it handy for future trivia buff gatherings.

First Pitch: Mike Pelfrey

First Homerun: Jody Gerut (also first hit, first run, and first RBI)

First Mets Homerun: David Wright

First Mets Hit: David Wright (double)

First Mets Run: Brian Schneider

First Mets RBI: Luis Castillo

First Double: David Wright

First Triple: ** still waiting **

First Strikeout: Nick Hundley, by Mike Pelfrey

First Walk: Chase Headley, by Mike Pelfrey

First Pinch-Hitter: Gary Sheffield

First Pinch-Hit: Jeremy Reed

First Balk: Pedro Feliciano

First Wild Pitch: J.J. Putz

First Error: Ryan Church

First Win: Edward Mujica, Padres

First Save: Heath Bell

First Hold: (tie) Edwin Moreno, Duaner Sanchez

First Loss: Brian Stokes, Mets

First Drunken Guest in the Broadcast Booth: Tom Seaver

First Player Booed: Heath Bell

First Player to Receive Standing Ovation: Danny Murphy (for catching a routine fly ball)

First Fall for No Apparent Reason: Mike Pelfrey

First Bleeding Heart Liberal Narcissistic Celebrity Interview by Kevin Burkhardt: Tim Robbins

First Bad Shea Stadium Memory Retold by a Bleeding Heart Liberal Narcissistic Celebrity: Tim Robbins

First animal to set foot on the field: Feline

First Fans to Sit in Bernie Madoff’s Seats: “Kurt” and son “Mike”


Home Plate Seats for Sale 50 Percent Off

Bernie Madoff tickets view from behind home plate at the Mets Citi FieldIf Bernie made off with your money, you still have a chance to make off with his tickets.

The estate of Bernie Madoff is making available, the highly coveted “Delta Club Platinum” digs resting directly behind home plate — at 50% off the face value. These tickets and other interesting items will be auctioned off on eBay, according to the Madoff Trustee Site (which may or may not be legit, but does it matter? Even at half off, I can’t afford those tickets!).

According to documents on that site, the ORIGINAL Madoff tickets — Delta Club Platinum, Section 16, Row 2, Seats 5 and 6 — which have a face value of $80,190.00, are NOT the ones that will go up for sale. Instead, the Estate and the Mets arranged to offer seats in the less-expensive Delta Club Gold section, face value of $60,750.00 (also included: Delta SkyClub access and a parking pass).

Wow, that $20,000 difference sealed the deal for me … where do I bid?

Interestingly, the higher-priced tickets, if sold by the Estate, would not include the ability to buy postseason tickets — apparently neither that right, nor the right to renew, could legally be transferred. But since the Mets are now involved, the Gold seats will come with the rights to purchase playoff tickets, and the option to renew the seats for 2010 and beyond.

The auction will be held on eBay, and the opening bid for the tickets will be one-half the face value, presumably around thirty grand.

Now, if you’re like me and can’t convince your wife to sell your home to put in a bid, you still have the option to buy single-game tickets for the month of April, through an online broker yet to be determined. So all you have to do now is convince your spouse to sell the car (luckily, the number 7 train still goes to the ballpark).

Hat tip to Eli from Brooklyn of Mets Underground for unearthing the “official” site.

By chance if you purchase these tickets as a result of finding out about their availability through this site, I’d appreciate you taking me along to a game or two as a thank-you.


Bernie Madoff’s New Seat

Citi Field dunk tank is Bernie Madoff's seat

For those who are unaware, the Wilpons’ financial adviser Bernie Madoff was forced to give up his pristine seats behind home plate due to the economy. Tough luck how these difficult financial times are affecting everyone.

However, a new, similarly special seat was set up for Mr. Madoff, as you can see above. The view of the game is not quite as nice as his Delta Club Platinum digs, but he will be much closer to the Shake Shack and have an excellent opportunity to raise cash — while enjoying conversation with fans.