The news out of Flushing yesterday was hardly surprising. The Wilpon’s investments with Bernie Madoff were finally taking their full toll on the Mets’ financial foundation. Actually, this became increasingly obvious when Chris Young and Chris Capuono were dug up to fill out the back end of the team’s thin pitching staff. And then they sign Scott Hairston and Willie Harris to roam the outfield. Piggy bank’s empty, folks.
But as clues to the Mets financial woes, those signings were but tiny sparks compared to the bonfire that erupted yesterday. The Wilpon’s ties to Madoff were apparently more damaging and complex than previously reported, according to a report in the New York Daily News. So, as I’ve been anticipating for quite some time now, the Mets need cash. Lots of it. Easiest way to do that? Sell a piece of the team. Not a controlling interest, but enough to ease the burden. That’s the Wilpon’s plan.
Here’s where I come in. You may recall taht I’m the delusional dude who tossed his proverbail hat in the ring last fall for the Mets’ GM position (Off the Foul Pole, October 7, 2010). Of course, I don’t have the kind of bucks the Wilpons need to satisfy the Madoff trustee and whatever debts must be serviced. I’m talking about a very, very small equity stake in the team. Very small. But just enough to give me some skin in the game and perhaps help the Wilpons sign another free agent — even if it’s a third string catcher. Or an assistant to the traveling secretary.
I haven’t fully made up my mind yet on this. There would be some short-term sacrifices, like fewer bottles of Stag’s Leap and foregoing the blue tooth in my Beemer. But I would have to eye this as a long-term investment. If Sandy Alderson and his brain trust can build a stronger foundation for the Mets, my share could someday increase by hundreds if not thousands of dollars!
Right now, I’m just weighing the pros and cons of parting ways with my hard-earned dollars on a team that has broken my heart more than a few times. But they’re my team and I love them. Amazing how time heals all wounds. Three months ago, I hated them. That what’s so great about the off-season. Gives you time to reassess what’s important in life.
So over a few slices at Joe Pizza, I scribbled down the pros and cons on a greasy, sauce-stained napkin.
1) Whenever Ollie Perez (I’m afraid we’re stuck with him for now) craps the bed, I can stand up from my seat and yell,”I pay your salary and I can fire you anytime I want. As long as Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons agree with me of course!”
2) Influence in semi-critical team matters. Such as whether to add Smithwick’s to the selection of beers sold in the outfield food plaza and whether to wear the traditional pinstripes on Father’s Day. This is heavy stuff.
3) Access to the owner’s box the every weekday Thursday afternoon during the summer. As long as I get there before Lady Gaga.
4) Comfort in the knowledge that I have an appreciating asset that will set me up for retirement. Assuming I don’t retire before the age of 80. The heck with T-bills!
5) No more waiting in the mosh-pit at Shake Shack. Burgers delivered directly to my box. Make that a double Shackburger and an order of cheese fries.
5) The next time the Mets win the World Series, I can say I helped to build a championship team. Nobody has to believe it, but I can say it.
1) I’d be strapped for cash and will have to hold off on that Mickey Mantle rookie card and the condo in Florida.
2) Potential exposure to the Wilpon’s Madoff litigation. I’d need to hire a bigshot attorney to protect my interests. Shoot, there goes the Hank Aaron rookie card.
3) I could take some heat for the Mets’ woes. That would be like blaming myself for the poor maintenance of New York subway escalators. I’d rather floss with concertina wire.
4) I’d be paying a portion of Ollie Perez’s salary. I’d rather pay for John Boehner’s tanning sessions.
5) I’d lose even more sleep after every loss. Give me a Lunesta with that Shackburger.