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Jeff Wilpon says his family is not selling a controlling interest in the Mets

Feb 16, 2011, 11:30 AM EDT

Jeff Wilpon photo

Darn, I suppose that means that the whole Donald Trump scenario is kaput:

Jeff Wilpon made his first appearance of the spring in Port St. Lucie Wednesday morning in the Mets clubhouse, and reiterated that his family will retain control of the Mets, despite a $1 billion lawsuit that alleges they should have known about Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud.

“We’re not selling controlling interest in the team. It’s not on the table,” Wilpon said.

Wilpon noted that, for as bad as this is for his family, it’s not going to impact the Mets, citing the team’s high payroll.  Which is a good point.  Left unsaid, though, is what happens in future years if (a) the Wilpons retain control; but (b) they are financially hobbled by a settlement or judgment in the Madoff case. Of course I wouldn’t expect Wilpon to talk about that now because it touches on way too many unknowns.

But it seems like the worst of both worlds for Mets fans would be for the Wilpons to retain control but not able to continue to maintain the high payrolls to which the team has become accustomed.  Sure, I’d rather have Sandy Alderson running the ship in such a scenario than anyone else, but that’s not the deal most Mets have signed up for, and I wonder how they would take to a team that, by necessity, had to run lean and mean.

  1. BC - Feb 16, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    FAIL! EPIC FAIL! Sell the team already!!!!!
    Paging Mr. Wilpon, Mark Cuban is on Line 2 for you.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 16, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      I really want to see the first owner game ejection. And, for some reason, I want to see HDMets Stadium.

    • Dan in Katonah - Feb 16, 2011 at 1:55 PM

      Team payroll commitments for next year are less than half of 2011. You think that $65M+ are going to find their way back on to the field if the Wilpons are still there? Not a chance.

      Sorry Fred and family, sell the team, re-sign Reyes (empty SS FA market), drop a huge bundle to sign Pujols and grab some starters. Keep rebuilding with the draft and international signings and stop crushing my spirit year after year… It has been a long time since the Grand Slam single, Armando imploding in the Series and that distant, distant memory of happiness in ’86.

      This is the first of 10 plagues on your house, Pharoh Fred. LET MY PEOPLE GO!!!!

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 16, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Seriously, if you look up “douchey rich white son-of-rich-dad”, you will get Jeff Wilpon’s hounddog mugshot every time.

    • Dan in Katonah - Feb 16, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Right city, wrong son…!5033802/new-york-knicks-owner-james-dolan-advertises-his-band-with-google-banners

  3. iftheshoefits2 - Feb 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Craig, I think we need a post ranking the douchiest ownerships in professional sports.

    • Dan in Katonah - Feb 16, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      I like it.
      Redskins, Dodgers, Knicks, Marlins, Orioles, Cowboys, OKC Thunder, and I’m sure there are a ton I am missing.

      This might be the only thing the Knicks can actually win in the next 5 years.

  4. chrisny3 - Feb 16, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    “But it seems like the worst of both worlds for Mets fans would be for the Wilpons to retain control but not able to continue to maintain the high payrolls to which the team has become accustomed.”

    I don’t mind if the Wilpons retain control at all. There are a lot of worse owners out there than the Wilpons, including huge faceless media companies who won’t spend on their team.

    As for a bare bones budget, won’t happen. Or if it happens it will be a very temporary thing of a year or two. But the Mets — regardless of who owns them — will always have one of the largest payrolls in MLB. If there is a big judgment against the Wilpons, they will probably sell a major portion of the team, if not all of it. That’s how they will finance it. If there is a much smaller judgment or smaller settlement made, then I don’t think it will impact the team at all.

  5. Professor Longnose - Feb 16, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Hey, if you were the bankruptcy trustee, would you take 25% of the Mets as a settlement? If I had lost my 401k I might take the yearly income as a replacement.

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