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The Mets are seeking another loan to cover expenses

Mar 1, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT

Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

The New York Post reports that the Mets are seeking yet another loan to cover operating expenses:

The cash-starved Mets are desperately seeking a new loan — totaling tens of millions of dollars — to cover their basic operating expenses, The Post has learned

JPMorgan Chase — which led the banks that loaned the team about $430 million last year — is trying to recruit other institutions to join a syndicate to put together a new loan that would tide the Mets over until they sell a minority stake in the ballclub.

If you assume the Mets are worth $800 million, they still have the capacity to take on debt and remain within baseball’s theoretical debt limits (theoretical because baseball doesn’t always enforce them — cough! — McCourt — cough!).  But even if that’s OK for the team, you have to think that it’s less than ideal for the Wilpons, who really don’t need to be compromised any more than they already are.

  1. phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Fred: Hi! my name is fred and i would like to apply for a new loan
    Bank: Hi Fred I’m Michael and i will be working with you today. So lets get started. what do you do?
    Fred: well i own the NY Mets
    Bank: Oh!
    Fred: anyway… we lose roughly $50 Mil a year and are being sued to the tune of 1 Billion. when do you think we can have out money?
    Bank: yea… sorry but i just dont think this is a good idea. i mean with Madoff and the new stadium and the terrible terrible contracts handed out. I’m sorry but we just can’t do it.
    Fred: that’s ok. i understand. Do i at least get the free toaster?

  2. Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Maybe they could part out Oliver Perez on the transplant organ black market?

    • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:26 AM

      well right out the gate his left hand is useless… im betting he didnt get much action in HS so the right hand might be HUGE.

    • BC - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      Start selling pints of his blood.

  3. BC - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    Paging Mr. Cuban! Mr. Cuban!

    • bigharold - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      Mr. Cuban,? Great except that why would anybody buy the Mets considering the Madoff trustee Picard seems to be looking to tie everything the Wilpon’s have ever done, including the Mets, to this law suit. If he can drag the Mets into this suit, well those are just more deep pockets and not too far behind is the rest of MLB. If Picard drags the Mets into this and threatens to open their books, as well as the rest of MLB, he’ll have tremendous leverage. Until this suit is settled I could see anybody buying any part of the Mets.

      Picard isn’t merely interested in getting the profits from the investments back from the Wilpon’s he’s looking for damages as well. Why? It would seem for no other reason than the Wilpon’s have deep pockets. If the Wilpon’s were as culpable as he suggest than the real question is why weren’t they indicted?

      As a Yankee fan my primary concern is for the Mets to return to a level of respectability so that giving Mets fans a hard time is at least sporting.

      • BC - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        Maybe Cuban ships Picard $200 million to go away, then buys the team.

      • Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        Sure, Picard is just a whore working on commission. Despite all the idealistic sound bites he cranks out, he’s really just working for himself and doesn’t give a crank who or what he damages in the process. Pay him off and get rid of him, indeed. Or, better, push him in front of a bus and do the entire species a favor.

  4. paperlions - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    Craig, this is another example of your completely unfair characterization of the Wilpons financial action. It is inaccurate to call this “another loan” as if they have already borrowed money from someone.
    .
    Also, the Wilpons debt ration is just fine. They are only $1.58B in debt (which were not loans but simply borrowed money), with the Mets worth approximately $800M, they are clearly within the 60% limit as the Mets are worth only 50% of their current debt.

    /Chrisny3

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      Chis is Fred Wilpon’s attorney honing his skills on Craig so he’ll be in his best shape for court. Brilliant!!! He’ll need it.

    • ltzep75 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      god that’s funny.

    • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      Ahhh, how sweet that you’re thinking of me, but as usual, your post is inaccurate, though I can’t blame you totally since you’re parroting the NY Post, the most error-prone media outlet in all NY. But that’s what you get for taking your news from a headline — especially a NY Post headline. Plain and simple, the “$1.58 in debt” is humongously off base.

      Obviously another loan is never good, but since it’s the NY Post, there’s no telling what’s fact and what’s fiction in their story. And the fact that there is so much interest in buying a minority, non-controlling interest in the club leads me to believe they can ride out the current liquidity crunch.

      Still waiting for that quote.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        So you presume the report to be false? What happened to that famous objectivity of yours?

        And if it’s not false, you will agree, won’t you, that your prediction of the Mets being just fine once the regular season cash flow starts — that the MLB loan was merely to tide them over the hard winter months — was wrong?

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Well good morning Craig, how are you today?

        No, I don’t presume the story to be false, just pointing out the Post’s reputation as the most unreliable media outlet in all of NY. The king of the sensationalist tabloids. I really don’t know what to make of the story at this particular point, given their shoddy reputation and sketchy details.

        Also, if it’s not false, it doesn’t mean my prediction of the Wilpons eventually riding out the crunch once seasonal revenues flow is not correct. The season hasn’t even begun, and even sales of single seats haven’t started. So how can one conclude “regular season” cash flow has even started?

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        So chris, reputation matters when it comes to the Post but not the Times?

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        Reputation matters always, but how is that relevant here?

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        Ummm, because you discard everything that doesn’t fit your “all is well” narrative?

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        Ummm, obviously you still don’t read what I write or don’t understand it. Well, I’m not going to explain my position on spin vs. fact (especially in regards to the NYT’s) for the umpteenth time to you. So, here:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/25/major-league-baseball-to-provide-financial-assistance-to-the-mets/

        Read, read, read. And then, please, read it again.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        I’ve read and I just disagree with you completely. The things you agree with are indisputable facts and everything else is “just spin.”

        Per Wikipedia:

        The Daily News of New York City is the fifth most-widely circulated daily newspaper in the United States with a daily circulation of 632,595, as of June 13, 2009.[2] The first U.S. daily printed in tabloid form, it was founded in 1919, and as of 2007 is owned and run by Mortimer Zuckerman. It has won ten Pulitzer Prizes.

        The recipient of 101 Pulitzer Prizes, The New York Times won three awards in the 2010 version of the proceedings.

        So just last year the Times won 3 Pulitzers. In its 92 year history the Daily News has won 10. Feel free to keep going with the Daily News only though.

      • paperlions - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        Feel free to post the accurate figure for their entire debt associated with the team, stadium, and SNY.
        .
        …and it should have been obvious that is was a joke and the exaggerations were on purpose…they had to be to rival your typical comments/claims.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:23 PM

        Well obviously, you still don’t fully understand my opinion of the NYT’s.

        “The things you agree with are indisputable facts and everything else is “just spin.””

        Any story is pretty much a mixture of fact and spin. No matter the source. NYT’s or DN. Every paper and every reporter spins to some extent. In relation to the NYT’s coverage of the Wilpons-Madoff, I’ll repeat, for the millionth time, I don’t dispute or even question their facts. I question their spin.

        In regards to the Post, their reputation is so poor, that I question not only their spin but their facts as well. Their integrity and attention to detail is so poor that I strongly suspect one of their sports reporters actually fabricates his stories. It seems in all his stories, 80% of the quotes are totally anonymous, and the other 20% are picked up from other sources. So I get the feeling he sits behind his computer, never getting out to actually research a story, and actually makes things up. (Hint: his initials are JS.)

        It’s nice that the NYT’s has more Pulitzers than the DN. Good for them. But it’s more for their coverage (scope) of the issues, and is no reflection one way or the other on their integrity for facts relative to other media outlets. After all, one of the biggest plagiarists of all time worked for the NYT’s.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        Oh, and if you don’t think the NYT’s isn’t prone to spin, just ask the political right.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        paperlions, I wouldn’t presume to know the entire debt of the Wilpons, unlike those such as you who are all too willing to take their news from a NY Post headline. Those numbers for the most part are kept secret and even the numbers we read in the media are to some extent speculation. BTW, in case you were thinking otherwise, MLB’s 60/40 rule does not apply to RSNs or their associated debt.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        If every paper puts spin and facts into stories, why do you only buy the spin that the Daily News puts out?

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        seeingwhatsticks, because …

        (a) From the start, it seemed the NYT’s pieces were particularly heavy on spin. I believe the DN is spinning less in its coverage than the NYT’s

        (b) From my own personal opinion and the opinion of some experts interviewed on the topic, I believe the NYT’s spin is more off the mark

        (c) I believe the DN’s “spin” on the number of interested qualified investors as being very high has already proven to be more accurate than the NYT’s lame attempt to characterize it as “modest levels” — especially in light of the fact that the NYT’s has been unable to sell their own minority share of the Red Sox for over two years, which surely Belson and Sandomir must be aware of. In light of that little fact, if Greenberg is accurate, then use of the term “modest levels” is laughable as the NYT’s can’t even find a single qualified investor for a team that has no financial pressures. So, where the two sides have already taken opposing positions, the DN has come out on top, it appears. Their track record is better on this coverage; IMO.

      • ltzep75 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        So Chrisny3:

        Where should one get their Mets news? From Mets employees directly who have absolutely no bias or motive to fabricate/embellish/engage in puffery designed to implicate higher interest in an asset than otherwise exists (because this never happens in baseball. Ever. Just ask Heyman).

        We now know, thanks to you, that two of the four major publications in New York (widely considered the media capital of the world) are not to be trusted. We also know, again thanks to your due diligence, that court filings by an impartial bankruptcy trustee are not to be trusted as he has some ulterior motive to “get headlines” (or is it the victim’s funds back, I can’t remember).

        I haven’t seen homerism this bad since Hawk Harrelson.

        Feel free to mock/deride/attempt to further obfuscate the issues. I’ll be busy engaging in objective observations of things like “reality” “facts” and “reasoned decision making”.

        yours, etc.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        So the NYT is less reliable because:

        a. You believe they spin more.

        b. In your opinion their spin is off the mark

        c. NYT hasn’t been able to sell their share of the Sox.

        Thanks for clearing that all up.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        itzep, for factual Mets news, I suggest you read the NYT’s, DN, Newsday, WSJ, Popper, McCullough, and even mlb.com. You’re rolling the dice on accuracy with the NY Post.

        And, no, I don’t believe there are two major media outlets in NY that are “not to be trusted” in general. Just one.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        seeingwhatsticks:

        (a) yes

        (b) no, not just my opinion but some experts as well

        (c) no, not because they couldn’t sell their share of the Red Sox, but because they appear to be wide off the mark with their lame intentional characterization of interest as “modest levels.” It was disingenuous and laughable, especially if Belson and Sandomir were aware their own paper has had a helluva time attracting one serious qualified investor.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:25 PM

        Craig, Newsday ran the following this afternoon disputing a big part of the Post story:

        The Mets may be drowning in a sea of debt, but if they’re seeking to borrow more money, it’s not from JPMorgan Chase , the bank said Tuesday.

        The New York Post claimed Tuesday that the bank was trying to recruit other lenders to provide a new loan to the baseball team, whose finances have been undermined by its owners involvement with convicted swindler Bernard Madoff. The bankruptcy trustee for Madoff is seeking as much as $1 billion from the Mets’ owners.

        “The story is inaccurate,” said JPMorgan Chase spokeswoman Jennifer Zuccarelli. “We are not in discussions to syndicate any new loans to the team.”

        Even if it’s true the Mets are seeking a new substantial loan, I think it seems clear that the Post is wrong on a critical aspect of the story which underscores what I was saying about their poor record for accuracy.

        My advice is to be really careful using anything from the NY Post unless the story is also reported elsewhere.

        Link:

        http://mobile.newsday.com/inf/infomo;JSESSIONID=A702439E8445D3062877.3076?site=newsday&view=business_item&feed:a=newsday_1min&feed:c=business&feed:i=1.2722213

    • yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      I knew it! Here we go again. If anyone wants me, direct them to the Liriano-to-the-Yanks yip.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Crikey, I get a sinking feeling every time I see a Mets post. What is it about this team that draws (the occasional) boring pedant to it? This is what I *love about you Yankee fans; unable to take a joke that your team might suck this year (this only applies to some of you), wildly optimistic to the point of comic absurdity that your team will pull through this year (applies to all), unshakable belief that the nickname “Jeets” is cool (all), and a touching faith in ARod’s taste in women (seriously, the term ‘over the hill’ needs to be replaced with ‘speck on the horizon’), but every one of you is lively, interesting and, above all, never boring. Spring is nearly here, lads, we’ll sort out the AL East then. As for the Mets; that whole thing has gone wilponian. Sell the team and move it to Vancouver. Go Beavers!
        *defined as would love to see my Jays knock you off for a playoff spot (indicative of the wildly optimistic nature of Blue Jays fans).

      • yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        Hey, cool, cur68, you have that down right. We’ll look up to you til the 6th of May.
        And, much to some’s consternation, it’s Beep-beep around here, and Leave ARod alone!

  5. yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Touche. Watch out….incoming!

  6. uyf1950 - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    I’m sure Met fans are looking for the bright side to all of this. But in all fairness there is no bright side to any of this. The very best that can come of this is if the Wilpon’s can negotiate a settlement with the trustee for probably about $300MM plus and they find a buyer for (in the beginning) 25% stake in the club with an option for them to purchase an additional 26% stake within the next say 3 years. Giving the new buyer control of the club within a few years. As for the worse case it’s gets very, very ugly for the club and the Wilpons.

  7. BC - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    This smells like Texas all over again. Though I can only hope things work out as well here….

  8. aronmantoo - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    My take on this? Lets keep the game here and let the business take care of itself on the business page

  9. paperlions - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    According to multiple sources, the Wilpons have borrowed $430M from banks against the Mets and $75M from MLB. With the franchise so heavily leveraged, won’t the banks have to approve any sale because of liens held against that asset, including how much of the sale price goes directly to the banks? It doesn’t seem like a 25% sale will help the Wilpons very much as most of that money will immediately go to pay off loans from MLB or to the lien holders.
    .
    The fact that MLB is putting pressure on the banks to loan the Wilpons more money should be all that one needs to know about the current financial status of the ownership

  10. simplicitymadecomplex - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    And I’m just sitting here in my world waiting for 1. fantasy league draft day 2. opening day and 3. the other shoe[s] that will drop WRT Madoff and MLB [read - some of the other owners] ’cause I, for one and maybe all alone, believe that mr. wilpon [that mr. wilpon] was/is not the ONLY MLB owner involved with “tainted investments of the Bernie M. kind”.

    These masters of the baseball world do STICK together and most of us are aware WRT greedy greedheads, non ?

    Also what I truly enjoy about these types of articles [the intersection of baseball and, wait for it, other aspects of living life] is just how much so many posters just want everything but baseball to disappear. Maybe this is one of the major reasons why logic, sanity, rationale and sound judgment have all but disappeared from daily life. Apathy ain’t pretty no matter the clothes, the make-up or even in its nakedness. An apathy in one aspects of life leads to apathy across the board which is why bread & circuses is becoming our one big vacuum.

    The more society seeks to live each part of life in a vacuum the more likely society is apt to fail, in part and on the whole.

    From all accounts it sure looks like we are doin’ our best to ensure our failure.

    The systems [yes all of them including MLB] ain’t working PERIOD and yes olde Winnie Churchill once stated “Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democKracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democKracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.”.

    So I ask “WTF happened to the concept of IMPROVEMENT ?”.

    Oh waitasec that is what “bread & circuses” is all about, non ?

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