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The Mets had money trouble even before the Madoff lawsuit

Mar 10, 2011, 5:59 AM EDT

Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

The Mets’ talking points have been that, were it not for the Madoff lawsuit, everything would have been hunky dory financially speaking.  The New York Times reports this morning, however, that such is not the case:

When the owners of the Mets said in late January that they would seek buyers for up to 25 percent of the club, they cited “the air of uncertainty” created by the $1 billion lawsuit brought by Irving H. Picard, the trustee representing the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’sPonzi scheme.

But a look at the team’s financial condition — gleaned from public financial documents and numerous interviews — suggests the team may well have needed the proceeds from selling part of the team regardless of the suit.

The Times says that the team realized significantly lower revenues upon moving into Citi Field than they had anticipated and that combined with (a) the overall financial downturn; and (b) less-than-stellar on-the-field performances led to the Mets seeking investors on the down low prior to the lawsuit and their public announcement that they were looking for a cash influx.

The lawsuit is there now, of course, and that certainly trumps whatever cash flow issues the Wilpons were facing before in terms of financial uncertainty. But potential investors aren’t going to be on the hook in the lawsuit. They are, however, going to depend on Mets’ cash flow in order to vindicate their investment. If it’s less rosy than we suspect, it may be harder to justify taking the plunge.

  1. paperlions - Mar 10, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    Of course they had cash flow problems before the lawsuit. In 2002 MLB warned the Wilpon’s about their debt ratio and refused them any more loans, and between 2002 and the Madoff debacle they incurred more debt associated with building the new park.
    .
    The Wilpons did the same thing that many decision makers at state and local institutions did, they planned their future spending and enterprises as if the windfall that was the 90′s would continue on forever.

    • PanchoHerreraFanClub - Mar 10, 2011 at 7:54 AM

      It is really much simpler. The Mets ownership is very stupid.

    • chrisny3 - Mar 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      I know you don’t like the Mets or the Wilpons, but you should try to stick to the facts. There was no refusal of “any more loans” in 2002 from MLB. It was simply reported that due to Wilpon’s attempt to buy out Doubleday in 2002, and him taking on more loans as a result of these efforts, he was close to violating the 60/40 rule and was warned as such by Selig.

      Also, most stadium debt is not included in the 60/40 rule.

      • Reflex - Mar 10, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Comments like this are why people like me do not believe you have no vested interest in this beyond that of a fan.

        Even if you were a fan, you’d be a pretty poor one. No actual fan of the Mets is rooting for the Wilpons to weather this and hold on. They’ve been a disaster for that franchise.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 10, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        No actual fan of the Mets is rooting for the Wilpons to weather this and hold on.

        You are wrong. The more reasonable Mets fans are doing exactly that.

      • Reflex - Mar 10, 2011 at 11:48 PM

        *For more f’d up definitions of the word “reason”

      • Kevin S. - Mar 11, 2011 at 1:18 AM

        Of all the crazy shit you’ve said, chrisny3, that might be the craziest. I know plenty of reasonable Met fans. They all want the Wilpons out. The ones who are Knick fans as well want them out only slightly less than they want Dolan out.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:45 AM

        relfex, what’s really f’d up is a non-Mets fan thinking they know how a real Mets fan should think when it comes to their own team’s owners. You should confine your arrogant opinions to whatever dinky team it is you root for.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 7:53 AM

        Kevin, I know plenty of Mets fans who want the Wilpons out too. But I also know plenty of Mets fans who realize that Picard is on a witch hunt and has filed a malicious overreaching lawsuit against the Wilpons, and these fans are smart enough to be able to distinguish between a malicious persecution and an ownership record that may be flawed but otherwise good.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 11, 2011 at 10:27 AM

        The Wilpons were ownership jokes long before the Madoff mess broke. They vastly underperformed the level of play that should have been expected given their ability to spend relative to their division, and while one could argue that a bad GM is more of the cause of failure, having a succession of comically bad GMs, and sticking with them once it’s clear they’re comically bad, is on the ownership. A fish rots from the head down, and the Mets have stunk ever since Doubleday was forced out.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        Kevn, please answer these questions:

        1) The Mets won 274 games from 2006 through 2008. If not for the devastating unprecedented string of injuries suffered in 2009 and 2010, that trend would have continued. How many teams had better records from 2006 through 2008 than the Mets?

        2) How many GMs have the Wilpons hired prior to Alderson as sole owner of the Mets? You can count Duquette, though he was more or less an interim GM.

      • Reflex - Mar 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        First off, I don’t have a team as anyone who frequents this blog knows. I like the game of baseball and I think it is best served when teams are well run. I root for whoever I feel like rooting for on any given day. Including the Mets in the 2000 World Series, mostly because I liked my fellow Italian, Mike Piazza. ;)

        Secondly, no, nobody who actually has paid attention to the moves the Mets have made and who understands what it takes to build a sustained competitor is rooting for the Wilpons. With the exception of perhaps some employees of the organization or other companies tied to the owner. Yes, they had a few good years. No, that does not excuse the crapfest every other season has been. You can’t blame injuries, lots of teams get lots of those. The Phils and Red Sox last year were a total mess. Furthermore, many of the injuries appear to be due to their own mismanagement and poor medical care of thier players, another management blunder.

        The Mets are bad because the owners are bad. They have a few years here and there where they are competitive, surrounded by a lot of mediocrity. Given the size of thier market and payroll, there is little excuse. They have drafted poorly for years, they have made questionable choices about free agents, and they have shown an inability to adapt to the changes the game has made over the past couple decades. The Wilpons are simply the east coast version of the McCourt’s.

        The team in my home town is the Mariners. I am not a M’s fan, although I go to the games because Ichiro is fun to watch and Safeco is a beautiful park. But the ownership there is bad for a different set of reasons. Rather than the ineptness the Wilpons demonstrate, instead its an overriding sense of apathy for the M’s. As long as Ichiro is on the team driving sales in Japan, they can feel free to field mediocre to terrible teams and stay in the top ten in league revenues, so why put in the effort? Its becoming the west coast version of the Cubs. Whats sad about it is that I wonder how much thought they’ve put into what happens when Ichiro retires. Having not spent the past decade building competitive teams around him, when he’s gone so is the draw for the fans and you’ll be back to the die hards who used to populate a 3/4 empty Kingdome.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 11, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        Over your cherry-picked timeframe? The Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels. For any best three-year run since the Wilpons bought out Doubleday, it’s the Braves (’02-’04, ’03-’05), Red Sox (every three-year stretch in that time frame), Angels (’04-’06, ’05-’07, ’06-’08, ’07-’09, ’08-’10), Twins (’02-’04), Yankees (every three-year stretch in that time frame), Athletics (’02-’04, ’03-’05), Phillies (’07-’09, ’08-’10), Giants (’02-’04), Cardinals (’02-’04, ’03-’05, ’04-’06), and Rays (’08-’10). Their three-year peak placed them fourth-best in baseball over that stretch, and there have been thirty-one three-year peaks by ten different teams that have topped the Mets’ little run since the Wilpons took over. They are fifteenth in total wins over that time period, fourth in their own division. Sixteen teams have more playoff appearances, and thirteen teams have won the pennant the Wilpon-era Mets lack. There is absolutely no basis whatsoever that the Mets have lived up to the competitive level they should have under the WIlpons, and to claim otherwise is to either be completely delusional or heavily engaged in the same spin you claim to be so against.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Reflex:

        1) I feel bad for you as you are missing out on the joys of having a keen rooting interest for one particular team. While you miss out on the heartache, you are also missing out on the extreme joys and highs that come about when your team pulls out a game or a series that once seemed hopelessly lost. I suggest you go find yourself a team and become a proper fan. I don’t think I’ve ever met a generic baseball fan who wasn’t partial in some significant way to one team.

        2) You are wrong. There are plenty of Mets fans who are rooting for the Wilpons to weather the current financial storm and believe they have been unfairly persecuted by Picard. They are smart enough to be able to distinguish between their legal problems and the way they run the club. There is a confidence poll done by what is the largest Mets fan site, Metsblog.com. They’ve been asking the same question for years and track the results over time. The question is: Do you have confidence in the current direction of the team? Because of the general nature of the question, the poll is generally viewed as a referendum on the franchise and ownership — and that’s how fans treat it. In the latest poll done within the last week,. 60% said YES. Even if you want to argue that there may be a few fans who like the direction of the franchise but want the owners to sell now — and lop off 10% from the YES votes — you are still left with a huge portion of the fan base who approves of the ownership. They are smart and realize that the legal issues are separate and the current ownership, while far from perfect, has generally been good.

        “Yes, they had a few good years. No, that does not excuse the crapfest every other season has been. “

        I will ask you the same question I asked Kevin — who had more wins than the Mets from 2006 through 2008?

        “You can’t blame injuries, lots of teams get lots of those. The Phils and Red Sox last year were a total mess.”

        Oh yes you can. Oh no they don’t. There are not lots of teams who suffer the amounts of injuries the Mets suffered in 2009 and 2010. Especially 2009. And especially in terms of the key players on the team. Maybe only the Red Sox of last year comes close to or is equal. The Phillies, not a chance. Compared to the Mets over the same period of time, the Phillies have been relatively healthy. At worst, the Phillies injuries — in 2010 only — were about average. In 2009 the Phillies were the picture of good health.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        Kevin, first off, the Wilpons bought out Doubleday at the very end of the 2002 season. So they have been sole owners only since 2003. So you have to eliminate all 2002 seasons from your calculations. And throw out all those stats you brought up.

        Second, yes, I cherry picked, but I did so to prove to you that you are wrong in saying they “vastly underperformed” given their resources. They have been sole owners for 8 seasons. For a span representing over 1/3 of that time, they had the best record in the NL and 4th best in all of baseball. Moreover for 2 of the other years, they had devastating injuries that no other club with the exception of the Red Sox suffered. Have the Mets underachieved since 2003 time? I would say, yes. So no need to misrepresent my opinion by insinuating I think otherwise. But that is different from saying the Wilpons “vastly underperformed,” had no success, and are terrible owners baseball-wise.

        And are they the only big market team that has underperformed since 2003? Hell no. They have good company in at least the Dodgers and Cubs, neither of which have had to deal with serious injury problems.

        As another example of you pulling things out of your ass, you said they had a “succession of comically bad GMs.” But the fact is, if you exclude Duquette who was basically an interim GM, they have only picked ONE general manager prior to Alderson.

        It’s always funny how non-Mets fans try to criticize the Mets but do so without the facts.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM

        reflex — more about that poll … it was actually 61% who voted YES. And there were over 5,000 votes cast. So I would call that a pretty valid sample size.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 12, 2011 at 8:33 AM

        Actually, I don’t have to throw out my stats, much as you’d like me to. Mets are still fifteenth in wins if we start in ’03, and that three-year peak still isn’t that impressive. A three-year peak during which they were only the best team in the NL once, losing their division to the same team the other two times. But no, you in no way tried to use ’06 to make it look like they were the top team in ’07 and ’08, too. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what you did. They had a single outlier year in which they topped 90 wins, the only time they did so in eight years under sole control of the Wilpons. And while I was wrong about how long Phillips was with the team after they bought out Doubleday, the fact that Minaya was given free reign to clown up the team for as long as he did doesn’t exactly work in their favor, either.

        You do know that the McCourts are the other owners in the running for biggest jokes in the game, right? Comparing the Wilpons to them hurts your case.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

        Actually, yes, you do have to throw out some of the stats in your little rant as they are no longer valid given the different time frame.

        A 3-year run is impressive in the context of an 8-year ownership in which 2 of those years were severely marked by injuries, and that run in the context of the injuries certainly contradicts your original statement that the team “vastly underperformed” during that period.

        And, no, I didn’t use ’06 to make them look like they were the best team in ’07 and ’08. Read more carefully next time. I used ’06 to substantiate that they were the best NL team from ’06 through ’08, and explicitly stated that. It was a sustained 3-year period of excellence. Facts are facts.

        Are the Cubs owners in the running for the biggest jokes in the game too?

        You were wrong about:

        *Ownership years of the Wilpons
        *Who the GMs were under the Wilpons
        *Your gross exaggeration of the Mets record under the Wilpons

        Try sticking to subjects you know something about.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        No, I don’t need to throw them out. I need to adjust them slightly. Some don’t need to be touched at all. Like I said, still fifteenth in wins. Like I said, still a ton of higher three-year peaks. Still a ton of teams with more playoff appearances, more division titles, and more pennants, none of the slight downward adjustments change the overall point, you condescending prick. A three-year run, for a team with more built-in advantages than all but one or two teams in baseball, isn’t anywhere near impressive – it’s the definition of mediocre, something you seem more than willing to accept, whether it’s because of the paycheck they put in your pocket or the schlong they put in your mouth. It’s not a sustained three-year period of excellence when only one year was excellent and the other two were good but not good enough. That’s the fact.

        The Cubs were owned by a damn corporation for most of the timeframe. Why don’t you check out the success rate those have? It’s been widely acknowledged that the sale of the Cubs from the Tribune Company is a good thing for the team – the jury is out on the Ricketts family.

        I was off by one year on when the Wilpons assumed ownership of the Mets. I was right on the number of GMs who served under the team, although wrong about how many they hired (and we’re working under the ludicrous assumption that they bear no responsibility for Phillips’ hiring in the first place). But I didn’t exaggerate the Mets record in the least – I chose not to ignore over 60% of their tenure. The Mets are ten games under .500 since the Wilpons took over. Fact.

        Try sticking to subjects you aren’t paid to shill for next time.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        “No, I don’t need to throw them out. I need to adjust them slightly.”

        Yes, you do need to throw some of those numbers out. Adjusting your numbers means throwing them out and putting in correct ones. In other words, you were wrong.

        “A three-year run, for a team with more built-in advantages than all but one or two teams in baseball, isn’t anywhere near impressive – it’s the definition of mediocre”

        Yes, a three-year run like that is impressive. The overall record might be only “mediocre” but the 3-year run is impressive.

        “…something you seem more than willing to accept”

        There are very few teams who don’t have an overall record of “mediocrity” over the last 8 years. Resources or no resources. I can accept almost any result, as long as I feel the owners are doing their best to put a winner on the field.

        “It’s not a sustained three-year period of excellence when only one year was excellent and the other two were good but not good enough. That’s the fact.”

        It certainly is “excellence” when no other team in the NL during that 3-year time frame had a better record. That’s a fact.

        “The Cubs were owned by a damn corporation for most of the timeframe.”

        So what? They still underachieved and are a large market team.

        “But I didn’t exaggerate the Mets record in the least – I chose not to ignore over 60% of their tenure.”

        You most certainly did. I don’t ignore any of the years either. Their overall record as sole owners has been about average, with one 3-year sustained period of excellence, and a 2-year period marred by unprecedented injuries. “Vastly underperformed” is quite an exaggeration.

        To recap:

        *Wrong on ownership years
        *Wrong on # of GMs
        *Wrong on stats derived from your erroneous tally of ownership years
        *Wrong with your over-exaggerated assessment of their record

        Again, stick to things you know a little something about.

        Finally …

        “whether it’s because of the paycheck they put in your pocket”

        Either you simply lack imagination or you’re really ignorant as no one would pay to have someone opine on a fan site with a format like this.

        “…you condescending prick … the schlong they put in your mouth.”

        LOL, nice. Sure sign that someone knows they’re losing is when they resort to such incredibly lame and juvenile personal insults. I feel bad for you.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 13, 2011 at 5:37 AM

        Yes, you do need to throw some of those numbers out. Adjusting your numbers means throwing them out and putting in correct ones. In other words, you were wrong.

        Two thoughts: One, I fixed my numbers by deleting the 2002 line from my spreadsheet. If you thought I had to throw out my entire work and start from scratch, you’re horrendously inefficient. Two, we get twenty-four higher peaks from eight different teams, the same number of teams with better records, fifteen teams with more playoff appearances and twelve teams with that pennant. Minor adjustment to the numbers. No adjustment whatsoever to the conclusion gleaned from the numbers. All you gain by insisting my data be thrown out is an obfuscation of the fact that my conclusion remains the same.

        Yes, a three-year run like that is impressive. The overall record might be only “mediocre” but the 3-year run is impressive.

        If it was topped twenty-four times by eight teams in an eight-year stretch, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it wasn’t that impressive.

        There are very few teams who don’t have an overall record of “mediocrity” over the last 8 years. Resources or no resources. I can accept almost any result, as long as I feel the owners are doing their best to put a winner on the field.

        Maybe the issue here is you having a completely different understanding of the English language than the rest of us. The Mets, over a 1,296 game sample, were ten games under .500. What’s the standard for not being mediocre over that long of a period? A .510 winning percentage? Twelve teams did that. Ten teams had .520. Eight hit .530 (and a ninth missed by one win). Seven made .540, with the next team again missing the arbitrary cut-off by one win. Six teams made .550. Need we go on? The idea that there were just a few elites ahead of the pack the Mets were muddled in just isn’t true at all. Plenty of teams were significantly better than them.

        It certainly is “excellence” when no other team in the NL during that 3-year time frame had a better record. That’s a fact.

        Andy Pettitte had the most wins in the majors during the Aughts (’00-’09). That is a fact. This doesn’t mean he was the best pitcher in the game for that time period (even if pitcher wins were a good judge of talent). It just means we can arbitrarily set endpoints that make him look good. The Mets were way better than anybody else in the NL in 2006, to the tune of nine games. You don’t get to take those nine wins and spread them over 2007 and 2008 to make up for the fact that they had the fifth and fourth best records in the NL, respectively.

        So what? They still underachieved and are a large market team.
        So the point is that just because there are other crappy owners (of the aforementioned Dodgers and Cubs) doesn’t mean that the Wilpons themselves weren’t also crappy. They had company, and in case you haven’t noticed, the McCourts have been raked over the coals on this blog, too. Oh, and by the way? The Dodgers and Cubs both outperformed the Mets from 2003 to present. The Cubs did that, by the way, despite the career-ruining injuries to the two legitimate aces they had on their staff at the start of this time frame. But yeah, the Mets are the only team to ever get severely buttfucked by injuries.

        You most certainly did. I don’t ignore any of the years either. Their overall record as sole owners has been about average, with one 3-year sustained period of excellence, and a 2-year period marred by unprecedented injuries. “Vastly underperformed” is quite an exaggeration.

        Bull and shit you didn’t ignore them. All you talk about is ’06-’08, while brushing off any mention of the other years as “yeah, those happened too.” As mentioned above, the Mets’ injuries in the past two years are hardly unprecedented, nor are pitchers and centerfielders breaking down as they enter their thirties. The Mets simply had so much of their value tied up in their core four that when the injury bug hit a couple of them, they had nothing to fall back on. That’s not poor luck, that’s poor planning. The top four teams all have similar resources to the Mets. They didn’t, as a group, wind up averaging over twelve and a half more wins per season than the Mets (eleven and a half if you want to exclude the Yankees) by having better luck. They did it because they combined their resources with being well-run. The Mets, like the Dodgers and Cubs, are not well run, and thus vastly underperformed what we should expect of a team in their situation. I’ll be nice and not go through how badly teams that didn’t have anywhere close to the Mets resources still managed to consistently out-perform them by a significant margin.

        Either you simply lack imagination or you’re really ignorant as no one would pay to have someone opine on a fan site with a format like this.

        Either you simply lack reading comprehension or you deliberately misread my rumination that you were employed by the team as an accusation that you were specifically employed to defend the Wilpons in this forum.

        LOL, nice. Sure sign that someone knows they’re losing is when they resort to such incredibly lame and juvenile personal insults. I feel bad for you.

        Because telling virtually everybody who disagrees with you that their facts are wrong and they don’t know what they’re talking about as a way to avoid addressing aspects of their arguments you can’t counter isn’t lame, juvenile, condescending, and a sure sign that you know you’re losing the argument. And various ways of saying you’re sucking them off, calling you a brown-noser, whatever, are merely euphemisms for how much you’re in the bag for the Wilpons. I feel bad for you.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        “If you thought I had to throw out my entire work and start from scratch, you’re horrendously inefficient.”

        LOL, I never said you had to throw out your entire work. Your trying to imply that says that either you are a pure liar, or just terribly illiterate. Either way, you are wrong about my statements here. Just another of the many things you are wrong about.

        “All you gain by insisting my data be thrown out is an obfuscation of the fact that my conclusion remains the same.”

        I didn’t insist your data “be thrown out.” What you want to do with your own wrong data is your choice. I only insisted that some of it was wrong. It was. Now you’re trying to obfuscate the FACT that you were wrong.

        As for your conclusion, it was ALSO WRONG. The 3-year period of excellence in which the Mets had the best record in the NL stands on its own. None of your data — wrong or corrected — takes away from that.

        If it was topped twenty-four times by eight teams in an eight-year stretch, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it wasn’t that impressive.

        Since it was not topped by any other NL team — and by only 3 other teams in the AL — in that specific 3-year stretch, then, YES, that 3-year stretch was impressive which adds to the overall record of that 8-year period.

        “Maybe the issue here is you having a completely different understanding of the English language than the rest of us. The Mets, over a 1,296 game sample, were ten games under .500. What’s the standard for not being mediocre over that long of a period?…Seven made .540″

        No, I would say it is you who has a problem with the English language, as previously demonstrated, along with your poor grasp of the facts, and/or your insistence on skewing my opinion. IMO, a mediocre record is anything below .540 as this is usually the winning percentage required for a playoff berth. Given that, only 7 teams would make the cut. Less than 1/4 of the teams in MLB. That would certainly qualify as “very few.” Or maybe you would like to reinvent the English language and explain how less than 1/4 of a specific group wouldn’t qualify as “very few?”

        “Andy Pettitte had the most wins in the majors during the Aughts (’00-’09). That is a fact. This doesn’t mean he was the best pitcher in the game for that time period”

        Uh, wins are a team stat. Wins are not a very good metric by which to measure pitchers, and only baseball neanderthals like Marray Chass still think that way. Are you a baseball neanderthal also?

        “So the point is that just because there are other crappy owners (of the aforementioned Dodgers and Cubs) doesn’t mean that the Wilpons themselves weren’t also crappy. They had company, and in case you haven’t noticed, the McCourts have been raked over the coals on this blog, too.”

        No, the point is just because a team has a mediocre record or underperformed during a specific time period doesn’t mean that the team has crappy owners. I have no opinion on whether the Cubs or Dodgers during this time have been crappy owners. Just because the McCourts may be going through a messy divorce doesn’t make them crappy owners. How did they spend? How did they hire? How did their teams do on the field. Were there other factors like the tremendous injuries suffered by the Mets that that came into play? Issues that impact on-field play are the only ones that should be used to judge owners of a team.

        “Oh, and by the way? The Dodgers and Cubs both outperformed the Mets from 2003 to present. “

        Did they have the injury issues the Mets had the last two years? I brought it up a few times but you refuse to acknowledge that as a factor in the Mets record the last two years. You can’t ignore it. Take your blinders off.

        “Bull and shit you didn’t ignore them. All you talk about is ’06-’08, while brushing off any mention of the other years as “yeah, those happened too.””

        You’re full of “bull and shit” for ignoring the fact that I didn’t ignore those years at all. Again, your illiteracy is showing through here. I plainly acknowledged the two injury filled years after ’06-08′ as well as the previous years. If I didn’t, my overall assessment of the Wilpons during the 8 years wouldn’t be mediocre or average, but excellent. You seem to be confusing the fact that I said the ’06-’08 years were “excellent” with my assessment of the entire period. I made a distinction but then I guess distinctions are too convenient to ignore or too hard for you to grasp.

        “As mentioned above, the Mets’ injuries in the past two years are hardly unprecedented”

        And as I mentioned above, that is simply wrong. Another “bull and shit” statement from you. Name another team over the last 10 years or so who over a two-year period had as many days lost to the DL for key primary roster players as the Mets had during those two years.

        Once you come up with another team I’ll address the rest of that paragraph since the content is relevant only if you can.

        “Either you simply lack reading comprehension or you deliberately misread my rumination that you were employed by the team as an accusation that you were specifically employed to defend the Wilpons in this forum.”

        Huh? How is “specifically employed to defend the Wilpons in this forum” mutually exclusive from “pay to have someone opine on a fan site with a format like this.”??????? From reading your response, I think it’s clear that English is not your primary language.

        “Because telling virtually everybody who disagrees with you that their facts are wrong and they don’t know what they’re talking about as a way to avoid addressing aspects of their arguments you can’t counter isn’t lame, juvenile, condescending, and a sure sign that you know you’re losing the argument.”

        LOL, changing the topic. Whether or not I do that is not relevant to your acting like a 12-year-old by throwing around personal insults and crude juvenile sexual remarks.

        As for your not knowing the facts, you didn’t. You admit you were wrong. And I never avoid any aspect of an argument intentionally, I address certain aspects I think are most germane in order to keep responses as short as possible. If there is anything ever that you think I missed and you want me to address, shoot. Don’t complain later.

        Now, please tell me what it is you are dying for me to address that I haven’t already.
        This will be interesting.

        I still feel sorry for you.

  2. uyf1950 - Mar 10, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    The once known as lovable Mets have become the laughable Mets. Not to state the obvious but the need to:
    One – Buy out or eat some of the larger contract so they can move those players.
    Second – Sell a majority stake in the club. So a new owner can do right by their fans.
    Third – The Wilpons need to apologize to their fans.
    Fourth – The Wilpons need to leave town on the next train out of the city.

    • hermitfool - Mar 10, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      Maybe Hugo Chavez would take them?

      • uyf1950 - Mar 10, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        That probably won’t happen. The Wilpons need to find someone who is deaf, dumb and blind. Chavez is ONLY dumb.

    • chrisny3 - Mar 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      1) No. A lot of those larger contracts will be expiring anyway after this season and coming off the books. No need to “buy out” any contracts.

      2) No. No need to sell a majority stake when there is such high interest from potential investors in a minority stake.

      3) No. For what?

      4) No. They will weather the current financial crunch by bringing in minority investors.

  3. BC - Mar 10, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Who have thunk it? The Mets had money troubles before Madoff? After doleing out $500 million to Beltran, Santana, Pedro, Delgado in the first half of the decade… what could go wrong?
    Maybe I shouldn’t ask.
    Thank God for NASCAR.

  4. mrznyc - Mar 10, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    A reading of the numbers seems to indicate that Sterling Mets, the parent company of both the Mets and SNY, their cable TV opperation, has piled up close to 1 billion in debt. Anyone who thinks there’s any way they dig themselves out from under that is crazy – All the bluff and bluster going on now is just that, bluff and bluster until the the clowns (Fred & Jeff) find the best deal and vacate the premesis.

  5. ltzep75 - Mar 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    I can hear it now:

    “This is clearly a smear job by the NY Times to cover up the fact that they cannot sell their share in the Red Sox. blah blah blah”

    When will our long lingering national nightmare be over? When Craig? When? Oh, did I say national nightmare, I meant source of immense joy…

    • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 10, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      You forgot to add that an investment banker would never exaggerate while trying to sell a product.

      • ltzep75 - Mar 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        how could I be so remiss? With such an oversight I should be forced to work for the NY Post.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Mar 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        Nobody’s perfect except for the Daily News, the Wilpons, and Steve Greenberg.

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