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Wilpon: The Mets are “bleeding cash”

May 24, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York Reuters

There was a time, not too long ago, when if one were to suggest in a post on this blog that the Mets financial situation was dire, as opposed to merely being a troublesome, short-term cash flow annoyance, and that the Wilpons’ hold on the team was in serious jeopardy, as opposed to merely being subject to some moderate restructuring, that:

(a) a certain commenter who seems overly-invested in defending the Wilpons for someone not in their employ would show up here and claim that you were a fubulist; and

(b) the writer of such a post would receive emails from various people in official capacities claiming that he was being unduly harsh in his assessments with respect to the state of the Mets.

Given that Fred Wilpon is himself saying such things right now, however, I suppose it’s safe for me to pass this along from the New York Daily News without having to field such criticism:

The Mets are “bleeding cash” and could lose as much as $70 million this year, Fred Wilpon said in a story that will appear in this week’s Sports Illustrated. The embattled Mets owner told the magazine he fears the $1 billion clawback lawsuit filed by Irving Picard, the trustee who represents Ponzi scheme artist Bernie Madoff’s victims, could cost him ownership of the team if Picard prevails.

It is unknown whether, in the Sports Illustrated article, Wilpon once again loses the thread of the interview and slams Johan Santana or Francisco Rodriguez.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - May 24, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Freddy Boy…seriously…STFU and sell the team if you don’t like it.

    • thmethater - May 24, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      Freddy has been LYING all along. So what exactly is “honorable” about this bum? Or his loser son. All the Daily News, Lupica, Raissman, Madden, Harper, SNY BS spin on Earth doesn’t change any of that. Why are these prevaricating, chiseling, conniving worms ANY better than the Dolans?

  2. catsmeat - May 24, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    Sell baby sell.

  3. Gardenhire's Cat - May 24, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    So…

    (a) is chrisny, and

    (b) is craig calcaterra?

  4. sdelmonte - May 24, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    Why would he say these things out loud? Seriously, does he really want to lower the value of his team that badly?

    No matter. There is a Mets game tonight. I will tune this out and pay attention to the game and root for Beltran and Reyes and the rest. No, that won’t fix the problems in the front office in the least. But at least I will have baseball.

  5. Jonny 5 - May 24, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    That sounds an awful lot like someone who has already come to terms with the fact that he has indeed lost ownership of the team. How do the Mets lose 70 big ones in a season? Wilpon welfare? Surely……..

  6. heffmessina - May 24, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    They should put a tourniquet on his mouth.

    • bbk1000 - May 25, 2011 at 6:36 AM

      better yet, a tampon, after all he is “bleeding, um, cash?”

  7. cur68 - May 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Has the owner of a given product done more to devalue it than Fred has done to the Mets? How did this guy come to have money? He hasn’t the savior fare of headless chicken.

    • spudchukar - May 24, 2011 at 2:55 PM

      Just so you know Cur, next to the Cards and the Rays, the Jays are my favorite team, and I enjoy your comments. However, having the opportunity to correct a Canadians French is just too tempting, I believe the more common spelling is in fact savoir faire.

      • spudchukar - May 24, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        Ooops, Canadian’s.

  8. yankeesfanlen - May 24, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    As established yesterday, Fred Wilpon had two things he concentrated upon: Real Estate and the Mets. So he works on his new stadium, things are going well financially for the team, and Bernie is stealing him blind.
    Now, things change. Picard is sniffing around his affairs and he keeps two nincompoops in charge of the team for years, and Presto! The Mets are are mess and I don’t know why.So he goes off like an eight-day clock and expects people to feel sorry for him.
    I grant him no harbor. You do have to pay attention some of the time.

  9. seanmk - May 24, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    wilpon looks like Michael Douglas in that picture

    • spudchukar - May 24, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      But he has the good sense of Buster Douglas.

  10. paperlions - May 24, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    I don’t see how these comments actually affect value. NO ONE is going to bid for any portion of the Mets without an in depth look the books….which would show the financial problems clearly enough. At least this way, potential buyers know what they are going to see when they crack open the books, instead of being surprised at how bad things are.

    I think it is pretty easy for the Mets to lose $70MM in a year. The operation is highly leveraged (including the ball park), meaning they are paying loans and interest on those loans. They have done a horrible job running the baseball side of the operation…making bad baseball decisions nearly always affects the bottom line. When you run both the baseball and business side of a club badly and have been propping up the enterprise with fake profits that suddenly disappear…..it just seems like this was an inevitable outcome.

  11. cintiphil - May 24, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    This is what poor management does to you. For years the Reds had a problem with Marge and then Carl Lindner who knew nothing about baseball management. But they were well meaning and wanted good things to happen. However for Marge, that meant firing sweet Lou for a personal friend to manage the team. Then Carl tried to rescue the team, but again hired the wrong people with the wrong ideas just because they were from “our area”. Finally we have gotten a baseball guy for a GM,(Walt Jockerty) who knows a little about the game and the right people to hire. The Reds are doing a lot better now, but I just wish the fans supported them a little more. The team would like to draw 3 million, but the fan support is not there. I try to go a few times a year, but for all intents and purposes, the stadium is half (or less) full. They are starting this dynamic ticket pricing, but so far, not taken off. But I digress. The Mets kept Omar too long, and he made a lot of bad and pricy deals. Now, live with it.

  12. aceshigh11 - May 24, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    This guy seems to be having a very public mental breakdown.

    Get this guy out of the public eye before he completely loses it.

  13. Charles Gates - May 24, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Fred Wilpon is over his head. I read the piece in the New Yorker. He’s a passionale guy who made a ton of money in the real estate market but when put in the spot light, his lack of PR know-how really becomes apparent.

    Wilpon’s primary job duty is to defend the Mets brand and the value of the assets there in. His public trashing of his players diminishes their trade value and potentially reduces the desire for free agents to come to NY. (Would you want to work for a boss that publically aired your dirty laundry?) These statements, about the Mets financial situation, only reduce the number of interested parties for minority ownership and probably drastically reduce the price they’d pay for it. Yes, I realize that a lot of this comes out in a pre investing audit. But this is akin to putting your house on the market and listing all the things that need to be fixed. Sure, serious buyers will find out that your countertop is cracked and your basement leaks, but they never would come to the open house in the first place if you listed that in the MLS ad.

  14. Reflex - May 24, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Its no wonder Jeff/chrisny has stopped commenting, Fred is finally realizing the truth.

    Be nice when they can get a real ownership team in place.

  15. uuddlrlrbastart - May 24, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Wilpon has also said that the Mets probably won’t have a payroll of more than $100 million next year. So after an offseason of signing players on the cheap, waiting for contracts to come off the books, next year will be more of the same! I didn’t think his comments yesterday would cause much of a stir among most fans, because he mostly echoed what many already think. But even intimating that you’re going to cut payroll so drastically, despite a new stadium and fairly ridiculous ticket prices, has to finally make the fans start actively demanding new ownership, right? Please?

  16. mrznyc - May 25, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    He isn’t passionate about the Mets – He’s passionate about the Dodgers – Just look at the Ball Park – Bernie didn’t steal money from him – He was in on the scam – He made money, that’s what the law suit is about. He gained control of the team with Bernie’s stollen money and ran it into the ground. He has a son incapable of making it as a shoe shine boy and lets him run the team. Now he wants our sympathy??? He’s an idiot and a crook and the sooner he’s gone the better for the city.

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