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Hey look: another misleading “the Mets have sold a bunch of minority shares” story!

Feb 23, 2012, 3:40 PM EDT

Image (1) Mets%20Logo.png for post 3903

Once or twice a month we get a new story about how the Mets have sold several of those minority stakes they’ve been peddling for close to a year. The stories always have a bit of an optimistic “we’re almost there!” spin to them.  The latest appeared yesterday as the Newsday — and then the other New York papers — reported that the Mets have sold 7 of the 10 shares.

Except, as Howard Megdal explains, it’s all highly misleading.  Six of those seven shares are slated to go to related entities, not outside investors. The seventh is Steven Cohen, who is clearly much more interested in buying the Dodgers and is likely trying to create some goodwill buy throwing $20 million the Mets’ way.

Go read Megdal’s take on it as well as his detailing of the sheer amount of debt the Mets currently have. And ask yourself whether these stories about the Mets selling minority shares should be spun as an optimistic thing or, rather, a somewhat desperate thing.

  1. randygnyc - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Howard Megdal’s article paints an absolutely desperate picture for the mets. I have no way to forecast, definitively, the end result here, but my educated guess is that sooner rather than later, long suffering mets fans will get their wish of new ownership. I can’t see how the mets don’t go bust. No ticket sales = no revenues. At the very least, that’s the most simple, base requirement, before there’s any possibility, for what will most certainly be an extremely complicated, financial recovery.

    • dondada10 - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      Which is why the Wilpons should’ve have gambled and done something (Reyes?) to keep that turnstile turning.

      I guess it’s the case of the chicken and the egg: you should’ve spent to keep fans coming because you’re flat broke and can’t spend.

      • paperlions - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        Well….the did spend….they just did so very poorly, leading to lost revenues for the Mets and SNY. With good baseball decisions, this mess might not be nearly so desperate.

      • dondada10 - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        Poor spending?!

        My friend, giving what was wrong with the Blue Jays bullpen 16 mil and Mike Pelfrey 6 mil is not a waste!

      • paperlions - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Yes, poor spending over the last several years. Big contract to a breaking down Santana. Jason Bay. KRod. Putz. Castillo. Delgado. Pedro Martinez. They have spent a lot of money on busted players…and spent very little on amateur talent. They put trust in guys that didn’t know what the hell they were doing, and it cost them a lot.

  2. tcostant - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I read the article on the link (http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/null/2012/02/5333055/mets-owners-keep-peddling-story-about-new-investors-whos-buying); it just amazing. I wouldn’t lend then a pen based on this article.

    • tcostant - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      You know the orginial deal with the hedge fund guy, fell threw because there the contract stated that he would get the team for $1 if the hedge fund guy wasn’t paid back in full. I guess they realize that they could loss the team.

      • paperlions - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

        Right now, are the team and stadium worth more than the debt associated with them? Seems like it would be close.

      • tcostant - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        I think it is less (by a lot) based on the article.

      • tsi4431 - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:31 PM

        Considering the Dodgers are valued at over 1.5 billion and the Mets are worth much more then them, The Team, Stadium, and SNY shares far outweigh, not even close, to the debt the team currently has.

      • paperlions - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

        The Dodgers are not worth $1.5 billion. The property McCourt owns that is associated with the stadium is worth that. If the Mets and stadium are sold but not SNY, the Wilpon’s won’t get much because SNY already owns the TV rights and for far cheaper than they would have been if the rights were up to the highest bidder.

        Also….add up the Wilpon’s debt. They are already over $1.5B in debt…and that is if the don’t owe a dime in any pending lawsuit.

  3. jwbiii - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    The Harrington article in the sidebar of Megdal’s article
    http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/null/2012/02/5234058/whistleblower-returns-noreen-harrington-once-star-witness-spitzer-crusa
    is pretty damning about the “who knew what when” part of the Sterling/Madoff case.

  4. proudlycanadian - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    The HBT Mets Acquisition Group (HBTMAG) is still soliciting donations before we place a bid for the entire team. Send us your spare change.

    • brewcitybummer - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      I can donate a possibly expired $25 Outback Steakhouse gift card thats been in my wallet since about 2008.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 23, 2012 at 6:22 PM

        That helps. Our treasured is The Rabbit.

      • The Rabbit - Feb 23, 2012 at 7:29 PM

        Thank you Mr. Canadian :-)
        With you and cur throwing in a few looneys, my Susan B’s, FC’s Venezuelan change, and brewcity’s Outback gift card, we’re almost there.

  5. loge23 - Feb 23, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Just to add to paperlion’s comment above: one name, Bobby Bonilla, who is still being paid a mllion a year by our Metsie brain trust.
    The entire reign of the Wilpons, particularly since Doubleday was brought (or forced) out has been characterized by some of the whackiest goings-on in recent MLB history. It has been as if the Ol Professor himself along with his band of merry-makers from ’62 & ’63 – without the “lovable” – has been given the keys to the kingdom. Can anyone here play this game?
    Now this – shocking, yet no surprise to the Faithful.
    There was a big hearing today regarding the clawback lawsuit. Has anyone heard what the outcome was?

    • tsi4431 - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      The Bonilla contract may sound awful to the layman, but it allowed the Mets to have some spare cash for Mike Hampton which in turn led to a great couple of years for the franchise and easily made up the deferred money. Not counting of course the 5.9 mill invested in Madoff over that same time, if they get to keep it.

  6. loge23 - Feb 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Update on the lawsuit: Judge will decide by March 5. Expert witness, John Maine (not the pitcher) was dismissed from testifying by the Judge – that may hurt the case against the Wilpons.
    Update II: perhaps buoyed by this news, Jeff Wilpon, Alderson, Collins, and Ricciardi all took off in a $3,000/hr helicopter from Port St. Lucie this afternoon on their way to Miami for the Knicks – Heat game. Go to sportswriter David Lennon’s twitter account to see the pix.

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