Thursday, March 24, 2011

N.Y. METS ~ I Say Fans Have More Power Over Wilpon Than Picard

From the desk of:  Head-Butting Mr. Met

New York Mets:  An Embattled Owner Needs His Fan Base Now More Than Ever.  Met Fans Are In A Unique Position To Let Their Owner Sink Or Swim.  What Will "WE" Do?

The Mets just ate $18 million in contract money still owed to Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez.  Picard upped the ante against the The Wilpons by another $700 million dollars; bringing the total bill against Fred and Co. up to a cool $1 Billion Dollars.  So what did today have in store for the Mets' beleaguered owners?  Forbes downgraded the value of their club by 13%.  That's a huge disparity if the figure reflective of the team's worth has nine or ten digits in it before the decimal.

While the Wilpons are estimating their team's value in excess of one billion dollars, Forbes didn't see it that way.  This directly alters what the Wilpons are trying to secure in exchange for up to 25% ownership of the team from a prospective stupid silent partner.  How much will 25% really cost someone, and will it be enough for the Wilpons to keep their noses above water?  I ask because we sadly have been told by the owners, they need this financial infusion to sustain operations over the next two to three years.

Having us ponder the ramifications of Fred's stated short term goal is ponderous.  Does that sound very promising to you?  Forget knowing what we all know and have learned thus far.  Just take the statement at face value.  They need a hard cold cash infusion and a truck load of help to survive the next two years. The Wilpons and Uncle Saul, need help with the daily financial operational ability of the Mets.  Go ahead, say it again if you have to.  It sounds mind-boggling for a NYC team.  We know all about the MLB loans by now.  We also know they have no where and no one else to borrow from.  And borrowing against questionable accounting is how they operated in the first place.  How else does an initial 2% owner's stake parlay into the empire Fred Wilpon is currently wrecking?  Of course that's total speculation on my part.

According to circulating reports about the handling of the sale, nothing should happen until at least July.  Between then and now, as the team is also plagued by weak ticket sales, can the Wilpons manage at least till then?  I'd imagine so.  I'd imagine MLB offices have ensured the Mets have payroll locked up safely in escrow.  Right?  You would think.

But when the original revelation of the Ponzi Scheme first broke out, I thought for some time, such a smart guy like Fred Wilpon would be savvy enough to be more diversified than he was, and not have a great majority of his investment principle heavily intertwined with Bernie Madoff.  Like I said, the longer this goes, the more we learn.

At this point, there is nothing more Sandy Alderson can do to inspire fans to fill seats this season.  His biggest successes have come before the season even starts.  Other than reconfigure the front office, revamping minor league operations, and ridding the team of Castillo and Perez, the state of the Mets suggests Sandy Alderson's work for the season is near complete.  The only pending matter would be that of Carlos Beltran.  Will he or won't he last the season in a Mets' uniform?  Otherwise, it's up to the current players themselves to inspire high numbers of fans to get out to Citi Field and fork over large sums of money the owner of this enterprise desperately needs us to spend.

How long? - the question.  How long can the Wilpons last?  Being found right or wrong by Picard maybe be a matter resolved just a wee-bit too late for Mr. Wilpons' purposes.  They need cash; and they need it now.  They can't be entirely sure if we are going to literally come to the rescue by heading out to Citi by the Bay in droves.  Other than that, the very earliest anyone else can give him the type of cash he needs won't be ready till mid-summer.

The fan base has been quite the perturbed ones with regard to their ownership these last few years; and especially since Fred and Family became sole owners in 2003.  And now, he has never needed us more than he will in April; May; and June.  He hasn't been what we would call being forthright with us.  He's even bent the truth on us with regards to Madoff over a detail or two.  At one time this organization was valued by Forbes as the number two organization in Baseball.  But the Wilpons never allowed the club to operate in a manner reflective of that lofty status.

Now he needs our help to get him through to at least July.  Mr. Wilpon is confident Picard is drumming up pure fiction.  But do you think he's feeling equally confident we will show up for him in the numbers he desperately needs over the next three months?

For those of you Met fans who want to see the Wilpons sell the team and fade away, you'll never have a better chance than right now to exercise a say in his and our present dilemma.  If we show up in record lows over the first three months of the season; his ownership is toast.

If you have compassion for the man and want to see him remain, then go to Citi Field, root, cheer and scream....Let's Go Mets.  But the truth be known, Met fans are in a very unique position over the next four months to exert a lot of influence with regards to their present or future owner.

Let's Go Fans!


1 comment:

  1. I think Mets fans will stay away by and large, and the Wilpons will be gone.


    by some miracle, the Mets play great baseball. That is what drives attendance and fans will come out to see quality baseball.

    So the dilemma for Mets fans who want to see the Wilpons gone (about 97% of fans) is do they root AGAINST their team?

    Interesting times...


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