I swear to God when the Mets traded Darrell Ceciliani to the Blue Jays earlier this week for “cash considerations” my brain instantly went to the same basic place it’s gone for almost 8 years now. I just imagined the Wilpons rummaging for coins lost in their sofa or running a yard sale, flipping a bunch of DVDs, Jeff’s old toys, and worn Mike Piazza t-shirts. At this point it’s instinctual for Mets fans to rant about how cheap the Wilpons are and how their financial situation is destroying the franchise. But right now we really can’t complain about their notorious frugality. They said they would raise payroll if we had a chance to win, we got to the World Series, and they raised payroll. This doesn’t mean I trust the Wilpons to write checks forever, but it does mean that at least right now we can’t say their financial losses are impacting the team.
That being said, what the hell is going on? They lost close to 700 million with Madoff when you include the money they had to pay the investors they swindled. They have close to a billion in loans against the team. And now their real estate fund has lost over 300 million dollars? Yet payroll is going up. All the talk today is about how the Mets are finally spending like a big market franchise. Sandy even said “I think it could happen” in reference to signing all the young starters to long term deals.
Meanwhile Fred Wilpon’s portfolio continues to hemorrhage cash. And by the way he’s not just losing money on random shit. Real estate is his supposed bread and butter. It’s how he originally made his fortune.
I would like to know what the Wilpon family has on the league. I really really want to know. When a guy loses hundreds of millions of dollars while simultaneously chairing the MLB Finance Committee it makes you wonder what deep dark secret he stumbled upon in the past. I mean did Manfred and Selig invite the Wilpons over for dinner years ago at their remote country house and when Jeff went to the bathroom he stumbled upon some underground Kiss The Girls-esque torture chamber?
Everyone always chalks it up to “well he’s good friends with Bud Selig!” First of all, Bud Selig ripped the Dodgers out of Frank McCourt’s hands because he spent a few million bucks on divorce lawyers instead of team payroll. Yet when it’s comes to the Wilpons and their near billion in debt and losses, MLB is an open piggy bank. Just handing out loans to the Mets left and right. I highly doubt that’s explained by “friendship”. And second, Bud Selig is retired. He’s gone. Rob Manfred still keeps the MLB credit line open for the Mets and lets these mooks manage all the finances of the league.
But you know what? I’m done asking questions. If they spend millions on the team while simultaneously losing and owing people billions then great. Fine by me. As long as they are ready to spend the billion dollars it’s gonna take to retain Harvey and these pitchers. Or maybe they will all take 3 year deals with an opt out and a promise from Fred to help them pick out a house in a great location. You know, whatever seals the deal.