I’ll turn back to the Chass article which also gets at the kernel of why control is required, or at least attainable:
Jeff Wilpon, the Mets’ chief operating officer, would be the first member of the family to run the Mets after Fred is no longer active. But Jeff is also a potential problem for the family. “Most buyers won’t want anything to do with Jeff Wilpon,” the lawyer said. “He’s a light weight and has a bad reputation. I can’t imagine a buyer not wanting an option to buy him out when Fred dies.”
Jeff Wilpon is typical of many sons of wealthy owners. They are in their positions only because their fathers own the teams, having done nothing to earn their jobs and exhibiting a lack of baseball knowledge. There are exceptions, but Jeff Wilpon is not one of them.
Jeff Wilpon, the proverbial “born on third base, thinks he hit a triple” guy, a card-carrying member of the Lucky Sperm Club.
Control of the Mets must, I repeat MUST, be either gained from the outset or attainable over time. Maybe the Mets can try to find some dumb money, but I doubt it.
It’s the possibility that Wilpon knew or should have known that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme that has prompted the trustee to seek more money from the Wilpon entities than they gained from their investments.
If Wilpon knew something wasn’t right about the Madoff operation and failed to alert authorities, he could be held liable for losses suffered by other investors Madoff swindled.
“That’s a devastating allegation,” the lawyer said. Noting that the trustee’s lawsuit was filed under seal at the request of Wilpon’s lawyers, he added, “The seal is another reason why Wilpon has to settle. The reason we want to see what is sealed is the same reason Wilpon wanted it sealed. There must be serious allegations that Wilpon did some bad things.”
The most creative aspect of Chass’ piece is the solution he proposes (not that I think it’s possible or even likely):
There are plenty of wealthy people, in New York alone and especially Mets fans, who could make that kind of investment, but [Irving] Picard [the trustee for the victims of Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme] is closest to the situation and should get the first shot at becoming Wilpon’s partner, particularly because part of the money he would be investing would be coming from Wilpon himself.
Why Picard, you ask?
Picard isn’t doing this work for the good of humanity. His deal with the government, according to a lawyer familiar with it, is that he receives 1.5 percent of the money he recovers beyond $1 billion. He reportedly has already recovered $10 billion, which means he has earned $135 million for himself on his way to an estimated several hundred million dollars.
As far as the competition status heading into Spring Training:
It’s an indicator of who’s going to be the starting catcher. It’s going to be Russell Martin, period. Then after that, the back-up situation’s going to be open for discussion between [Francisco] Cervelli, Montero, [Austin] Romine, we’ll see. Or all of them. … They all could split time and get a little education in the process.
A glimpse into the Yankees “process” and rationale:
The bottom line is: Take the best player on the board. Andrew Brackman, in his case, the only reason he got to us is because of the knowledge that he had a ligament issue and was going to need Tommy John surgery. Nowadays, I think it’s an 88 to 92 percent success rate, so when you compare it to losing a year waiting for him, versus the other players, we chose Brackman. I don’t necessarily think patience has anything to do with it, other than you need patience to wait on these guys.
Make sure you click through to read the entire article; there’s plenty more good stuff in there worth reading.
For more of our stuff on Jesus Montero, click here.