Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mets desperately seeking lots of dough

Maybe we should start a collection for the Mets after all.

The bad situation for the Mets has gotten a lot worse. That $25 million loan they got from Major League Baseball won't be enough to meet their costs so they are begging for a new loan to tide them over until they find someone willing to spend a ridiculous sum of money for a minority stake in the team.

Good luck with that. It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to loan them money when it seems like they could go bankrupt any day now. But Wall Street is known for taking risks, including the one that got the world into the financial mess that it's still trying to climb out of. Maybe the big banks will overlook the massive lawsuit, the mounting debt and the team's dismal prospects to float the Mets some cash.

The Mets seem to be out of luck. They have tried portraying themselves as victims of Bernie Madoff, but Irving Picard, the trustee in the case, isn’t buying it. He has persuaded the bankruptcy judge that he should be able to go after Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz and their businesses for about $1 billion partly because they allegedly looked the other way during the Madoff scheme. The Mets officials have denied this, but unless they can convince a higher court to overturn the judge’s decision, they could potentially be on the hook for a judgment higher than the value of their team.

I feel sorry for the people that do business with the Mets or who work for them. Not the ballplayers because they will get paid, but all the other employees. Pretty soon the Mets are going to have to undertake a widespread effort to cut their costs and that could include layoffs since declining attendance means the Mets won’t need as many staffers as they used to. Jobs are tough to come by these days and I would hate to see the employees lose their jobs, but it’s probably inevitable.

The Mets are desperately seeking the cash they need to keep their operation going. For the sake of all the people whose livelihoods depend on the Mets, I hope they find someone willing to lend them some dough.

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