Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mets, Wilpon dying a slow death

By now, Fred Wilpon might be hoping that Major League Baseball actually does step in to take the New York Mets off his hands.

News that the Mets have taken out a $40 million loan (on top of the $25 million they borrowed from MLB) has created intense speculation about when the Wilpons might receive the Frank McCourt treatment from Bud Selig and be forced to sell the team. Selig and Wilpon are admittedly friends. But at some point, Selig is going to have to remove his blinders and apply his “best interests of the game” philosophy to the Mets the same way he did with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He cannot continue to let a baseball franchise in such a key market flounder for very much longer.

Wilpon loves owning the Mets so he will resist any pressure to sell the team for as long as humanly possible. But the Bernie Madoff-induced financial headache Wilpon is being forced to deal with is not going away anytime soon. At some point, Wilpon has to realize that his ownership may not be in the best interest of the team that he claims to love.

The Mets are borrowing significant amounts of money and desperately searching for minority investors. Yet it looks like they will have no money to spend on actually improving the team or recovering from the loss of Jose Reyes. Next up will likely be a fire sale of their remaining stars, beginning with David Wright and ending with Johan Santana once he proves he is completely healthy because the team will simply not be able to afford them (unfortunately, they are probably stuck with Jason Bay’s expensive contract).

The Mets and Wilpon are just dying a slow death and it’s painful to watch. Forcing Wilpon to sell the team may be the ultimate act of mercy by Selig.

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