Yesterday on the blog we talked about a Reuters story which quoted Erin Arvedlund, author of “Too Good to Be True,” of saying the Wilpon family lost $700 million in the Madoff scam and would be forced to sell the team by early of 2010.
Fred Wilpon told the New York Times, “I’m fine, my family’s fine, my business family’s fine.”
WILPON: Says Mets not for sale.
Wilpon also said the family has an emotional attachment to the Mets and would not sell the team. Wilpon said the team’s revenue from its share of the MLB television deal, luxury suits, ticket sales, concessions, ad revenue at Citi Field and its share of SNY were not affected by the scam. He said the Madoff losses were significantly less than $700 million, but did not specify.
Wilpon paid $135 million to buy out Nelson Doubleday’s share of the team in 2002, and the Mets, according to Forbes Magazine, are currently worth $912 million.
Major League Baseball monitors the finances of each team quarterly, and president Bob DuPuy said the team is under no financial distress.
Martin Silver, owner of Syosset-based Star Industries, wants to buy the Mets from the Wilpons, and after speaking to potential investors said he could put together a $700 million offer.
“As a life-long Mets fan and a season ticket holder for over 25 years, I would not like to see the Mets organization fall into the wrong hands,” Silver write in a letter to Wilpons reported The Daily News.
Forbes magazine has put the value of the Mets at $824 million.
Although the Wilpons took a reported $300-million hit in the Ponzi scandal, Fred Wilpon told MLB the losses won’t affect the team’s operations.
A lot of things floating on in my mind these days.
-Congratulations to Mike Mussina for retiring on his terms. Part of me wishes he’d stay for 300 wins. But another part – a greater part – admires him for doing it his way. It doesn’t happen often. Will he get my Hall of Fame vote? Yes.
-I see where Hank Steinbrenner gave an ultimatum for the Yankees to sign CC Sabathia. I’d like to see Fred Wilpon do the same with a closer.
-The Mets seem torn between Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes. That should tell you of the concerns for K-Rod. And, concerns at this time are valid. I’d stay away, go with Fuentes and use the rest of the money that would have gone to K-Rod go for depth in the pen.
-Luis Castillo is staying to play second base. That seems apparent now. Their thinking is to hope for a comeback. It beats paying somebody to take him away.
-There doesn’t seem like a groundswell of support to keep either Oliver Perez or Pedro Martinez.
For those thinking Ambiorix Burgos could be the closer next year in place of Billy Wagner, I’d guess again. He was reportedly arrested this morning for beating up his girlfriend at a hotel near Shea Stadium.
He is to be arraigned today in Queens on assault and harassment charges.
Stuff like this infuriates Fred Wilpon and I can see the Mets figuring out ways to get rid of Burgos.