This Offseason in Schadenfreude: A review of the Mets' winter

Thursday, February 24, 2011

When we left off with the Mets in October, they were concluding a disappointing 79-83 campaign which saw their star offseason acquisition Jason Bay perform several notches below his career averages and their other big free agent pickup, Francisco Rodriguez, arrested for assaulting his girlfriend's father in the Citi Field clubhouse. It was a joy to behold, and made the Marlins' own struggles less difficult to stomach.

But all that was just an appetizer for the offseason, when the team fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya. Compounding the misery, team owner Fred Wilpon was named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme victims. The suit alleges that Wilpon knew about the Ponzi scheme before it was made public, and thus made illegal gains. The latest reports make Wilpon look like Madoff's bag man. Wilpon maintains his innocence, and Madoff has vouched for him, but who knows how the case will turn out? As Martha Stewart learned herself a few years ago, sometimes the public can find a public whipping boy after a financial crisis in the most surprising places.

Wilpon is preparing for the worst. Shortly after the suit was filed, he announced he is looking to sell a minority stake in the team to help pay legal bills. Donald Trump is interested in buying into the Mets, which is a good excuse to link this. Seriously, who can't wait to hear Trump talk about his preseason expectations? He'll make Jeff Loria sound like George Michael Bluth. Plus, what if a gust of wind blows through Citi Field one evening when he's sitting behind home plate?

The Mets may have already bottomed out, though. New general manager Sandy Alderson probably still knows what he's doing, and the team still has Johan Santana, David Wright, and Jose Reyes, among other key pieces. Wilpon is not exactly in the clear, but I have a sinking feeling he won't be forced to sell the team in disgrace. But it's good to know that however dysfunctional the Marlins can be at times, they don't hold a candle to the Mets.


Dave February 24, 2011 at 5:27 PM  

"Why go to a banana stand, when we can make YOUR banana stand??"

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