FREDDY WILPON SPPPPIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

Well, Freddy Skill Sets came pretty close to being truthful with the fan base when he was interviewed by Brain Costa of the WSJ. Fred was in Arizona (wow Bolt goes to Phoenix?) for the quarterly owners meeting.  When asked about his financial struggle and the toll it is taking on him, the Mets organization and its fan base, Freddy Sez:

“How could anybody deny that it’s been a challenging time?” Wilpon said. “But I came from nothing. I meet the challenges. So does Saul and Jeff and our whole family. We’re meeting the challenges and I think we’ll be fine.”

“I think we’ll be fine”? Really?  How so Freddy ? What’ch ya keepin’ on the down low from us? The new minority shares are a band aid on a gaping wound but you know what, maybe the Skill Sets luck is changing as his Guardian Angel, Bud Selig is staying on for 2 more years as baseball czar and Wilpon enabler and as always has Freddy’s back:

“He’s been a great owner,” Selig said. “Loves his team. He’s everything you’d want in a local owner. He’s had some economic problems, not caused by himself, and I have a lot of faith in him that he’s working his way through them.”

And he’s oh, so good,

And he’s oh, so fine,

And he’s oh, so healthy,

In his body and his mind.

He’s a well respected man about town,

Doing the best things so conservatively.

Then Freddy was asked about Jose Reyes and his thoughts on Reyes:

“Reyes was 17 years old when I met him,” Wilpon said. “He spoke pretty good English at that time, too. He said to me, ‘Can you give me some advice?’ I said, ‘Yeah, never wipe that smile off your face.'”

Humm, “never wipe that smile off your face” looks like Freddy eats at Wo Hop like I do. Thankfully for Reyes’ sake Freddy didn’t hit him up with “Kid, I know a guy who can make you rich beyond belief”

Here is a nice picture on a rainy, windy, cold New York afternoon

Years before we would get to the 50th Anniversary of the NY Mets, Dana Brand was all pumped up about putting together a symposium at Hofstra University where he taught, on the history of the Mets. As you all know Dana passed away last year but his dream of having a conference at Hofstra will become a reality on April 26-28. Please check out all the details here and hopefully we can all meet up at Hofstra that weekend and celebrate not just the legacy of the NY Mets but of Dana Brand as well.

Steve Popper, the Mets beat writer for the Bergen Record is leaving the Mets beat and will become the Records man at MSG following the NY Knickerbockers. Not only is this a big loss for Mets fans but a huge loss for Mets bloggers like myself and other bloggers who have had the privilege of meeting Steve at various team functions. Many of the beat writers and media folk won’t even give us a response to a hello but Popper (as well as Adam Rubin and Kevin Kernan ) has always been friendly to us and has been gracious in sharing his thoughts with us about the Mets. Good luck Steve and thanks.

 

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WHICH ORGANIZATION HAS THE BEST UPSIDE? NY METS OR NY JETS?

 

I had a thought this morning while I was reading two interesting sports stories the fish wraps , which organization was in worse shape, the NY Mets or the NY Jets? In my estimation, it’s the Jets.

I put the question out there in Twitter-land and no one in my time line agreed with me, in fact I got a lot of “The Islanders are worst of all” which may be true (see DiPietro, Rick franchise wrecking contract) but with the stories today that the Jets players feel that QB Mark Sanchez is a lazy piece of shit and has a sense of entitlement and the Wilpon’s look to be getting a cash infusion of $100mil with the sale of minority shares in the club, it made we wonder which team is worse shape?

The responses I received all dealt with money, Woody Johnson’s got it and Fred Wilpon doesn’t, I can’t argue with that.  While the Jets are definitely the more monetarily rich team the Mets are wealthier organizationally.

As much as Mets fans focus (obsess?) over the financial failures of the Skill Sets, the situation would be much worse if the Mets had a Mike Tannenbaum/Rex Ryan first line of management than the stronger Sandy Alderson/Terry Collins front line.

How Mike Tannenbaum escapes the Jets fans wrath is beyond me. Tannenbaum’ highlight in his resume is that he is a capologist , which means he’s an expert on the NFL salary cap as a GM in charge of putting a team together he’s not a good mixoligist, and please spare me the two AFC Championship games the Jets have gone to, let’s look at the big picture, after this season as a Jets fan can you truly feel your team is headed in the right direction? I didn’t think so.

We Mets fans know this sale of minority shares is just a blip on the Skill Set financial failure radar. If anything, it buys them some time to pay off some loans that are due or past due such as the loan from MLB with a little leftover capital to bring in a pitcher or two. If you are going to have a payroll that keeps dropping like the temperature on a February night, you would want to have a guy running your team that not only has the experience with this kind of situation but has been successful at it like Sandy Alderson.

See the Jets were the team with the high expectations and the head coach who spends more time bloviating than getting a handle on the pulse of his locker room. Terry Collins learned from his past failures as a field boss and last season did as good a job with a team that was hit by injury and without strong reinforcement from the minor league system than anyone could have hoped for. Ryan could take a lesson from Collins on how to reign in a clubhouse.  Ryan has always been looked at as the ultimate players coach but what he truly is, is a coach who doesn’t know how to instill discipline or to be the adult in the room.

Woody Johnson seems to be suffering from the same malaise that the Skill Sets suffered from during the Madoff halcyon days when the cash flowed like water; he and his Jets brain trust have no clue on how to spend it. Just as the Mets were awful at building their organization the right way, through player development, the Jets operate the same way, when you bring in guys like Santonio Holmes for big money that you can’t get rid of and Plaxico Burress another bad attitude and team wrecker as we Giants fans saw  when he refused to work with Eli Manning during the off season at OTA’s and is not a franchise receiver, you find yourself in a deep hole just like the Mets used be in when they would reward players with big money for long terms for performances they achieved with other teams.

That’s why the Skill Sets not having money to spend may turn out to be a blessing for the Mets organization as the philosophy of the team has gone back to what had made the Mets good in the 60’s and 80’s, player development. I know many Mets fans don’t have the patience for a rebuilding program but quite frankly it’s been overdue.

 

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OH FREDDIE SKILL SETS, THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

 

When it comes to the Skill Sets financial situation it seems we Mets fans are better off ignoring what they say and instead focus on what they do. From the outstanding reporting of Eno Sarris of Amazin’ Avenue,  we discovered that the Skill Sets have hired  CRG Partners , a firm that works with businesses swimming in red ink and tries to either help them turnaround their business or it they are too far gone, file for bankruptcy. From reading the story, it looks like the Skill Sets are ready to be made comfortable for the inevitable, their loss of the Mets.

Sure, as Mets fans we should be rejoicing that the end of the Wilpon/Katz reign of ownership is closer to a conclusion than ownership as led on, and that has been the primary problem with the Skill Sets, their inability to be truthful with their fan base. If there is one thing indisputable about the Mets fans base, it is loyal and forgiving but it you take their kindness for weakness, you will feel their wrath. I truly believe if Fred Wilpon came to Mets fans with honesty over  the  grave financial situation that has alter severely the way the Mets have done business, instead of the “keep moving nothing to see here, we’re doing great ” deny, deny, deny spin, he would have had the backing of the fan base in trying to keep the team in his and his families stewardship, instead the constant false reports of selling minority shares, or tickets selling like “hot cakes” , or reports of a payroll north of $100 mil with money left for taking on a big contract for a pennant run which in realty is a payroll struggling to reach $90m and the only players signing are non-descript bush leaguers grateful for employment. No one ever learns, the cover up is always worse than the crime.

So due to the disrespect of the Mets fans intelligence, we have a mob with pitch forks and torches at the ready to run the Skill Sets out of Queens. One silver lining in all this though is the emergence of the of writers like Sarris and Howard Megdal, who dig and do the dirty work to bring Mets fans the truth behind the shell game being run at Citi Field. 

I wonder if the news that Bank of America has put notice on small businesses they lend money to that they are calling in the loans on those businesses they feel is a bad risk.  Mets have just taken out a $40 mil note from BOA, what would happen if that loan was recalled?

As much as we all want the Skill Sets out of the way and a new owner with deep pockets to take over our beloved Mets, how can we as a fan base be happy with all this financial bullshit that has had a negative effect on our beloved baseball team? My wanting the Wilpon’s out of the owner’s box at Citi Field is not due to personal malice, it’s due to the destruction of the core of my favorite baseball team. I don’t want to care about the Wilpon’s financial straights but I have to as it has an adverse effect on something I love, The New York Mets. That pisses me off to no end.

 

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TIME FOR BUD SELIG TO PULL A PAULIE CICERO AND TURN HIS BACK ON THE WILPON’S

Just like Henry Hill, Bud Selig needs to turn his back on the Skill Sets   

At what point does Bud Selig say “enough” to the Skill Sets when it comes to giving permission to keep drowning the Mets in debt. The Skill Sets have turned into baseball’s panhandlers with their running nose’s and tattered Brooks Brother suits, running the NY National League’s franchise from hand to mouth.  Selig it seems, needs another trip to Washington to get an understanding that when you keep adding up debt you’re headed for disaster. Maybe it’s time Mets fans get some tents, sleeping bags and drums and head to 245 Park Avenue to Occupy The Commissioner’s Office and order him to stop being the chief enabler to the Skill Sets.  

How do the other owners not get their suspenders in a bunch over not just the special treatment that Freddy and Uncle Saul get but question on how do they get such a sweetheart deal? If I was Stu Sternberg I’d be looking for my welfare money. If I were Bob Nutting of the Pirates I’d ask for an increase in my revenue share money. If I were Frank McCourt I’d beat the living shit out of Selig. How is it the Skill Sets get such preferential treatment?

According to the report in Forbes, the Mets are over $400 mil in debt which in most cases would have MLB taking over the operations of a franchise but with Fred and Saul being FOB (friends of Bud) not only won’t that happen but Selig has given his blessing on this new scheme of infusing revenue into the team of selling minority shares of the club for a 3 % return on your investment each year for six years or you can keep your shares and brag to your friends and family that no matter how insignificant you are, you are an owner of the Mets.  Beach front property on Antarctica seems like a better investment.

Last night I was a guest on Mike Sliva’s NY Baseball Digest radio show, you can listen to the show by clicking on this link.

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