Pat Longobardi, Sports Writer-
When the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, Mets fans knew the year of a new regime was officially in place. Moves included a new manager in Terry Collins, a new general manager in Sandy Alderson, a new coaching staff, and some lower-tier players to put on a team that already has a lot of money invested into big-time players.
Last week, it was reported that the New York Mets were being sued by Irving Picard, the trustee leading the fight to reclaim assets for victims within the Bernie Madoff case.
The Wilpon family, led by Fred and Jeff Wilpon, and Sterling Equities, the real estate firm controlled by the Mets, invested $522.7 million with Madoff, but withdrew $570.5 million.
It was reported in 2008 that the Mets lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the scandal. Now, in 2011, we hear the Mets did not lose money in the scandal, but they actually gained some in the process, around $48 million.
Yet again, the Mets are in the news for the wrong reasons.
This is not about the money anymore. It is about a reputation of a team that for years becomes embarrassing.
Hasn’t this team been through enough throughout the past five years, both on and off of the field? I mean honestly.
I have been getting the feeling for a long time now that my favorite team makes bad business decisions more than right ones.
They somehow blew a seven-game lead with 17 to play in 2007, they fired their manager in California at 2:00 in the morning after a win in 2008, and most recently, they were involved in their star outfielder, Carlos Beltran, getting surgery without their supposed knowledge, forcing him not to come back until after the All-Star break.
I was pretty much happy with the team over the years. The Mets were always a force in the National League. However, losing past championship-caliber seasons seems like an afterthought. They addressed their needs, except for a piece here and there. They start well. Then they hit that unlucky snag they never recover from.
The team will take a huge step forward signing a player like starting pitcher Johan Santana, and blow that publicity with losing his starts and losing seasons.
Now, they are possibly selling 20-25 percent of the team. It seems like a move that was done spur of the moment. I don’t know if a fresh opinion can make a difference.
There is no clean break from anything in life. Unfortunately, there will always be a negative light on something that you once thought of as a positive.
The season has not started yet, and so far, things just look uncertain again for the New York Mets. I just can’t wait until April 1 against the Florida Marlins, because it can hopefully put some light on an actual roster of 25 players and not on all of these constant distractions.