Is There Crying In Baseball?

An article by posted on February 1, 2011

Mike Francesa opened his daily show this afternoon with his thoughts about the Wilpon mess. He has levied some strong accusations against the Wilpons.

What set the stage for Francesa, was this piece in the New York Times by Alison Leigh Cowan which reveals the Wilpons were involved in another Ponzi scheme as recently as two years ago. Here is a part of that story:

For the owners of the Mets, their involvement with Bernard L. Madoff’s giant investment fraud has been embarrassing and costly. They are being sued for hundreds of millions of dollars, and have been accused of having been, at minimum, willfully ignorant of what Madoff was up to.

But for the owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, it is not the first time they have had their names and personal fortunes roughed up in a Ponzi scheme. An investment firm started by the two men had to pay back nearly $13 million two years ago when a hedge fund run by the scion of a wealthy New Orleans family collapsed in what was then regarded as one of Wall Street’s more brazen frauds.

The $13 million figure — modest when set against the damage the owners of the team face in the Madoff case — still made the firm one of the biggest losers in the $450 million scheme orchestrated by Samuel Israel III, and it turned out to be the largest settlement to date among investors who withdrew money from the fund. Israel, who is serving a 22-year term in federal prison, tried to avoid being incarcerated by faking a suicide in July 2008.

Pretty shocking stuff. On to Francesa…

What he said was that he has “never believed anything the Wilpon’s have said” on any of the issues that they were being questioned about regarding their involvement.

The news about a ‘deal’ that happened only two years ago, went bad and cost the Wilpon’s $13 million dollars, changes everything and they have now lost the benefit of the doubt.

He said they have no credibility because we now know this was not the first misadventure with investment fraud and they tried to cover this up.

There is just too much here, to give the Wilpons another chance, he said. “They have got to be replaced, not just 25%, but the whole thing including SNY and other assets as well.”

He concluded that after what happened with Madoff and now with this new revelation, it’s all over for them and it’s all going to snowball on them.

Two Ponzi schemes? How is that even possible?

As a Mets fan and a true baseball fan – which means you play the game by the rules – I am very angry at the hubris of the Wilpons and others who feel that they can play ‘games’ with ownership of a MLB team.

They have not been completely open with us, and it may be best for them to leave the playing field, now.

I’d like to hear what other Mets fans have to say -

Are you shocked?

Or are you simply very disappointed for having been fed something less than the truth for the last two years?

They say there is no crying in baseball – I say, yes, there is.

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