On Thursday, John Harper of the Daily News, reported that there is now “a level of pessimism among MLB people about whether the Wilpons are going to survive their financial problems.”
An MLB official told Harper the it could be the banks, more so than MLB, that are likely to start squeezing the Wilpons, writing, “They’re sort of at the end here with the banks and everything else”
Harper also makes the point that “even if they survive the Madoff lawsuit, there is the matter of how they survive if they are losing $70 million a year.”
The NY Post spoke with Howard Megdal of the Journal News who recently published a new book entitled “Wilpon’s Folly” in which he says,
“Wilpon asked Selig to strike the provision requiring him to enable and assist David Einhorn in his pursuit of majority ownership, if Wilpon couldn’t repay him,” author Howard Megdal writes in “Wilpon’s Folly.”
“The idea would be that Selig would play the bad cop. When Major League Baseball put the kibosh on Einhorn, Wilpon would have plausible deniability, and could throw up his hands and say, ‘What can I do? This is how MLB works.’”
Einhorn heard about the dealings and, on Sept. 1, had a heated discussion with Wilpon that resulted in Einhorn walking away from the deal, according to the book.
It just goes to show the great extents the Wilpons will go through to keep this team no matter how difficult it becomes. Their stranglehold on the Mets is further tightened by a commissioner who goes through tremendous personal efforts to facilitate their continued hold of the team and he has looked past several serious MLB violations to ensure that his longtime friend, Fred Wilpon, stays in power.
Fangraphs also threw a log into this fire and writes:
Fred Wilpon hasn’t been giving any more ill-advised interviews about the dire straits that he and his team are in, but there’s no denying that things are coming to a head. It’s going to be awfully hard for him to get any new loans until he starts paying some loans back, it’s going to be awfully hard for him to pay some loans back until the team starts making more money, and it’s going to be awfully hard for the team to start making more money until they win.
That’s why virtually every interview with a Mets official, including the Sandy Aldersoninterview on why they didn’t make a formal offer to Jose Reyes, talks about how excited they are to be getting Johan Santana back. Unfortunately, it looks like Santana won’t be ready for opening day, and his operation in September 2010 — to repair a torn shoulder capsule — was most recently undergone by Chien-Ming Wang, who required two years of rehab and wasn’t the same when he returned last year. As always when it comes to a pitching shoulder, it’s unclear whether we’ll ever see Johan Santana pitch like Johan Santana again. But right now, it looks like the Wilpons’ best hope to hold onto the team is to contend in the division, and their best hope for that is for Johan Santanana, Jason Bay, and David Wright to come back and pretend it’s 2008.
I mentioned that the Wilpons have been on a gag order last September – ever since that New Yorker interview when Fred said Reyes wouldn’t get Carl Crawford money.
I’ve also referred to many of the Mets moves and announcements this offseason as smoke and mirrors.
You could purchase a copy of Megdal’s new book on Amazon.com for $2.99. I just got mine this morning and will read it this weekend.