Despite being adamant about his retirement following the the 2012 regular season, we learned yesterday that Bud Selig will receive at least two-year extension as Commissioner. Knowing that Selig will do –and to this point has done– everything in his power to keep the Wilpons as owners, this is disheartening news. This indirectly cripples the Mets financially for another two years.
Even if the Wilpon’s do get investors, they will not attain anything close to the amount of loans they owe. As shown in this eye-opening article in the New York Times, the Wilpon’s have nearly one billion dollars to pay back in loans by 2015. Between this and the Bernie Madoff lawsuit, the Mets finances are about to fall on harder times then we are seeing now. Yet seemingly no matter how bad it gets, Selig will not seize the franchise from Wilpon.
As I stated in my last edition of The Morning Grind, you can’t have a cash-strapped team in a city like New York. Places like New York, Boston, and L.A. are pillars of the sport; major markets that can’t bow out of competition strictly because of financial instability. If Selig were to do the right thing for baseball –just try to imagine this–, he would lay down the law with Wilpon. But instead of doing what’s right for the Mets, and in the interest of maintaining a major-market franchise for the good of baseball, Selig instead decides to go out of his way to aid his old pal Fred.
With Selig as the “watchful” eye over baseball for another two years, the Wilpons do not have to worry about losing the team; they can continue to hemorrhage money to their heart’s content. If this was any other commissioner that did not have a connection to the Wilpons, the Mets would have been seized from them already. It’s incredible what the benefits of friends in high places will get you.
The only way I see a changing of hands of Mets ownership is if Katz and the Wilpons decide for themselves to sell, because Selig sure as hell isn’t going to force the issue.
It boils down to this: As long as Bud Selig is Commissioner, the Wilpons will not be forced to sell. If they are not forced to sell, the Mets will be strapped for cash even more so than they are now; and we all know what that means. Buckle up, and get ready to watch the New York Mess continue so long as Selig’s around.