It looks like we’re in for another bizarre season where much of the Mets talk will be centered on off the field issues rather than how well or how poorly the team is doing on the field.
The news that the Wilpon family now wants to sell a minority stake in the Mets will take center stage as suitors begin to line up and take aim at an opportunity to become part owners of the New York Mets.
Naturally, many of the names that we’ll be hearing will be familiar ones like Mark Cuban or Donald Trump, but while those two have yet to express any interest, check out some of celebrities that have.
According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil-rights leader, is spearheading a group interested in purchasing “at least 50 percent” of the Mets. The group includes former Met Ed Kranepool and Donn Clendenon Jr., son of the 1969 Met World Series MVP. However, there’s a catch as the King group has no interest in being a minority owner and instead want to purchase 50% of the team.
“I think in order for it to make sense it would have to be at least a 50-50 arrangement,” said Meli, a trusted friend of King.
King expects to meet with the Wilpons this coming week to discuss a potential deal.
Meanwhile, Queens native and avowed Yankees hater Mike Repole is also interested in buying a 25% stake in the Mets according to Jerry Bossert of the Daily News.
A Yankee-hating billionaire from Queens who owns a horse favored to win the Kentucky Derby wants a piece of the New York Mets. Financial advisers for Mike Repole contacted representatives for Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon after the father-son duo said they wanted an investor to buy a minority stake in the team.
“I hate the Yankees,” Repole, 42, told the Daily News. “I bleed blue and orange. That’s why my silks are those colors. To see their resurgence would mean so much to me.”
Repole is also trying to schedule a meeting with the Wilpons to negotiate.
Finally, Long Island liquor king Martin Silver, is also going to re-engage the Wilpons to in hopes of buying the team which he has already tried to do on at least one occasion.
“We are trying to get some negotiations started,” said Silver. “The Mets are restricted because of the finances of the Wilpons. They can’t get more established players and make the playoffs again with the money they have now.”
Silver, the owner of the Georgi Vodka brand, wants a controlling interest, and said the the team’s estimated $858 million worth is too high and wants the owners to offer a more realistic price.
I hope that what ever the Wilpons do decide to do, that they do it fast.
It’s been a rocky road since that failed World Series run in 2006, and the Daily News reminds us of some of the ups and downs.
Oct. 19, 2006: After impressive ride into postseason and a three-game sweep of the Dodgers in the ALDS, Carlos Beltran takes a called strike three in bottom of ninth vs. Cardinals ending Mets’ season in Game 7 of 2006 NLCS.
Sept. 30, 2007: The Mets lose 12 of their final 17 games to blow a seven-game division lead, missing the playoffs and giving the NL East crown to the Phillies.
Jan. 29, 2008: The Mets shock all with deal for two-time Cy Young-winner Johan Santana. They then extend the lefthander’s contract, through 2013, worth $137.5 million. Santana lives up to the billing his first year, winning 16 games with 2.53 ERA over 234.1 innings.
Dec. 11, 2008: Bernie Madoff, longtime friend of Mets owner Fred Wilpon is arrested on charges he operated a Ponzi scheme. Wilpon invested heavily with disgraced financier.
July 1, 2009: Mets executive Tony Bernazard takes off his shirt and challenges Double-A Binghamton team to a fight.
July 17, 2009: Francisco Rodriguez and Bernazard nearly come to blows on a team bus in Atlanta.
Jan. 13, 2010: Carlos Beltran has knee surgery performed by his own physician, angering the Mets who believe Beltran did not follow “protocol” by not allowing them a chance to seek a second opinion.
June 4, 2010: Oliver Perez goes on the disabled list for knee tendinitis, but MLB investigates the Mets’ move because they had earlier tried to convince the struggling Perez to go to the minors and he refused. MLB finds that Perez’s DL stay is legit.
June 23, 2010: News of a criminal complaint in Florida against ace Johan Santana surfaces. Santana is accused of raping a woman on a golf course.
Aug. 11, 2010: K-Rod (r. with cop) is arrested for punching out the father of his girlfriend in a fracas that starts in the family room at Citi Field.
Dec., 2010: Trustee for Madoff victims sues Wilpon family and Sterling Equities seeking hundreds of millions of dollars tied to Madoff litigation.
Jan. 28, 2011: Fred Wilpon announces Mets are looking for partner to purchase 20%-25% of team to help offset money they expect to payback to Madoff victims.
On a brighter note, 15 more days until pitchers and catchers report!