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Mets Ownership Looking Lost, Seeking Partial Sale

The Wilpon family, owners of 100% of the New York Mets, have recently stated that they will entertain offers to sell up to 25% of the team. The family had previously said they never wanted to give up any portion of the team, but a recent lawsuit related to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme has forced them to rethink that stance. The lawsuit reportedly seeks to recover between $300 million and $1 billion from the Wilpons, money that would be used to compensate the other Madoff victims.

The Wilpons, largely-known for their real estate success, have consistently said that the Madoff scandal would not affect the Mets financially. This lawsuit essentially aims to prove that the family actually profited from the scheme. If that is the case, then the sale of 25% of the team — recently valued by Forbes at upwards of $800 million — likely wouldn’t even be enough to cover the low end of the lawsuit estimates.

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Mets Fans Trying to Raise Money to Buy Out Oliver Perez’s Contract

This is without a doubt one of the most unique and hilarious fan stories I’ve ever come across. No offense to Oliver Perez, but apparently New York Mets fans have the ability to get pretty creative when they’re tired of the way things are going — which seems to happen more often than not.  Hardball Talk has brought to our attention that a few Mets fans are raising money to buy out Oliver Perez’s contract.

Absolutely brilliant.  The Mets are in the market for a new general manager and when they find one, I think he’d be wise to make cashing in on this proposal one of his top priorities.  The fans in charge of the fund plan to accept donations until February 13, which is when pitchers and catchers report to off-season workouts.  The goal is the $12 million that is left on Perez’s 3 year, $36 million deal.

Perez has angered Mets fans by pitching horribly since signing a fat contract in 2009 and even refusing a Triple-A assignment when he was struggling.  The organizers of the fund have even vowed to donate the money to charity if they fall short of their goal.  However, if they come even close to reaching the goal, I’d like to think the Mets’ front office would realize how passionate their fan base is about hating the guy and bite the bullet.  All in all, I think it’s a genius concept.

Mets Would be Wise to Hire Logan White as General Manager

I always told myself the past few years that if I ever came into the type of money needed to buy a baseball team, my first move would be offering Dodgers Assistant GM Logan White as much money as it took to get him to work for my team. Starting off as the Dodgers’ farm director and being promoted to Assistant GM a few years ago, White has built the Dodgers’ stacked farm system and he’s more responsible than anyone in the organization for the team’s recent success. He interviewed for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM vacancy and is now one of the five candidates for the Mets job. He would be a great hire for the team, and I’ll explain why.

Over the past nine years (when White ran his first draft for the team), the Dodgers have reached the playoffs four times and won at least 90 regular season games three times. The team reached the NLCS in back-to-back years, largely with a core established by White’s drafts. Here are some of the players White drafted since taking over in 2002: Clayton Kershaw, Jonathan Broxton, Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, James Loney and Russell Martin. In addition to selecting those young men who have turned into All-Stars for the team, White played a big role in the signings of Japanese pitchers Takashi Saito and Hiroke Kuroda. Saito became one of the best closers in the NL when he was with the Dodgers, and Kuroda has been a strong starter during his tenure with the team.

Put simply, Logan White is a superior talent evaluator. Think about your favorite team and take a look at the roster. How many All-Stars does your team have? How many were drafted and developed by the organization? Not many, right? That’s what makes what White did so impressive. I have no doubt he’ll be able to keep it up wherever he goes, especially an organization like the Mets where they would allow him to spend money on draft picks. Hiring him would lead to the rebirth of the team’s farm system and an excellent future in New York. You know what? I better keep my mouth shut — I don’t want the Mets becoming too good over the next decade.

HoJo Upset with Mets Pregame Pinochle

As difficult as it is to criticize the Mets because my uncle’s a big fan of the team, they just provide so many opportunities it’s hard to lay off. When it’s not K-Rod or Johan running into off-field problems, it’s the team’s offensive issues that provides the humor. The Mets actually have a talented lineup, but between Jason Bay’s concussion, Carlos Beltran’s knee, and Jose Reyes’ thyroid, their players either are not at full strength, underachieving, or both.

The Mets took two of three from the Pirates over the weekend to get to .500 for the season, but entering the series opener on Friday, they went seven straight games without scoring more than three runs. Manager Jerry Manuel rightfully termed the offense “pathetic,” and the team-wide slump prompted hitting coach Howard Johnson to call a meeting prior to Friday’s game.

According to the New York Daily News, HoJo “harshly criticized his hitters for their recent performances and pregame card-playing.” HoJo acknowledged that the tone of the meeting was out of character and that his hotels were doing well (just checking to see if you were reading carefully). The team went out and smashed 15 hits on Friday night in a 7-2 win and then won 5-1 on Saturday in a rain-shortened game.

David Wright downplayed the meeting’s effect, but I think it worked. As for the Mets’ offensive problems, well, it’s hard to score runs when only Wright, Reyes, and Pagan are hitting. This is an issue of the players not producing, but it’s also the responsibility of the coaches to get the most from their players.

Sources:
New York Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson calls meeting, rips into Mets players [New York Daily News]

Jerry Seinfeld Does Not Approve of Lady Gaga’s Behavior

When Lady Gaga decided to run amuck at the New York Mets game after photographers turned around to take pictures of her, the Citi Field staff kindly escorted her away from her field box seats to a more private luxury box.  I had no idea that the luxury box she was seated in — which she proceeded to flip the photographers off from — was that of long-time Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld.  Needless to say, the comedian was none too pleased about her being taken to his luxury box so she could enjoy the game.  Here’s what Seinfeld told WFAN about Lady Gaga’s behavior at the game, courtesy of The Big Lead:

You take one ‘a’ off that, you’ve got gag … this woman is a jerk. I hate her. I can’t believe they put her in my box, which I paid for … you give people the finger and you get upgraded? Is that the world we’re living in now? It’s pathetic … why is she giving the finger? How old is the finger? How’d it even get to be the finger? … Get an act. Rhinestone bikinis and giving people the finger. She is talented, I don’t know why she’s doing this stuff … wake me when its over.”

I’m with you, Jerry.  It’ll be interesting to see if he addresses this topic again when he calls the Mets game with Keith Hernandez.  If I remember correctly, the last time my friend flipped someone off at a Red Sox game he got thrown out.  In case you don’t know what Seinfeld’s ragging on her for, here are some pictures of Lady Gaga at the Mets and Yankees games:

LADY GAGA AT THE BALLPARK

Source:
Jerry Seinfeld is Not a Huge Lady Gaga Fan [The Big Lead]

Did Lady Gaga Enjoy Herself At the Mets Game? You Be the Judge

Poor Lady Gaga.  She can’t even go to a baseball game for some good old-fashioned R&R without being harassed.  I’m guessing that’s all she intended on doing at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon based on the way she was dressed.  Then again, you never really know with her.  Apparently, Gaga was seated behind the dugout with her entourage when she arrived at the ballpark.  After all of the photographers turned away from the game and toward her so they could snap a phew photos, she supposedly became irate and moved to a luxury box where she proceeded to stand and flip off the photographers.

In all seriousness, what does she expect?  Not only is she an enormous pop star, but she’s dressed like a complete idiot.  The photographers might have all considered turning around and grabbing a few shots of her even if she was just a regular fan with that get-up.  If David Wright is having trouble handing the dimensions of Citi Field, imagine what a hard time he’d have just making contact if he could see that out of the corner of his eye.  Thanks to Deadspin for the photos.

Source:
Exclusive!!! Lady Gaga Throws Fit, Flips The Bird At Mets Game [Deadspin]

When’s Frankie Rodriguez Hitting the DL?

johan-santana-metsWhen it rains, it pours. That’s definitely the case for the 2009 Mets. I joked with a friend who’s a big Mets fan recently that all they needed was Johan and Frankie to go down to complete the injury circle. Now all I have to say is there’s still about five weeks left for K-Rod to get hurt. With Johan Santana likely out the rest of the season because of his elbow problems, the Mets will have their five best players (four of whom might be top 25 players in MLB) on the disabled list at the same time. Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado have been out nearly the entire year, Carlos Beltran has missed a bunch, and now it’s David Wright and Johan who have been snake bitten. I guess the good news for Mets fans is their season ended so long ago that the prospect of shutting these guys down the rest of the way isn’t so bad.

What’s impressive about Johan is that he was pitching with major discomfort ever since the All-Star break, yet he still posted a 3.22 ERA over seven starts. Between Johan’s $20 million, Beltran’s 18.5, Delgado’s 16, Wright’s 7.5, and Reyes’ 5.75, the Mets have nearly $68 million in payroll sitting on the shelf. Sure there’s a lot to feel bad about here, and it’s tough to win with all your best players on the DL, but the Mets were flawed entering the season anyhow. They certainly have a handful of stud players on their roster, but the supporting group is not very good. Additionally, their starting pitching outside of Johan has been consistently weak. Wilpon’s being a nice guy and conscious of circumstance when he says he’ll bring back both Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya next year, but I’d give both their walking papers. Omar spends well with his good players but doesn’t fill the rest of the roster very well. At least he has his Prada shoes to go home to at the end of the day.