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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Selig can't blame his Fred Wilpon dealings on the players union-Bill Madden

3/26/11, Bill Madden, "This is why, much as Selig has always had a deep affection for Wilpon, between the escalating team debt compounded by his involvement in the Madoff scandal, people in the commissioner's office are concerned the Mets owner is fast becoming collateral damage for Selig in regard to his legacy. A telltale sign of this is the growing belief around baseball that a lot these damning stories about the Mets' debt are, in fact,
  • coming right out of the commissioner's office.
The Mets owners firmly believe they are eventually going to be vindicated in the Madoff mess and will actually not have to pay anything back to the victims' trustee, Irving H. Picard, but even if they are, that could take years and Selig doesn't have years, if you believe him. That's why I believe Selig, as with the McCourts, would like to see the Mets sold, and the sooner the better, so they can return to solvency before his term runs out.

Despite Forbes' report listing the Mets' value as having dropped 13% to $747 million, most informed industry observers maintain they will still fetch a $1 billion sale price. However, right off the top of that, Wilpon and his co-owner (and co-defendant in the separate $1 billion Picard suit), Saul Katz, will be obliged to pay off the estimated $450 million in team debt. Furthermore, it's said the Mets have sold only 600,000 tickets for this season, and, so, for every game that Citi Field is half empty, that debt continues to swell. Hence the urgency from Selig's standpoint to stop the bleeding.

The bigger the Mets' debt, the bigger embarrassment to Selig - which is why the Mets' and Dodgers' financial insolvency is looming as an even bigger hit on his legacy than the steroids scandal - because the players union had no part in it."...

On revenue sharing:

"In the past, the union (along with large-market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox) have complained that too many of the small-market teams have been taking their revenue sharing money and spending it on other things. And that has been re-affirmed by the latest Forbes which reports that the

all of whom had the lowest payrolls in baseball last year, made respective profits of

  • $37.2 million,
  • $24.6 million,
  • $12.1 million,
  • $23.2 million and
  • $10.3 million."...

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