View Full Version : Wilpon's reach settlement in Madoff case

03-20-2012, 21:49
March 19, 2012 marked the best day the Mets have had since October 7, 2006, when they finished off a three game sweep of the Los Angles Dodgers to advance to the NLCS, as the Met ownership and trustee Irvin Picard came to an agreement just before the jury was to be selected in the long awaited Madoff trial.

The settlement is for $162 million of which the Mets will not need to pay back for three years. It was also ruled they can offset that $162 million with what they are awarded from the $178 million they lost and are trying to recover from the ponzi scheme. In the end, there is a very good chance the Mets ownership will be able to walk away paying a total of only 30-40 million, which is a far cry from the almost 1 billion the trustees were originally seeking.

What does this this mean for the organization and more importantly the fans? The most important thing is the Mets will now once again be able to co-mingle finds between the team, their real estate investments and SNY, something they werenít allowed to do since this all started. If the Mets lose money, as they did last year when they were 70 million in the hole, the owners can fund the team from their other ventures, similar to what they had done in the past This is very significant because even with the payroll cut to under 100 million in 2012, there is a very good chance the Mets will not be profitable again this season. Hopefully, this will allow them to keep their homegrown players instead of having them walk away because they can no longer afford them.

The settlement also removes the dark cloud that has been lingering over the team and hopefully represents a new beginning for the organization. To be able to start with a clean slate and begin to generate positive feelings about the Mets on the field instead of questioning everything they do off of it.

After collecting $240 million from the shares they sold for the team, the Mets were also able to pay back around $100 of the $400 million debt they owe, including the $40 million bridge loan with Bank of America and the $25 million they borrowed from major league baseball.

I for one will never trust anything the Wilsonís say again. They have a lot of work to do to mend the fences from all the damage and hardships they have caused Met fans. However, in the end winning is the cure to all evils and the Mets, behind GM Sandy Alderson, no matter why they are doing it, have generated a plan of building from with-in. In hiring JP Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta to work with Alderson they have some of the top talent evaluators in the game. Even if it takes a couple of years to return to prominence again in the National League, they must stick to this plan and construct a strong nucleus they can build around for years to come. Similar to what they did in the early 80ís when Gooden, Strawberry, Wilson and Darling came up through the farm system or what the Phillies did with Rollins, Howard, Utley and Hamels. Once that nucleus starts to make an impact at the major league level they can start to add the pieces to make this not only a championship contender, but a team that will be at the top of the league year in and year out.

Though that day seems like itís still a world away, the settlement yesterday is a step in the right direction. Hopefully the sun can finally start to peak through the clouds at Citifield in 2012.

Robert Urio