Well, that was quite an off day for the Mets owners. Fred Wilpon and his partners settled their lawsuit in the Bernie Madoff matter, reportedly sold $240 million in minority stakes to pay off some outstanding debts and upcoming 2012 debt and interest payments, and pushed back any reckoning for roughly a year.
For the team on the field, this almost certainly means no capital improvements. What you see is what you get. How they ultimately fare, of course, will go a long way toward determining attendance this season, and how financially viable they will be in 2013, when they face many of the same obligations, but without the opportunity to sell 48 percent of the team all over again. (This isn’t The Producers, after all.)
Essentially, how you feel about yesterday has a great deal to do with how you feel about the talent on-hand, and the decision-making that led to it. With two weeks until Opening Day, more of the focus should return to those players. The idea that the financial hurdles faced by ownership are a thing of the past is a wholly mistaken notion- not with so much debt still due in the coming year, and such an uncertain financial picture from the team itself.
We’ll take a closer look at the team in the coming days, position-by-position, to get a sense of how the Mets stack up to the rest of the National League East. Spoiler alert: not well.