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SBD/February 15, 2011/Franchises
MLB Keeping Watchful Eye Over Mets' Financial Situation
Published February 15, 2011
PLAYING FROM BEHIND: ESPN.com's Lester Munson noted the "detail and the specificity of the allegations against the Wilpons and the Mets" in Picard's lawsuit are "impressive, reflecting deep analysis of the Wilpon empire." The Wilpons "insist that they are victims of Madoff's fraud, but there is no doubt that they have some explaining to do." The lawsuit is "only the opening salvo in what will be a long battle." Munson: "With an enormous load of debt on their myriad enterprises and the downturn in the real estate market, the Wilpons and the word 'insolvency' can now be used in the same sentence. Their ownership of the Mets is in jeopardy. ... Will the Wilpon empire, when it's all over, join the ranks of Enron and AIG and other massive business frauds?" (ESPN.com, 2/11).
RESCUE MISSION: On Long Island, David Lennon wrote the "most important man employed by the Mets these days" is GM Sandy Alderson, the "main architect of the franchise's current reboot -- and also its most vocal pitchman." Given the "amount of public scrutiny the Mets have been under lately, it feels like open season on the beaten-down franchise, and it is Alderson's job to change the negative perception that has dogged this team since 2006." Lennon: "For a brand that's worth more than $800 million, not including its SNY network, Alderson has been asked to be its jacket-and-tie savior" (NEWSDAY, 2/13).