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SBD/February 23, 2011/Franchises
Mets Ownership Willing To Part With Minority Stake Greater Than 25%
Published February 23, 2011
NOTHING TO SEE HERE: On Long Island, David Lennon notes with the Mets' ownership group facing a $1B lawsuit from the trustee in the Bernie Madoff case, MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner "has a responsibility to make sure that his members' checks won't bounce -- regardless of the outcome -- and he confirmed that wouldn't be a problem." Making the second stop of his Spring Training tour, Weiner said, "We want to make sure all contractual obligations to the players are honored, and we've been assured through the commissioner's office that's the case." He added, "It's in the interests of everybody associated with baseball that the National League franchise in New York be a strong franchise" (NEWSDAY, 2/23). Weiner added that he believes the Wilpons and Katz were "still able to pursue expensive free agents when they chose to do so" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/23).
COURT REPORT: Mets ownership in a court filing yesterday "continued to push" Irving Picard, Madoff's trustee, to "turn over documents and testimony that provide the basis for his lawsuit." Lawyers for the Mets owners claim that they "need access to expedited information from Mr. Picard after a judge earlier this month appointed former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo to mediate the legal dispute" (WSJ.com, 2/22). Meanwhile, the N.Y. TIMES' Belson reported two Mets fans are selling blue T-shirts with "Madoff" printed on the front in orange text, "evoking the 'Mets' emblazoned on the team's uniforms." The fans' website, metsmadoff.blogspot.com, went live last week and the "first few dozen shirts were quickly sold for $20 each." Since then, "several hundred more have been ordered." The creators, "longtime Mets fans who asked not to be named because they did not want their professional reputations compromised," developed the idea "mostly as a way to laugh at the absurdity of the Mets’ situation" (NYTIMES.com, 2/22).