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SBD/February 28, 2012/Franchises
Fred Wilpon Says His Family Has No Plans To Sell The Mets
Published February 28, 2012
CITI LOVE: In N.Y., Tyler Kepner notes Wilpon yesterday "spent more than 20 minutes with reporters, a rarity in recent years." He acknowledged that the "possibility of a trial had stretched the team’s finances, but insisted that General Manager Sandy Alderson was the real architect of the new vision of a leaner, more efficient operation." Alderson probably could have "used another $10 million or so to construct the 2012 team, but anything more might have been excessive" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/28). Wilpon said, "A higher payroll does not necessarily constitute a better team. We've had higher payrolls" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/28). When asked if the team's finances "will affect whether he authorizes Alderson to add payroll if the Mets are in contention," Wilpon said, “I would tell you let’s see how this team plays, and let's see what we need" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/28). Wilpon: "We’ve got to win the fans back. No, strike that, we’ve got to win the fans and the customers back. They love coming to Citi Field. People love going to Citi Field. But we have a diminished population coming to Citi Field. We need that revenue. We just can’t do it on the air. We need that revenue to support (the team). And the only way we’re going to get that revenue is if we have a competitive, interesting team on the field” (Bergen RECORD, 2/28).
GOOD HUMOR MAN? In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes Mets fans "can appreciate a good sense of humor, even with times as dire as they are." But they "don’t appreciate being made fools of." Wilpon yesterday pulled out a roll of $5 bills and said to reporters, "I’m OK. I’ve got fives!” Vaccaro: "If nothing else, the Mets should have the common sense and the common decency to realize their fans are not idiots, that if there are real financial concerns hanging like a millstone around the Wilpons’ necks ... then it is particularly stupid to taunt their customers so blithely, and so blindly" (N.Y. POST, 2/28). On Long Island, Ken Davidoff writes when Wilpon "appeared at the Mets' training complex Monday, you thought about possible endings." Davidoff: "How long can Mets fans and Major League Baseball tolerate the desecration of a jewel franchise?" (NEWSDAY, 2/28).
LOOK! UP IN THE SKY! In N.Y., Andrew Keh noted to "motivate the team," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon ordered "orange T-shirts for the entire roster that featured the U-shaped logo from the cartoon series 'Underdog,' which aired in the 1960s" (NYTIMES.com, 2/27). Also in N.Y., Peter Botte notes while most Mets, including manager Terry Collins, "appeared to enjoy the stunt," Mets 3B David Wright "wasn’t thrilled." Wright said, "I don’t really like using the whole underdog thing. I don’t really like playing that card" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/28).