08.28.09

Bernie Book Author : WIlpon Lost $700 Million, Mets Sale Pending

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 10:52 pm by

On an afternoon in which the Amazingly Disableds squandered a genuinely fine effort from starter Pat Misch, the Angels took on more than $20 million in salary in the form of ex-Met / Al Leiter nemesis Scott Kazmir (above)  — exactly the sort of late season move we once came to expect when New York’s 2nd richest baseball club was, well, rich. According to author Erin Arvedlund, whose forthcoming Bernie Maddoff tome, “Too Good To Be True” will presumably not be offered for sale at the Mets Team Store, Fred Wilpon was fleeced to the tune of $700 million, making his eventual sale of the Mets a foregone conclusion.  From Reuters’ Ben Klayman :

Arvedlund said she does not know the terms of the Wilpons’ bank loans but said the losses are steep enough that a sale of the baseball team is certain.

“It’s qualified by when,” she said. “It’s possible they would have to sell by next year.” Fred Wilpon was among thousands of investors defrauded by Madoff, himself a Mets fan.

Madoff pleaded guilty in March to running the biggest investment fraud in Wall Street’s history, which investigators said bilked investors out of $13 billion to $21 billion.

Madoff is serving 150 years in a federal  prison in North Carolina.

The team said Arvedlund has no knowledge of the baseball team or its finances and repeated previous statements that the Mets are not for sale. “Her speculation that the Mets — or any part of the team — is for sale is completely false and is irresponsible,” the team said.

A team spokesman told MarketWatch that Arvedlund’s loss projection is inaccurate.

Let’s hope said spokesperson isn’t merely playing damage control.  As much as I’ve criticized Fred and Jeff Wilpon this season, all you have to do is look at the state of midtown Manhattan’s basketball teams — men’s and women’s —- to realize things could actually be much worse if the frontman of the Straight Shot added the Mets to his toychest.

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