The offseason has not only been a disappointment for fans of the New York Mets, it’s also brought an outpouring of negative feelings toward the Wilpons.
By Aniello Piro
The Wilpon family is in no financial position to be allowed to own and run a professional sports franchise let alone one in New York.
It all started with the infamous Ponzi scandal that was lead by Bernie Madoff, a friend of Fred Wilpon. Wilpon and Madoff were friends for an extensive period of time, and with that friendship came the opportunity to make some money in the eyes of Fred. However, Wilpon had no clue he was being robbed and scammed for every dollar he invested with Madoff.
RELATED: Jon Heyman Is A Hypocrite Thanks To HOF Ballot
When news of the scam came to light the Wilpon family was taken back, and on the verge of bankruptcy. In reference to his friend Wilpon was hurt. “If anything we trusted a friend for a very long time, and as I told you a few months ago, that betrayal was very difficult for me.” Wilpon said, “This was a man who we were friends with for 35 years and investors for 25 years.” Wilpon told the media in 2011.
Not only were the Wilpons betrayed by a friend they were in serious financial trouble. They lost over $500 million dollars in assets over night. It was reported that the owners took out a $430 million dollar loan against the New York Mets, and over $450 million in their majority ownership of SNY. That came out to a grand total of roughly $880 million dollars just to keep the team functioning!
As the months went by the Mets were in a financial mess that was growing by the day. It was thought that the Wilpons would be forced by Major League Baseball to sell the franchise.
Nope. Instead it was deemed that they had enough resources and money to successfully run the team. Well, with this is that the Mets owners will be paying off debt until the year 2045. Yes, 2045. So, Mets fans will be in a world of hurt until the year 2045, and possibly beyond.
The idea of the Wilpons being allowed to keep the team is questionable to Mets fans. Just a few years ago the Los Angeles Dodgers were in a similar situation, and Major League Baseball intervened forcing the owners to sell the team.
So, Mets fans were eagerly thinking that the same would be for their team. Well, that did not happen as former commissioner Bud Selig opted to elect Fred Wilpon as the chairmen of finances of Major League Baseball. Yes, the man that had to take out more than $800 million dollars in loans just to keep his team functioning is the head of finances for Major League Baseball.
What a joke.
Now that the history lesson is out of the way we can now move on to the rant part of the article.
One word that describes the city of New York is greatness. Greatness on all ends of the spectrum, and this is no different for the New York Mets. The Mets have all the potential in the world to be one of the best team teams the organization has seen in a long time. The Mets have great pitching, great management, great youngsters, great leadership, and a great front office, but you know what the Mets do not have that is the binding factor in their pursuit for a championship? Great ownership.
Mets ownership is the worst in professional sports by a wide margin.
The Wilpons have completely disregarded, lied and laughed at their great fan-base. All of their time and effort goes toward paying back debts and kissing the rear-end of the league. They may have the passion and dedication to run the team successfully, but are financially tied. Instead, they have to rely on Sandy Alderson working some magic, and win this team a championship while spending as little money as possible.
The Mets are a franchise fresh off a World Series appearance and are on the brink of breaking out and solidifying themselves as one of, if not the best team in the National League. Because of their shocking NL Pennant triumph, it was expected the Amazins’ would be active in the free agent and trade markets.
This has not been the case. Instead they have sat back and watched their competition get significantly better in the offseason.
What people need to understand is that even though 2015 was amazing, it was partially luck. The stars aligned perfectly for the Mets. If the club made the trade for Carlos Gomez they would have been down Zack Wheeler. It also would have meant no Yoenis Cespedes, the man who carried them down the summer stretch.
It just so happened that everything went well for the Mets in 2015. The team needs long term security and sustaining success. They can not afford to keep making trades that make them good for a half a year.
What is so frustrating about this is that the fans were lied to. In 2014 Jeff Wilpon came out saying the team would spend money once their bad contracts came off the books.
“We haven’t set a payroll for next year, but I can tell you we’re ready to invest with those big contracts coming off the books,” Wilpon said. “We have the money to invest. We’re going to invest it prudently.” Wilpon told WFAN back in 2014.
The Mets projected payroll as it stands today will be roughly $6.5 million dollars higher than it was in the previous year. The sad part of this is the $6.5 million dollars is coming from arbitration eligible players, and the two measly signings the team made this off-season. The worst part of it all is that the Wilpons said they were going to invest in players to make the team better, and they have not shown remote interest in guys that would put the team over the top offensively.
Lies, lies and more lies have surrounded the team for the better part of the decade.
It’s depressing as a fan to see ownership show practically no interest in making the team better. Names Like Robert Kraft and Marc Cuban will do anything and everything to make their teams better. The Mets need owners like these men, guys that will dedicate the majority of their time to making the team better, and build for a championship.
The Wilpons are a disgrace to sports. They should in no way, shape, or form should be allowed to own a professional sports franchise. They are atrocious, fowl, putrid, godawful, and disgraceful owners who have sucked every once of hope out of the hearts and souls of Mets fans.
We are just a few months removed from one of the most magical seasons the Mets have had in a long time, and we find ourselves talking about ownership instead of how excited we are to get back to baseball. Ownership and lack of resources have been the talk in Mets baseball for the past eight years, and it needs to stop now.
Open up the bank, make some trades, and focus on winning a championship for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Ownership needs to do their part. Mets fans trusted ownership, believed in ownership, and have waited for ownership to resolve their financial issues. Now, ownership needs to live up to their end of the deal and deliver a championship for the fans and city of New York. Enough is enough, this starving crowd is ready for change and the Wilpon family needs to fulfill their promises.
We have waited for far to long to see our team hoist the trophy at the end of the season and the owners are the only people standing in our way of our dream becoming a reality.
I opened up to the world of social media, so the fans could voice their opinion in the ownership situation.
“The Wilpons expect us loyal fans to pony up NY big market prices for tickets to games, cost of parking, and the concessions, without their commitment to fielding a club worthy of the NY market. It’s a one sided loyalty thing. The Wilpons are simply content to make the bottomline, the bottomline. No premium is placed on winning a World Title. They have no problem playing little brother to the team in the Bronx. Fans have clearly demonstrated they will come if the product is worthy of their hard earned money. This team is on the precipice of winning a title, yet no urgency is demonstrated by this ownership. They are more than content that advanced ticket sales are way up. Ticket plans are being sold, and the fans will pack the park in 2016 fueled by the enthusiasm of an NL pennant. Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and their minions lack the urgency and desire to finish the deal. They care about the profit margin. That at the end of the day is most important. Met fans are being subjected to the frugal whims of an ownership that places no premium on winning championships. Other teams are loading up for runs at the title. No such moves from these guys. They charge NY prices for tickets, parking, and concessions, while running the club like it was based in Milwaukee. The owners frugality is basically wasting the best years of our blue chip starting pitching. It’s disheartening and frustrating. I’ve been a 47 year fan since 1968 at the age of five. I raised my kids to be Met fans. Where is the reciprocity in loyalty from this ownership?” said Stu Austien
“Article on the Wilpons? Dont you mean WONTpons? WONT spend money, WONT show us they want to win, WONT keep their word when they said if the fans show up they will spend, WONT do anything and everything needed to bring home a championship…” said Donnie Wallhangaz
“Disrespected is how I feel. I’ve been a Met fan nearly 50 years. There is no excuse for not spending a big bat. We supported you all thru they’re Madoff scheme, now after what I would call a very respectful season plus the revenue generated from the playoffs, it just makes me feel used!” said John Poinelli
“Pathetic…..trying desperately to recover lost money that was jerked out of their pockets by a “FRIEND” and using the team’s resources and profits to do so……this has NOTHING to do with baseball….if MLB punished the Dodgers for doing less why is this sham still going on?” said Jack Gulino
“I am a season ticket holder of 4 seats costing me $15,000 a season. I don’t think I need to explain why I am pissed off. If I need to explain why I am pissed off, then the problem is far worse than I can imagine. We are blowing an incredible opportunity at a dynasty and the only way this will end is if the Wilpons are gone, because they will NEVER spend big money with their issues. said Pete Lymberopoulos
Mets fans have spoken and a majority of all fans are in agreement. Spend money or sell the team.
Something that can always boost the spirits of anyone in any situation is hope, and right now that word is dwindling away at the hands of the Wilpon family.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/239882595″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
The bottom line of all this is we the fans deserve better than what we have. We have are the best fans in the game and all love the Mets. We expect the same out of our owners.
Baseball is a game of romance that produces an unlimited amount of unforgettable moments. Mets fans have seen a number of these moments over the course of the franchises existence. From their first championship, to the Miracle Mets, the 2001 Piazza homerun, and now the unforgettable 2015 season, Mets fans everywhere are sitting, waiting, and hoping to write and witness another chapter in the unforgettable book of Mets baseball.
So Wilpons, Mets fans challenge you to live up to your promises and complete the journey that has been the rebuilding process. Build a dynasty and and make baseball history.
We know you can do it. Will you?