Why Major League Baseball Must Compel the New York Mets’ Sale

by Mr. Met

The above is a presentation in which we argue that in the interest of the New York Mets and Major League Baseball as a whole, Commissioner Rob Manfred must force the sale of the club.

In this presentation we show that the Mets’ on-field struggles are directly tied to a cash-strapped, fundamentally dishonest ownership group that has harmed the reputation of the franchise and destroyed the value of the team, to the detriment of the fans and Major League baseball itself.

This presentation was borne out of frustration with our beloved Mets, who have been mired in mediocrity for the last six seasons, and are being operated as a small market club despite inhabiting the largest market in the country.

Following several years of running off contracts and swapping proven players for prospects — all while proclaiming that the Mets were financially sound and ready to pursue free agents in the wake of the collapse of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme — the Mets have produced a number of successful young players.

In spite of this influx of young talent that screams for the addition of several additional veterans to put the team over the top, this offseason the Mets effectively sat on their hands with only one major free agent signing, of an outfielder who will turn 36 on opening day and played in only 49 games in 2014. Meanwhile, competitors such as the Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins improved significantly while taking on major new financial commitments.

With the Mets projecting to have a payroll in the bottom third of Major League Baseball, and a substantial amount of debt coming due in 2015, something has to give, or the window to win a World Series will quickly close on a talented young club.

That we are even talking about a window to win incidentally speaks to the weakness of an ownership group that has never produced a sustained run of success, with the Mets under Wilpon majority ownership making the playoffs only once in 11 years.

In spite of proclamations from Mets brass and former Commissioner Bud Selig to the contrary, it is abundantly clear to all who have followed this club under Wilpon ownership that management does not have the financial wherewithal to operate the Mets competitively, as evidenced by a series of emergency capital raises and refinancings, all while payroll has plummeted.

Moreover, as mentioned, management has tarnished the reputation of the club not only due to its Madoff investments and mediocre play, but a series of embarrassing public relations blunders that speak to an incompetence, tone-deafness and fundamental dishonesty that disrespects the fans and the game of baseball itself.

There is a recent precedent for taking a team out of the control of an ownership group that is damaging a franchise and the game itself in the form of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which have since become a perennial contender.

We believe that similarly, baseball must act swiftly in order to replace the Wilpons with an ownership group that has the financial strength, acumen, competence and credibility to restore the Mets as the competitive, entertaining, fan-friendly franchise that New York and Major League Baseball deserves.