Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Mets’ Category

When Francisco Rodriguez slammed the door on the Yankees in last night’s Subway Series opener, the Mets’ players on the field and fans in the stands celebrated joyously. The executives in the front office, however, probably weren’t as jubilant.

A Bronx-bound Krod could save the Mets a lot of money.

Thanks to a lucrative option in Rodriguez’ contract, every Mets’ game that concludes with Krod on the mound brings the team closer to a financial disaster. That’s why even a win against the hated Yankees comes with at least a tinge of regret from those who write the checks.

According to the option, if Rodriguez finishes 100 games over 2010 and 2011, a guaranteed salary of $17.5 million automatically vests for 2012. Because the closer polished off 46 games last year, the economic time bomb will be triggered when he finishes his 54th game this season. Last night was the 18th time the embattled closer was the last man standing for the Mets, meaning there are 36 games left to go. Tick, tick, tick.

Regardless of how well he is pitching, you can bet Sandy Alderson & Co. are not relishing the idea of a $17.5 million closer in 2012. One solution would be to place pressure on Terry Collins to limit Rodriguez’ use, but that would not only lead to a public relations nightmare, but also another expensive lawsuit. So, unless Rodriguez develops an injury, there really is no way for the Mets to avoid triggering the costly option. Or is there?

Krod currently has a limited 10-team no trade clause, so if the Mets could ship him to one of the other 19 teams, they’d be able to wash their hands of the option. Unfortunately for Alderson, teams probably won’t be lining up to add Rodriguez and his expensive 2012 poison pill. However, what if the Mets could find a team that wouldn’t need to use Krod as the closer, yet still being willing and able to pay him handsomely to serve as a setup man? The answer to that question is currently sitting right across the field.

Would Soriano and the Yankees be better off if the reliever was traded to Flushing?

Although the offense is by far the Yankees’ greatest concern at the moment (just ask Soriano; he’d be the first to tell you), the performance of Rafael Soriano has probably been a close second. The signing of the former Rays’ closer caused a rift within the organization when everyone expected he would pitch well setting up for Mariano Rivera, so you can imagine the dissension now that things haven’t gone according to plan. Because it seems unlikely that Soriano would exercise the opt out in his contract, the Yankees are staring at two more years of the grumpy reliever at a cost of $25 million. In many ways, the Soriano contract has become the Yankees’ very own ticking time bomb.

The Yankees and Mets are not frequent trading partners, but in this case, it seems as if each team has the answer to the other’s problem. Assuming the Yankees are not on Krod’s no-trade list, why not simply swap Soriano for Rodriguez?

At face value, the idea probably seems a little silly, but consider the financial ramifications. The cornerstone of the idea is a trade to the Yankees would effectively end any chance of Rodriguez reaching the 2012 option guarantee, thereby converting a $17.5 million salary into a $2.5 million buyout. The next step would then become determing how best to divide the savings.

Sharing the Savings: Financial Breakdown of a Proposed Deal

 Current Mets Yankees
  Francisco Rodriguez Rafael Soriano
2011 $8,625,000 $7,500,000
2012 $17,500,000 $11,000,000
2013 $0 $14,000,000
Total $26,125,000 $32,500,000
     
 Proposed Mets Yankees
  Rafael Soriano Francisco Rodriguez
2011 $7,500,000 $8,625,000
2012 $11,000,000 $2,500,000
2013 $14,000,000 $0
Sub Total $32,500,000 $11,125,000
Cash $13,875,000 -$13,875,000
Total $18,625,000 $25,000,000
     
Net Benefit $7,500,000 $7,500,000

Note: 2011 figures are pro-rated salaries. The 2012 amount for Rodriguez in the proposed structure is a $2.5 million buyout.
Source: mlbcontracts.blogspot.com

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Jason Giambi used three titanic blasts into the right field stands at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark to turn back the clock for at least one game. In addition to the three homers, which doubled his season’s hit total, Giambi also knocked in seven runs, becoming one of a select few to accomplish each feat over the age of 40.

Giambi watches second of three HRs leave the ballpark (Photo: AP)

By joining the list of 40-somethings who have homered three times in one game, Giambi entered rarified territory shared only by Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson, Stan Musial and Babe Ruth. At one time, Giambi also seemed destined for Cooperstown, but the combination of a late career breakdown and the stain of performance enhancing drugs has all but ensured that he won’t be joining those others in the Plaque Gallery.

Like the Bambino, the “Giambino” had never before belted three homers in a game. Also like the Babe, Giambi’s accomplishment came amid what seems to be the waning days of his career. When Reggie belted his third trio of long balls, he was still a regular with one year left in the tank, but he too was on steady path toward retirement. Musial, however, was still going strong when he went deep three times against the Mets on July 8, 1962.

Three HR Games at 40

Player Age Date Tm Opp PA R H HR RBI
Stan Musial 41.229 7/8/1962 STL NYM 5 3 3 3 4
Jason Giambi 40.131 5/19/2011 COL PHI 5 3 3 3 7
Reggie Jackson 40.123 9/18/1986 CAL KCR 6 4 3 3 7
Babe Ruth 40.108 5/25/1935 BSN PIT 4 3 4 3 6

Source: Baseball-reerence.com

Seven RBI Games at 40

Player Age Date Tm Opp PA R H HR RBI
Stan Musial 40.214 6/23/1961 STL SFG 5 2 2 2 7
Jason Giambi 40.131 5/19/2011 COL PHI 5 3 3 3 7
Reggie Jackson 40.123 9/18/1986 CAL KCR 6 4 3 3 7

Source: Baseball-reerence.com

When Musial victimized the hapless Mets, he was not only months from turning 42, but also in the midst of yet another MVP-caliber season. Entering the game, Stan the Man was hitting .325/.395/.476, leaving some to wonder if he’d ever slow down. “I don’t want to give that boy any ideas,” Mets’ manager Casey Stengel observed, “but the way he’s hitting he can hang around in this business two or three more years easily”.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Toward the end of Friday afternoon’s edition of the Michael Kay radio show, which was being co-hosted by Don La Greca and Bill Daughtry, the conversation shifted toward the favorite myth of the middle-aged sports media (and many older fans): baseball’s decline in popularity.

Lincecum Meets the Mets on May 4 at Citifield (Photo: AP)

Every objective piece of statistical evidence suggests that baseball is more popular now than it has ever been. From attendance to revenue to local RSN television ratings, more people are enjoying the national pastime than ever before. However, that didn’t stop La Greca and Daughtry from lamenting about waning interest in the game.

As evidence for their opinion, the hosts pointed to the attendance for Tim Lincecum’s recent start at Citifield. Before the game, the Mets were averaging 27,022 fans per game, but 29,333 poured through the turnstiles to see the Wednesday evening game against the Giants. Considering the persistent rain that fell earlier in the day, a 9% increase seemed like a solid boost, but La Greca and Daughtry were not impressed.

Back in the good old days, the hosts fondly recalled, a marquee name like Lincecum would have created such a buzz in the city that fans would have flocked to Shea to watch him, even during the franchise’s darkest days in the late-1970s and early-1980s. The relatively tepid response to Lincecum, La Greca and Daughtry argued, was further evidence that baseball no longer resonated like it once did.

There are two obvious counters to that argument. The first is the proliferation of baseball games on television has removed the urgency to see star players when they come to town. If a fan in New York wants to watch to Lincecum pitch, he can catch every single start on television or over the internet. What’s more, because of the advancements in technology, the best place to actually observe Lincecum’s pitching style is from the living room couch, not the ballpark.

Another fact neglected by this argument is the precipitous increase in baseball attendance versus 30 years ago. If the Mets maintain their average attendance, the number of people watching baseball in Flushing will be two to three times greater than at any point between 1977 and 1983. What’s more, the average attendance would also be higher than the one recorded by the 1969 championship team.

Even if you acknowledge baseball’s unprecedented popularity, La Greca’s and Daughtry’s point could still be valid. Regardless of the reason, it’s certainly possible that big names no longer serve as drawing cards. Verifying that claim would take mountains of research, but it isn’t that difficult to analyze the specific suggestion that Shea Stadium used to fill up for legendary mound opponents.

In order to test the veracity of this claim, games between 1974 and 1984 were considered (all years in which the Mets’ attendance lagged). Then, a list of 14 Hall of Fame pitchers active in the National League during that period was pared down to four indisputable legends: Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, and Bob Gibson. Finally, the attendance at Shea Stadium for every game started by that quartet was compared to the season average. The results of that comparison are presented in the graphs below (click to make larger).

Drawing Cards: A Look at Shea Stadium Attendance for Select Legends, 1974-1984

Note: Blue area represents actual game attendance; orange outline represents season average.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Mathewson recorded 28 games with 10 or more strikeouts while pitching for the New York Giants.

Last night, Tim Lincecum established the Giants’ franchise record for most 10 strikeout games by a pitcher. By punching out 12 New York Mets, the wiry right hander established the new mark at 29, an impressive accomplishment considering he has only started 129 games.

Lincecum has led the National League in strikeouts during each of his three full seasons in the majors. At that pace, more than a few franchise and major league records are likely to fall. However, it is a little surprising that the Giants’ mark for 10-strikeout games was so low. After all, the organization boasts such legendary names as Christy Mathewson (the pitcher Lincecum surpassed), Carl Hubbell, and Juan Marichal.

A close examination of the current 10K kings for each organization mostly reveals a host of usual suspects. It should surprise no one that Nolan Ryan sits atop the leader board for three organizations, but the Express isn’t the only pitcher to wear the crown for more than one franchise. Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez also enjoy that distinction. Seeing names like Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Walter Johnson, and Bob Gibson preside over their respective team leader boards further illustrates that this particular honor is usually reserved for elite company.

Most Games with 10 Strikeouts by Franchise (click to make larger)

*The White Sox record only dates back to 1919. The season numbers of Ed Walsh strongly suggest that he is the franchise’s record holder.
#Rube Waddell recorded 70 games with 10 or more strikeouts, but the exact amount that occurred with the Athletics could not be determined. However, it is high likely that the total far surpassed the 21 games recorded by both Lefty Grove and Vida Blue.
Source: Baseball- reference.com and Baseball Digest (February 1996)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Pedro Feliciano didn’t make this much news when he was almost literally pitching every day for the Mets, but in his short tenure with the Yankees, the once durable lefty has become a hot topic because of his inability to take the ball.

Scott Proctor led the American League with 83 appearances in 2006. Since then, his career has been plagued by various arm injuries.

When the Yankees signed Feliciano back in January, the reliever market had exploded and quality left handers were a scarce commodity. So, although the two-year, $8 million deal given to the reliever was a bit of an overpay, it still appeared to be a worthy signing. After Feliciano’s most recent MRI, which revealed a tear in his shoulder capsule, that no longer seems to be the case.

It’s easy to slam Brian Cashman for sinking so much money into a 34-year old pitcher coming off three straight seasons in which he led the league in games pitched, especially after the Yankees’ GM stated that Feliciano was abused during his time as a Met. Such a statement naturally led many to wonder why Cashman would pursue the signing if he felt Feliciano might be damaged goods, but the issue is much more complicated. After all, Feliciano’s workload could just as easily have been interpreted as a sign of extraordinary durability instead of evidence that his shoulder was a ticking time bomb. Based on the other options available, Cashman took a calculated risk. Unfortunately for him, it exploded in his face.

The Yankees aren’t strangers to signing free agent relievers with a history of heavy workloads. In 2003, the team inked Paul Quantrill to a two-year deal following three seasons in which he too led the league in appearances. In his first season with the Yankees, Quantrill led the league for a record fourth straight time, but after bouncing around with three teams in 2005, his career was over. Steve Kline was the only other reliever to lead the league in appearances for three straight seasons with a minimum of 80 games in each year, but he showed no ill effects from the workload. Following his trifecta, Kline pitched in at least 66 games over the next six seasons.

Seasons with Over 80 Appearances

Pitcher Yrs From To Age
Paul Quantrill* 5 1998 2004 29-35
Kent Tekulve 4 1978 1987 31-40
Pedro Feliciano* 3 2008 2010 31-33
Peter Moylan 3 2007 2010 28-31
Ray King 3 2001 2004 27-30
Steve Kline* 3 1999 2001 26-28
Mike Stanton 3 1996 2006 29-39
Mike Marshall 3 1973 1979 30-36


*Led the league with at least 80 appearances in three straight seasons.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Another season is upon us, and so too is the time for predictions. Listed below are my forecasts for the regular season standings as well as the major award winners. In addition, a capsule for each team is provided below. For what it’s worth, the Captain’s Blog did a pretty good job predicting the standings last year, so feel free to take these prognostications to Vegas. Just don’t send me the bill at the end of September.  

AL East W L   NL East W L
Yankees 94 68   Phillies 93 69
Red Sox 91 71   Braves 90 72
Rays 84 78   Marlins 84 78
Blue Jays 82 80   Mets 74 88
Orioles 76 86   Nationals 68 94
             
AL Central W L   NL Central W L
White Sox 91 71   Cubs 89 73
Twins 87 75   Brewers 87 75
Tigers 80 82   Cardinals 83 79
Indians 76 86   Reds 82 80
Royals 60 102   Astros 70 92
        Pirates 67 95
             
AL West W L   NL West W L
Angels 88 74   Giants 90 72
As 85 77   Rockies 84 78
Rangers 83 79   Dodgers 81 81
Mariners 65 97   Padres 77 85
        Dbacks 69 93

ALCS: Yankees over White Sox
NLCS: Phillies over Braves
World Series: Yankees over Phillies

AL Cy Young: David Price
NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez
NL MVP: Prince Fielder

AL ROY: Kyle Drabek
NL ROY: Domonic Brown

American League East

Yankees: A lot has been made of the uncertainty in the backend of the Yankees’ rotation, but dire assessments made on that basis seem to ignore that the team had 68 games started by a pitcher with an ERA+ of 86 or lower…and still managed to win 95 games Last year, the team led all of baseball with a wOBA of .347, despite off years from Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, all of whom could rebound in 2011. If Curtis Granderson is able to build on his second half resurgence and Brett Gardner continues to evolve as an offensive player, the combination of a dynamic offense and deep bullpen should be more than enough to keep the Yankees atop the East.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

Ever since “Moneyball was published in 2003, authors have been lining up to tell the next best tale of mind triumphing over money when it comes to building a winning baseball team. Michael Lewis’ controversial look inside the front office of the Oakland Athletics not only spawned needless controversy and endless debate, but also inspired a litany of books, essays and articles about how various teams had broken the mold to uncover the keys to success.

According to Lewis, the Oakland Athletics were successful because GM Billy Beane had adopted a philosophy that embraced non traditional means of player evaluation. Contrary to the initial reaction, it wasn’t so much a tale of scout versus calculator, or a treatise about the value of OBP, but really a story about how a small market team could compete without the same financial resources of the monoliths in the bigger cities. In other words, the book wasn’t really about a particular stat or means of player evaluation, but a more traditional tale of David versus Goliath. Since Moneyball, books like Tom Verducci’s “The Yankees Years” and Jonah Keri’s “The Extra 2%” have presented similar arguments for how the Red Sox and Rays, respectively, were able to compete toe-to-toe with the Yankees, although in Boston’s case, their sling shot was much bigger.

Did the Athletics considerable success in the early part of the 2000s stem from the realization that drawing a walk was an undervalued talent, or because Beane relied more on statistics than scouting reports? Were the Red Sox successful because they employed the sabermetric formulas of consultant Bill James? Could the Rays have risen from the ashes without the Wall Street strategies used by the team’s new ownership group? Although all seem like very simplistic assumptions, let’s leave those debates for another day. In the meantime, I am more interested in the story of how Goliath got to be so big.

The Growing Value Gap Between the Yankees and the Average MLB Team

Source: Forbes.com

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Lately, the Mets have suffered from baseball’s version of Murphy’s Law. Just when it looks like the team has hit rock bottom, something happens to bring about a new low. Most recently, the Mets decided to eat the final $6 million remaining on the contract of much maligned second baseman Luis Castillo, who then promptly signed with the rival Phillies. Although Sandy Alderson stated that he was fully aware of the possibility that Castillo could resurface in the division, you can bet everyone connected with the Mets cringed a bit at the thought of their albatross rising like a phoenix in Philadelphia.

The Mets finally threw in the towel on Oliver Perez by releasing lefty with $12 million left on his contract.

At some point, the Mets’ luck has to turn, but it almost seems inevitable that Castillo will rebound with the Phillies (although, he didn’t get off to a good start on his first day in camp). About the only thing worse would be if Oliver Perez, another Mets’ castoff who was released with $12 million remaining on his deal, resurfaced in the Bronx.

Almost immediately after the Mets’ decided to waive Perez, a report surfaced on Twitter suggesting that the Yankees had a mild interest in signing the erratic lefty. Just as quickly, however, GM Brain Cashman emphatically disavowed any interest in the Mets’ castoff, allowing both Yankees’ and Mets’ fans to breath a sigh of relief.

It’s easy to understand why the Mets would prefer to keep Perez out of town, but are the Yankees being a little short sighted? After all, taking a gamble on the Mets’ misfortune continuing seems like a pretty safe bet. Then again, karma has a way of meting out justice to those who prey on other’s misfortune, so steering clear of Perez is undoubtedly the way to go.

Whether the Mets are cursed by Murphy’s Law or just the residue of poor decisions, the chances of Perez resurfacing with success are slim to say the least. And, if history is an indicator, the chance of any player having success upon transferring between New York teams isn’t very good. In almost 50 years, there has been very little direct player movement between the cross town rivals, and when it does occur, the transactions are usually very minor in nature.

Cross Town Transfers

Player From Year WAR To Year WAR
Bob Friend Yankees 1966 -0.5 Mets 1966 -0.5
Hal Reniff Yankees 1967 -0.4 Mets 1967 0.1
Rick Cerone Yankees 1990 0.9 Mets 1991 1.4
Lee Gutterman Yankees 1992 -0.9 Mets 1992 -1
Mike Stanton Yankees 2002 1.8 Mets 2003 -0.1
Karim Garcia Yankees 2003 0.3 Mets 2004 -0.4
Miguel Cairo Yankees 2004 2 Mets 2005 -0.3
Player From Year WAR To Year WAR
Rafael Santana Mets 1987 0.3 Yankees 1988 -0.9
Paul Gibson Mets 1993 -0.1 Yankees 1993 0.2
Robin Ventura Mets 2001 2.3 Yankees 2002 3.9
Tony Clark Mets 2003 -0.4 Yankees 2004 0.4
Mike Stanton Mets 2004 1 Yankees 2005 -0.2
Miguel Cairo Mets 2005 -0.3 Yankees 2006 0.5

Note: Based on players who had consecutive seasons with at least 100 AB or 30 IP for the Yankees and Mets.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

Robin Ventura is the only player to have significant success after going from one New York to team to the other, either by trade or free agency. The Mets broke from tradition when they acquired David Justice (who was later traded to the Oakland Athletics) in exchange for Ventura, who went on to post a WAR of 3.9 and make the All Star team with the Yankees in 2002. Otherwise, only Rick Cerone has even had modest success making the switch. Chances are that if Perez was added to this list, his fate would fall in line with the others who have traded light blue pinstripes for navy blue. Things are bad for the Mets, but even the worst kind of luck has to have it limits.

Read Full Post »

Duke Snider’s Hall of Fame baseball career is ably defined by the statistics he compiled. However, it is his position as an ironic focal point in literature and song that have made his legacy even more enduring.

The book, of course, is Roger Kahn’s “The Boys of Summer”, which is more a story about the individuals on the early-1950s Dodgers than the team itself. In many ways, Kahn’s book, with its focus on the 1952 and 1953 seasons (the years he covered the team for the New York Herald Tribune) and often melancholy tone, permanently stamped those great Brooklyn teams as a hard luck lot whose failures are trumpeted ahead of their successes.

Now my old friend, The Bachelor; Well, he swore he was the Oklahoma Kid; And Cookie played hooky; To go and see the Duke; And me, I always loved Willie Mays; Those were the days!” – Lyrics from Terry Cashman’s “Talkin’ Baseball”

In 1981, songwriter Terry Cashman (known as Dennis Minogue when he was a pitcher in the Tigers’ farm system) wrote a baseball anthem that was called “Talkin’ Baseball”, but became better known by the thematic line that gave resonance to the song: “Willie, Mickey and the Duke”. Although Snider’s inclusion with the two immortals might seem like a nice tribute, the constant comparison was probably more of a curse. As great as Snider was during his career, the shadow cast by the two brighter stars in New York’s centerfield trinity was immense. As a result, Snider, like many of the teams for which he played, was often relegated to being an “also ran” just because he had the misfortune of playing the same position at the same time and in the same city as two of the game’s greatest players. Undoubtedly, that constant unfavorable comparison contributed to Snider having to wait 11 years before finally being inducted in the Hall of Fame.

Even though his career didn’t quite measure up to Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, Snider still has a whole host of accomplishments that make him worthy of being mentioned along side those greats. His performance in the 1955 World Series is a shining example. In that series, Snider belted four homeruns, knocked in seven and had an OPS of 1.210, helping the Dodgers finally overcome the Yankees, the perpetual hurdle that prevented the franchise from winning the World Series in five prior attempts. It should also be pointed out that Snider’s 1955 series performance may not have even been his best. In the 1952 World Series, he also had four homers with one more RBI and a higher OPS of 1.215, but the Dodgers lost a tough game seven to the Yankees.

If the good burghers of Brooklyn are pinching themselves with unaccustomed violence this morning, they need do so no longer. It wasn’t a dream folks. Implausible though it may seem, the Dodgers won the world championship for the first time in their history yesterday. Honest, injun. It really did happen.” – Arthur Daley, New York Times, October 5, 1955

As my tribute to the Duke, his postseason numbers are presented alongside Mays and Mantle (including a head-to-head comparison with the latter). At least in this one respect, Snider didn’t take a backseat to his more acclaimed centerfield counterpart.

Willie and Mickey versus the Duke, Relative Postseason Performance

Player G PA R HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
Willie 25 99 12 1 10 0.247 0.323 0.337 0.660
Mickey 65 273 42 18 40 0.257 0.374 0.535 0.908
The Duke 36 149 21 11 26 0.286 0.351 0.594 0.945

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Snider versus Mantle, Head-to-Head

Year Player G PA R HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
1952 Mantle 7 32 5 2 3 0.345 0.406 0.655 1.061
1952 Snider 7 31 5 4 8 0.345 0.387 0.828 1.215
                     
1953 Mantle 6 27 3 2 7 0.208 0.296 0.458 0.755
1953 Snider 6 27 3 1 5 0.320 0.370 0.560 0.930
                     
1955 Mantle 3 10 1 1 1 0.200 0.200 0.500 0.700
1955 Snider 7 28 5 4 7 0.320 0.370 0.840 1.210
                     
1956 Mantle 7 30 6 3 4 0.250 0.400 0.667 1.067
1956 Snider 7 30 5 1 4 0.304 0.433 0.478 0.912

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Read Full Post »

The news for the Mets keeps getting worse. Although most people expected a steady stream of pessimism to emanate from between the white lines, it’s really the organization’s bottom line that has been the greatest cause for concern.

Empty seats at CitiField could spell big trouble for the Wilpons.

By now, everyone should be familiar with Fred Wilpon’s entanglement in Bernie Madoff’s massive financial fraud, but lately even more distressing news has emerged. Earlier in the week, it was revealed that the Mets received a $25 million loan from Major League Baseball. Although such a transaction is not unprecedented, tapping into the central fund usually presages rougher times ahead (and sometimes an eventual sale). In the Mets’ case, we know the Wilpons followed up the November loan with the intention to sell a minority stake in the team. Since that announcement, no news of an impending sale has emerged, so if the Mets can’t take on a new partner soon, liquidity could continue to be an issue.

Compounding the Mets’ financial problems is interest in the team continues to wane. Despite opening brand new CitiField in 2009, attendance has declined thanks to two sub-.500 finishes. Unfortunately for the Mets, debt payments don’t abate when attendance does, and according to early reports, 2011 could see an even greater attendance decline. In an effort to reverse this trend, the Mets have not only enacted significant ticket discounts, but also revamped its ticket operations, including hiring a new head of sales. Of course, the 25-men on the active roster are the ones who really sell tickets, and it doesn’t seem as if reinforcements are on the way.

Financial empires can collapse over night, especially when they are constructed like a house of cards. Moving money from one entity to another works well when cash is plenty, but once liquidity dries up so does the organization’s financial health. The Wilpons are finding this out the hard way. According to several reports, including the lawsuit filed by Madoff trustee Irving H. Piccard, the Wilpons have used their other businesses to support the Mets, a lifeline that is now being cut off by their current financial predicament. Without the ability to fund the team’s operations from its own revenue, the Wilpons and their partners may have no choice but to sell out completely.

Adding insult to injury from a Mets’ point of view is the massive shadow being cast by the cross-town Yankees. Not only has the team enjoyed great fortune on the field (i.e., playoffs every year but 2008 since 1995, not to mention five championships and seven pennants in that span), but it continues to make one off it. Upon his passing, former Yankees’ principal owner George M. Steinbrenner was lauded greatly for the triumphs he helped the Yankees achieve on the diamond, but his best work was done in the boardroom. (more…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »