I know all about the media in this town as I have both been a New Yorker all my life and have covered the Mets for over 20 years but it must be said the hatchet job being done on the Wilpons is both unfair and misguided. I can not say I am surprised but enough is enough already.
Is it so hard to understand that a lawyer in a lawsuit brought against the Wilpons would try to exert pressure by leaking details of the lawsuit in order to either extract a settlement or a much richer one? Yet, until this morning no one in the media even entertained that notion. I know very little about the legalties of this case but it would be hard for me to believe that the Wilpons would get a fair shake in court if those sealed documents were released on February 9. They are high profile public figures and as such, it would be hard to try this case in court after it has been litigated in the "court of public opinion."
So, the question remains why would Wilpons offer to settle here? Simply put, these stories are damaging their ability to do business because of all the negative publicity. It stands to reason this has hurt their ability to pursue players, sell tickets, and even generate revenue for advertising both inside the stadium and on SNY. I am sure they want this resolved for those reasons and a variety of others including the care and concern for families affected by this.
The offer to pursue minority ownership is to defray the cost settling these cases might have on the Mets ability to conduct business in the way a New York franchise should. While we are on that topic, lets be clear that the Met payroll is still one of the highest in baseball and while you may quibble on how they spent it, make no mistake their payroll levels are more than enough to win. This notion that the Wilpons do not invest in their team is pure nonsense fabricated by people who never let facts get in the way of a good story or have an ax to grind with either the Wilpons or the past general manager who was treated very unfairly in many corners of the media as well.
My sense is the Mets tactic of letting a new general manager advocating a wait and see approach once he can truly evaluate his players is a sound strategy. And more to the point, it is a strategy that would have been employed whether the Madoff case wreaked its ugly head or not. But if you hear the media tell it, the case has been tried and completed before we even have all of the facts.
I wrote in this blog just a few days ago that we should all take a wait and see approach whichever side of the fence we sit on and let the evidence guide you once it comes out. You can not do that when info about the case is leaked to the media by a lawyer who has a hidden agenda and because of that, so much is being assumed before we know all the facts.
And that is just flat out wrong.