I was reading an artcle from the New York Times this morning and one part really struck me:
Selig may never tell Wilpon he has to sell. But Selig could be waiting for banks to grow so concerned that they demand that Wilpon sell the team he has owned, outright since 2002, to recover all they are owed.
“Bud would leave the dirty work to the banks,” said one banker who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It would be easy for him to ask Fred’s bankers, ‘How’s that loan going?’ ”
-New York Times
Why? Bud Selig cracked down hard on the Dodgers this year, setting a deadline for Frank McCourt to sell the prestigious organization. Here’s what is likely the answer to this question (from the same article):
Despite setting a ceiling on debt, M.L.B. can be selective in how it enforces the rule. Selig found it easy to push Tom Hicks to sell the Rangers because he had defaulted on $530 million in loans to the Rangers and the Dallas Stars. Selig engaged in a long-running battle with the Dodgers’ owner, Frank McCourt, who had engaged in financial and personal conduct Selig judged to be detrimental to the team and to baseball, and cajoled him into agreeing to sell the important franchise.
But he has indulged Wilpon, a friend and ally for 30 years. Unlike McCourt, Wilpon has tried to find minority partners to resolve his continuing cash crunch. So Selig has not installed a monitor to oversee the Mets as he did with McCourt. Selig has in the last few months witnessed the collapse of a deal to sell one-third of the Mets to the hedge-fund wizard David Einhorn, the failure of the Mets to repay baseball’s $25 million loan on time, and the slow pace of the sale of the 10 minority shares.
- New York Times
To me, this is a sign that the system is broken. Fans and players have been complaining about the power Roger Goodell has in the National Football League, but this issue is far greater. If owners cannot afford to own their franchise anymore and they’re being too stubborn to sell, it shouldn’t matter if they have friends in high places. Major League Baseball even has a debt cap in which owners are not allowed to pass, but the Mets were, likely because the Wilpons are close to Selig. Doesn’t this sound wrong?
Let me know what you think on Twitter or in the comments section, which you can access by clicking the article title and scrolling down.