Wilpon addresses financial rumors
While we don’t know the exact amount of money, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon lost a hefty sum in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme that was revealed last year. While everyone knew he took a hit, Erin Arvedlund,the author of an upcoming book on the scandal, made a comment that it wasn’t a matter of “if.” It was a matter of when Wilpon would have to sell the team to recoup some of his losses. In response to that, Wilpon came out last week and said that his family is fine and that he had no intention of selling the team.
Wilpon also said that the rumored $700 million that he lost wasn’t an accurate number and that it was a much smaller sum. He reiterated that he wanted his son and grandchildren to work for the Mets in the future and that he has an emotional attachment to the team. MLB president Bob DuPuy backed Wilpon as well by saying that the numbers he’s seen from quarterly filings show no financial duress.
Royals extend general manager’s contract
It almost looked like the Kansas City Royals might be on track at the beginning of this year but they’ve fallen hard. That didn’t stop the team from extending the contract of Dayton Moore, the team’s general manager, through 2014. Moore exercised his option for 2011, and then the Royals gave him three more years on top of that despite the team’s 50-80 record this year. Prior to joining the Royals in 2006, Moore spent several years in the Atlanta Braves organization.
George Steinbrenner sued by former MSG executive
Bob Gutkowski, the former president of MSG Network, is suing New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for fraud and breach of contract. MSG Network carried the Yankees on television until the YES Network was set up, and Gutkowski claims that he had several meetings with Steinbrenner to discuss the idea of a Yankees network. He’s also claiming that he laid the ground work in a presentation that showed the Yankees’ front office how to build a regional sports network.
George Steinbrenner hasn’t been out in public much, and it’s curious that Gutkowski named him as the sole defendant. A spokesman for Steinbrenner said that Gutkowski’s claims were false.
Harrisburg atop MiLB food chain
Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal recently unveiled its rankings of the top Minor League Baseball markets and at the top of the list was Hershey-Harrisburg, Penn. The three categories rated include tenure rank, attendance rank and economic rank. Harrisburg passed a two-stage renovation to Metro Bank Park that’s created a pop in attendance. The team has also boosted its efforts in the community, resulting in a 10 percent increase in advertising revenue.
The rankings are released every two years. The last time around, Hershey-Harrisburg came in second place. Fort Wayne, Ind and Tulsa, Okla. were second and third this year, respectively.
Michigan and Detroit squabble over final Tiger Stadium demolition
It’s a sad sight, but Tiger Stadium still stands. The city approved the final demolition of the stadium, but in the past few weeks, things have been at a standstill because of “territorial negotiations” between the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. The issue is an elevator tower that’s close to Michigan Avenue. Permission was required by the state to close down the street, and the bureaucracy is efficient as ever because now things are at a standstill. The permit was finally issued last week, so now the plans are for the final tear down to happen by October 1.