BOB: Mets on the blockby Brian Borawski
February 02, 2011
Fred Wilpon puts minority stake in Mets up for saleLate last week, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced that he was going to sell a minority stake because of the Bernie Madoff scandal. Wilpon invested in Madoff’s ponzi scheme and while he actually walked away with more money than he put into the fund, he’s probably going to have to give back a large part of that money, so the losses are spread amongst all of Madoff’s investors.
As it stands, the trustee for the victims of the Bernie Madoff scandal are suing Wilpon and part of their argument is that Wilpon either knew or should have known that Madoff was one big fraud. To add fuel to the fire, Wilpon and his partner, Saul Katz, had to repay some gains from another ponzi scheme that was run by Samuel Israel III because they pulled their money out of that fund shortly before it collapsed.
For now, Wilpon is trying to keep control of the team, but that will ultimately depend on how this lawsuit goes. That makes the Houston Astros and Mets up for sale while the Los Angeles Dodgers are in limbo.
McCourt fires attorneys that drew up post-nupFirst off, I want to apologize for the mistake I made a couple of weeks ago in my last report. In the piece I said that McCourt owned Fox and I’m not quite sure where that came from. Anyway, it’s a mistake worth correcting and Fox actually owned the team and sold it to McCourt.
With that, latest divorce drama revolves around the marital property agreement that basically cost Frank McCourt outright ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a result of that, McCourt cut his ties with Bingam McCutchen, the firm that drafted the agreement. There’s also still a chance that he sues the law firm—the big reason is that an attorney for the firm changed the agreement after both of the McCourts signed it, and he did it without telling either one of them.
Diamondbacks, Rockies spring training home nears completionSalt River Fields at Talking Stick, the new spring training home for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies is almost done, and not a moment too soon with pitchers and catchers reporting in a couple of weeks. In all, the new facility cost $100 million and it’ll be the first facility of its kind located on Native American property. The first game that’ll be played at the facility will be between the Rockies and Diamondbacks on February 26. Who gets to be the home team?
New Hampshire ballpark gets new nameThe New Hampshire Fisher Cats and Northeast Delta Dental announced a long term partnership that includes the stadium naming rights for Delta Dental Stadium. Northeast Delta Dental has been a sponsor for the Fisher Cats in the past and this led up to the new and expanded partnership.
Minor League renovationsOne of Ben Hill’s latest pieces takes a look at three minor league ballparks that are getting face lifts. The Tacoma Rainers, Reading Phillies and South Bend Silver Hawks all play in older facilities but they’re hoping that these renovations help drive up attendance. The Rainers renovation by itself is a $30 million project and that one includes a new concourse and concession area.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.