Forgive New York Mets fans if they're not swelling with pride over being connected to one of the biggest investment frauds in the history of money. But will the Madoff Scandal affect the Mets' ability to sign players?
In case your local paper has already eliminated its business section, the facts are these: Sterling Equities, managed by New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, lost a bundle in Bernard Madoff's big ponzi scheme; for which the former NASDAQ chief was arrested by the FBI on Dec. 10 and forced to do the Charlie Sheen Wall Street perp walk out of his office.
Just how much money Sterling Enterprises lost is not known; but the question remains, will the Mets be paying newly-signed Francisco Rodriguez in live poultry for the 2009 season? And what if Omar Minaya wants to, like, sign some other guys? Or perhaps, better yet, we'll see the glorious dawn of $30 hot dogs at Citi Field? Well, as we learn through Darren Rovell at CNBC, the Mets say everything's cool.
The Mets just released this statement: "This news does not affect the day-to-day operations and long-term plans of the Mets organization and the Citi Field project."
Now we just have to sit back and watch and speculate and see if they still go after scoring a decent pitcher or a leftfielder.
By the way, Rovell "wants to make it clear" that Sterling could have lost as much as $300 million in the Madoff scheme, but the money lost was in Sterling Equities and not in Sterling Stamos Capital Management. I'm not going to pretend I understand the relevance, but there it is.
So if the Mets suddenly stop making deals, at least this time we'll know why. (Tiny Jon Stewart voice) "We're broke!" When you think about it, isn't being a sports fan pretty much like being the victim of a Ponzi scheme to begin with? The principle behind every Ponzi scheme, after all, is to exploit investor naïveté, and can you think of a better example of that than following the Mets? Their existing fan base is built upon the crushed hopes and broken dreams of the fans that have gone before. OK, a little extreme. Sorry.