Isn't It About Time MLB Takes Over The Mets?

It's "un-American," Frank McCourt would say. But so are monopolies, and baseball enjoys a one-of-a-kind antitrust exemption, thus Bud Selig pretty much has the power to do whatever the hell he wants. Why not flex those muscles and save the Mets from their owners?

They're already getting cushy loans to continue operations: $25 million in November from Selig's discretionary coffers, on top of $75 million previously borrowed from Major League Baseball. Then they asked for more.

Still small potatoes. While Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are reticent to disclose exactly how in the hole they are, they've been forced to open up some of their books to potential investors (because, you see, they need those investors' money to stay afloat). One anonymous prospective buyer spills the beans to Fortune, and it's not pretty. They crunch the numbers and say the Mets are carrying closer to $625 million in debt.

So what's the difference between Wilpon and McCourt? Jon Heyman attempted to tackle this one, arguing that Mets ownership has been generally respectable and trustworthy but just made one terrible non-baseball move when they invested with Bernie Madoff, whereas the McCourts have made bizarre decisions almost regularly.

But then, the Mets will still be paying Bret Saberhagen and Bobby Bonilla through the next two decades.

No, it's much more likely Bud Selig picks and chooses his power plays on a whim, or based on how much he likes the owner he'd need to shove out.