The other week I attended a blogger event at Citi Field for the Mets versus Marlins series. While I was there I was conversing with some of my fellow bloggers in arms and we talked about the 800 lb gorilla in the room. I said ” You know the minute after the Mets finish the ’12 season all eyes and questions will not be about how the Mets finished the season – but about how much the payroll will be for 2013″.
Well I guess I was technically wrong because it seems like the 800 lb gorilla got hungry and made his presence known by mid August. Last night Adam Rubin -the Mets beat reporter from ESPN.com broke the story that next years payroll will most likely be the same as this years ( in the low to mid 90 million dollar range). I know this will not sit well with the majority of the fan base (myself included) – but this shouldn’t come as much as a surprise.
Since spring training Sandy Alderson – the Mets G.M has been very upfront and on the record about the teams ability to add payroll. Yes the team did play extremely well the first half of this season – but Citi Field was far from sold out. And for a franchise that was hanging their hopes of financial solvency on ticket sales it is a safe bet that this season too was a losing season. I know what you are saying – the Wilpons sold 12 minority shares of the team for over 200 million bucks. Well hate to break this to you but that went to pay down debt that they were about default on (including that 20 million dollar bridge loan from the MLB).
Yes the Mets will have at least 15 million dollars coming off the books ( Cedeno, Rauch, Byrdak) and it looks like the Mets will not tender either Mike Pelfrey or Andres Torres contracts but with raises to Dickey, Wright, Bay, Santana and the newly extended Jonathan Niese will negate that. It appears that Sandy might just have about 10 – 15 million dollars to spend to plug up holes via free agency (so we should expect another off season of dumpster diving for acquisitions).
Yes we can’t stand this belt tightening – but when you see the available outfield free agents – there are no players other than Michael Bourne that are worth the big bucks they will get – and the Mets will not spend money on starting pitching – especially when it looks like both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler will be in the starting rotation by the middle of the season.
Look I am not a Wilpon apologist – but like a fellow blogger said “ The Wilpon’s will do everything they can to keep this team – even if it means selling their jets, yachts, mansions and taking up residence at Citi Field until their financial woes improve.
So yes my fellow Mets fans – the curse of Madoff has hardly been lifted. Maybe by 2014 the front office will be allowed to act like a big market franchise – but in the meantime that hungry 800 lb gorilla will be taking up residence in Flushing
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:
Mets utility infielder from ’75-’77, Mike Phillips is ’62 (1950).
Current color commentator for Mets televised broadcasts – and on of the best pitchers in Mets history, Ron Darling is 52(1960).
Utility man from ’96-’00, Matt Franco is 43 (1969). Don’t forget he’s related to Kurt Russell.
Middle reliever from ’98-99, Jeff Tam is 42 (1970).
Starting pitcher from last season, Chris Capuano is 34 (1978).
The New York Mets sold the contract of spot starter/middle reliever, Wayne Twitchell to the Seattle Mariners on August 19, 1979.
The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Mike Marshall on August 19, 1981. Mike appeared in 20 games for the Mets that season – finishing with a record of 3-2 with a E.R.A of 2.61. The Mets would release him that off season.
Mo Vaughn and Popeye’s spicy fried chicken do not pair well together – TRUST ME !!!!