The Madoff Hits Just Keep on Coming for the Mets - NBC New York

The Madoff Hits Just Keep on Coming for the Mets

"Bernie was part of the business plan for the Mets"



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    You'll have to forgive Mets fans if they hope the ice storm never ends because that would mean baseball season will never start.

    They can't be looking forward to it right now, not with the daily dose of news that makes it clear that their team isn't going to be financially able to compete this season. The latest blow is the biggest one. Remember when Fred Wilpon insisted over and over that any losses incurred through investments with Bernie Madoff were personal and had nothing to do with the Mets? 

    About as true as all those claims that Gregg Jeffries was a future Hall of Famer. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, this thing is becoming more like an onion every day. The more layers you peel, the more it stinks.

    In their latest mammoth piece on the Madoff-Wilpon-Mets love triangle, the New York Times reveals that Madoff was a big part of the way that the team did business. "Bernie was part of the business plan" is the way one Mets employee puts it. It became popular practice for the team to negotiate deferred money into contracts and then put that money with Madoff to "invest" because they were able to make money for themselves before paying players. 

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    That hurts the Mets finances. That money, which was supposed to be safe and sound and waiting to be paid to people like Bobby Bonilla (what, you thought this couldn't get worse?), now has to get paid out of other Mets money. That's money that can't be spent elsewhere and it is money that makes a liar out of Wilpon for insisting that there was no connection between the team and Madoff.

    On top of that, it seems like the Wilpons were a big part of the business plan for Madoff. In addition to the money funnelled from contracts, they allegedly steered many new investors to the schemer. Whether they knew what he was up to or not, that certainly adds to their level of involvement with the eventual meltdown and seriously damages their claim that their character is being assassinated by the ongoing lawsuit seeking repayment of monies.

    That means this is dragging on, because no one in their right mind would invest money with an ownership group like this calling the shots. So let the ice storm rage on because baseball season isn't looking any better.  

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for You can follow him on Twitter.