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Coleman’s Corner: More On The Madoff Mess

By Ed Coleman
» More Columns

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said he knew – he just didn’t know to what extent.

Alderson – speaking on a Monday conference call to discuss the signing of knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey – admitted that he was not aware of the full scope that the Madoff Mess was having or would be having on Mets ownership, but insisted that even if he did, it would not have prevented him from coming on board as GM.

Alderson stated – “You are right to say some circumstances have changed. Would it have changed my position? I don’t think so.”

So Alderson says he has no second thoughts. But that’s probably the Ivy League educated ex-Marine rather than the baseball GM talking. Nothing is going to take this man off-point.

Alderson said the plan has not changed and the approach has not been affected at all by any other outside factors – “When I took this position, I was of course aware of the pre-existing involvement of the Wilpons and the Mets with Bernie Madoff. I wasn’t privy to all of the detail, nor am I or most of us at this point privy to all that detail. And I wouldn’t expect to be. At the same time, none of that has affected what I have done over the last two months.”

What he has done is keep a tight lid on spending this off-season. When baseball Commissioner Bud Selig recommended Alderson to Mets’ ownership last fall, Alderson believed he’d be dealing with issues relating to a high payroll that had not produced commensurate results and dysfunction in the front office. And Alderson re-iterated on Monday that the team’s relatively minimal spending this winter had more to do with inheriting bad contracts from former G.M. Omar Minaya than issues related to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme – “I want to emphasize that the plan we have pursued the last couple of months was limited by only one fact, and that was the level of the existing payroll.”

This is a man who can obviously find rays of sunshine in a whiteout blizzard. Alderson stated – “There’s a certain level of ambiguity surrounding this news. The facts are as they currently exist. And to some extent, the decision to find a minority partner or some other source of recapitalizing the franchise is positive news from my standpoint.”

Time will tell. The Mets announced Monday that Dickey had signed a two-year (plus an option) deal worth $7.8 million, and that outfielder Angel Pagan was inked to a one-year contract for $3.5 million, wrapping up their arbitration-eligible players. But the first real test for the club may be how it handles negotiations with star shortstop Jose Reyes. Reyes will make $11 million in the walk-year of his contract. If he stays healthy and has a productive season, can the Mets shell out $75-90 million over 5 or 6 years to keep Reyes in New York?

Alderson answered this way – “Perhaps naively, I don’t expect that this situation (Madoff suit) will be a hindrance in that regard. I fully expect that decision will be made as it would have been, in the best interest of the team on the field, and the best interest of the overall sort of financial health as well as baseball future of the Mets. I go back to the notion that if a potential financial issue exists, ownership is proactively addressing it. And at this point, I don’t expect that any financial situation will inhibit negotiations with Jose.”

That being said, Alderson did raise a red flag with one statement he made. When talking about the payroll for the coming season and the perceived bargain-basement shopping during this off-season, he stated – “Our payroll going into the season will be somewhere between $140 million and $150 million. I THINK THAT IS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN WE’D LIKE TO BE ON AN ANNUAL BASIS – a product of adding some additional players that we felt the roster needed as well as some existing obligations.”

It’s an ominous statement considering the circumstances, and what parameters “significantly higher” encompasses moving forward is anybody’s guess and remains to be seen.

One thing is very clear in a messy situation where everything appears very unclear. Sandy Alderson is the right man for this job – the point man, if you will, for this situation. If there’s a crisis – and this would definitely qualify – he’s the man you want up front. The Mets can at least take solace in that.

Can Alderson right the Mets’ ship in the midst of this Madoff mess? Sound off in the comments below…

pixy Colemans Corner: More On The Madoff Mess
Comments

One Comment

  1. MVP says:

    MVP
    As a met fan since their inception ,I saw it all going down hill as soon asWilpon THE DODGER FAN Came into the picture as their so called savior.If you think he cares for the fans your all crazy . They have enough on him & his buddies to take every thing he owns just as they did to madoff.No fool is going to get involved as a minority owner with no say, to help bail him out. And Selig Hes another useless owner/Commissioner. LOVE YOU EDDIE C>

  2. Ed Alvarado says:

    Does anyone know if the guy in charge of the Mets (Sterling) dealings Arthur Friedamn is the same guy that used to be the Statistician for them in 60’s.

  3. Alan Davis says:

    Selig will help them all he can.After alll,the Wilpons hired the bumbling,bigoted idiot on Selig’s recomendation. Selig was pushing minorities on every team but his daughters. Minaya was better suited to be mens room attendant,along with his boss Jeff Wilpon,who refers to his father as Fred.Nelson Doubleday,who got creatively cheated by Wilpon is going to get the last laugh.I will be surprised if these clowns don’t end up alongside there buddy Madoff,or even worse,maybe they will join Madoffs son,a close friend of the obnoxious Jeff Wilpon.

  4. Joe says:

    Alderson was brought to the Mets because of his extensive & productive experience in running a small market ball-club. His recent shopping spree at the flea market is a sign of things to come. If the Wilpon family remains as majority & controlling ownership this payroll will continue to decline. They have no intention of competing like a big market club. Fred has rarely cared about the fan & continues to lie to us. He built a beautiful stadium to fulfill his own childhood dream. It took a year to paint a few murals to represent Mets history. Before that it was his vision of Brookly/Jackie Robinson stadium. This coming season the club will be mediocre at best & attendance will be paltry. Sell the team Fred! You not worthy of our support.

  5. DC says:

    We (fans) need the commissioner to put this right and force a sale from the WIlpons’ grasp. Fred and Saul are now years into an era of mismanagement. If MLB allows current ownership to milk the fans and a new minority partner for cash to pay the Madoff trustee, then I think Congress needs to step in and look at the anti-trust exemption. This is abusive treatment of season ticket holders and the city, especially when you consider the partial public guarantee of Citifield-related debt.

    1. Valentine says:

      I love “this abusive treatment of season ticket holder”. No one is forcing Mets fans to buy tickets at these crazy prices and if you do, well, you’re stupid. A question should be, why do you? did you really think the Mets were going to win the WS the last few years, did you really? They saw you coming. LOL

  6. dr mengle,got twins? says:

    JUST GOES TO SHOW YA THE WILPOUNDS ARE JUST AS GREEDY AND STUPID AS THE OTHER MADOFF VICTIMS..YOU CALL THESE RICH SWINE VICTIMS? RATER TH ARE VICTIMS OF THEIR OWN GREED..OH THE POOR LITTLE METS..ILL CRY TEARS OF FRANKLIN S FOR THOSE RICH PIGS..ON SOME OTHER DAY OR PLANET..T ALL GOT WHAT THEY RICHLY DESERVED..NOW THATS A GOOD OXYMORON..RICHLY DESERVED..

  7. dan says:

    now that we know the Wilpons wont be spending any money its time to stay away from that great ballpark ,all those empty seats and a lousy teamn will make them lose even more money and maybe they sell the team completely ,the Wilpons are a joke but we all knew that before this mess started

  8. jim says:

    There is no such thing as an EX-Marine.

  9. jimbob says:

    Dream on, Eddie. THE METS WILL SUCK FOR MANY YEARS TO COME WITH THE WILPONS IN CHARGE. I HOPE NO ONE SHOWS UP AT THE STADIUM THIS YEAR. FANS SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO WEAR A METS JERSEY. HERE IS THE QUESTION I’D LIKE TO ASK THE WILPONS: ‘WHEN THERE’S ANOTHER TEAM RIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER WINNING EVERYDAY, HOW DOES THE METS ACQUIRE NEW FANS’ ?

  10. JoeyMaz says:

    The MSG shills Boomer & Carton will keep lying to their audience as long as they have a show on SNY. The Wilpons are questionable business managers and proven failures as sports franchise owners. Wilpon owes more in this mess than he is divulging. Francessa is actually right on this time – fans no longer trust the Wilpons.

    1. Dave says:

      B&C have a show on SNY????

  11. Rich the rook says:

    If Alderson is still GM two years from today would surprise me greatly. Get ready for a non-competitive 2011 and a salary dumping of assets (Reyes and Beltran) in late July for so-called prospects (remember Billy Wagner to the RSox for Chris Carter and Ed Lora, two good prospects as described by Omar Minaya).This team is doomed as long as the Wilpons are in charge!

  12. EDDIE says:

    IT’S NOT ABOUT 2011 OR EVEN 2012. ALDERSON WILL BUILD THIS ENTIRE ORGANIZATION FROM THE GROUND UP – THAT IS TO SAY – THROUGH THE FARM SYSTEM. IN A FEW YEARS THEY WILL FIELD A COMPETITIVE HOME-GROWN TEAM WITH A REASONABLE PAYROLL ENABLING THEM TO WISELY SIGN THE ONE FREE AGENT NEEDED TO PUT THEM OVER THE TOP.

    1. Torre says:

      you’re delusional, we’re taking about the Mets here. If they have not own in over 25 years and just 2 titles in their 50 years, you really really think the Mets will change. You must be off your medication. That’s wishful thinking, just like all those World Series Champoinships you dreamed the Mets would win by now.

      1. zanyzan says:

        hey genius, the sox had not won in 100 years and they just won 2. By your logic no team can ever turn themselves around. Too bad history shows that you are a fool. Thatbeing said as long as wilpons own the team they will suck

  13. Mikey says:

    I take the comment made by Alderson differently. The fact that he spent more than he desired demonstrates that he believes that the pieces added were needed to field a competitive team. That in fact the Mets, unlike Mets pundits believed, are interested in competing in 2011. Maybe by mid-March the average Mets fan will see the wisdom of their moves. it baffles me that I have not read anywhere about the process followed by Mets Management in evaluating the players they signed. You all make it seem like a haphazard exercise. If they in fact signed Buckholz circa 2008 and Young/Capuano circa 2007 then they are greatly improved over last year.

    1. Torre says:

      you’re delusional, we’re taking about the Mets here. If they have not own in over 25 years and just 2 titles in their 50 years, you really really think the Mets will change. You must be off your medication. That’s wishful thinking, just like all those World Series Champoinships you dreamed the Mets would win by now.

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