Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!
Today, July 1, as it has been for the last six years and will be for the next 19, is unofficially Bobby Bonilla Day.
Why, you ask?
Because today is the day that Bobby Bonilla — who hasn’t donned a Mets uniform since 1999 — receives a $1.19 million check from the Mets as a part of the (brilliant) deal that his agent made with the team. The way the deal is structured, Bonilla will continue to be paid $1.19 million until 2035, at which point he will have been paid out the entirety of his multi-million dollar deal.
Here’s the scoop on how the deal works, courtesy of Darren Rovell at ESPN.
“The Mets owed Bonilla $5.9 million for the 2000 season and no longer wanted him. So the club negotiated with Gilbert [Bonilla’s agent] to attach an 8 percent annual interest rate to that money. With the clock starting in 2000, that adds up to $29.8 million. The first installment of the payout came on July 1, 2011, and the Mets will pay their sixth installment today.”
As Rovell and ESPN also point out, likely one of the main reasons the Wilpons agreed to this deal has to do with Bernie Madoff, who was netting incredible returns on investments made by the Wilpons to the point where agreeing to an 8 percent annual interest rate on the Bonilla deal wasn’t a problem.
So knowing what we know now — that Madoff’s returns were all lies — the Wilpons’ deal looks pretty foolish.
But, of course, hindsight is 20/20.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.