The Wilpon case gets a mediator: Mario Cuomo

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The Wilpons and the bankruptcy trustee of the Madoff case are having a daily back and forth in the papers. The judge is probably getting tired of it. Yesterday he did something about it:

A federal judge on Thursday appointed former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo to try to resolve the $1 billion dispute between the owners of the Mets and the trustee representing victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s financial fraud.

If it makes any difference, Cuomo is a Yankees fan.

Of greater significance is that this is an ordered mediation, not one the parties agreed to.  In my experience those sorts of mediations don’t go very well. But my experience also involves way more $250,000 cases than billion dollar cases — in fact, it involves zero billion dollar cases — so who knows?  My sense is that this move is more aimed at calming the waters right now than anything else and drawing the media’s fire to a much more famous target in Cuomo.  Not a bad idea, actually.

Now I’m going to surf around the Internet in an effort to find some baseball news that has nothing to do with the legal system, because that’s way more life-affirming.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.