Jeff Wilpon says his family is not selling a controlling interest in the Mets

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Darn, I suppose that means that the whole Donald Trump scenario is kaput:

Jeff Wilpon made his first appearance of the spring in Port St. Lucie Wednesday morning in the Mets clubhouse, and reiterated that his family will retain control of the Mets, despite a $1 billion lawsuit that alleges they should have known about Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud.

“We’re not selling controlling interest in the team. It’s not on the table,” Wilpon said.

Wilpon noted that, for as bad as this is for his family, it’s not going to impact the Mets, citing the team’s high payroll.  Which is a good point.  Left unsaid, though, is what happens in future years if (a) the Wilpons retain control; but (b) they are financially hobbled by a settlement or judgment in the Madoff case. Of course I wouldn’t expect Wilpon to talk about that now because it touches on way too many unknowns.

But it seems like the worst of both worlds for Mets fans would be for the Wilpons to retain control but not able to continue to maintain the high payrolls to which the team has become accustomed.  Sure, I’d rather have Sandy Alderson running the ship in such a scenario than anyone else, but that’s not the deal most Mets have signed up for, and I wonder how they would take to a team that, by necessity, had to run lean and mean.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.