Jeff Wilpon photo

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.

BBWAA votes to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning next year

Cooperstown
Associated Press
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In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.

As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.

The Yankee2 to retire Derek Jeter’2 number next 2ea2on

Derek Jeter
Getty Images
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RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.

With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.

The retired pinstripes break down as follows:

1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams