In the Daily News yesterday, Bill Madden reported that Mets owner Fred Wilpon was taken off of baseball’s executive council along with several other owners, as Rob Manfred seeks to get a new team of owners as his closest advisers. Which, sure, that makes sense. What makes less sense is that Manfred put Wilpon in charge of baseball’s finance committee.
I don’t know enough about the workings of MLB’s hierarchy to know what, exactly, the chairman of the finance council does, but Madden says the committee is “important.”
But here’s what I do know: Fred Wilpon reportedly lost as much as $700 million investing in a Ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff. And that wasn’t the first Ponzi scheme in which he invested. Wilpon’s defense to losing his shirt and almost losing his team was that he was wholly ignorant of what was really going on. Really: that’s the best case scenario. That he had no idea where over half a billion dollars of his own money went. The investigation of the Madoff scandal concluded that Wilpon ignored repeated warnings that should have tipped him off that he was giving his money to a fraudster.
The Ponzi schemes aside, Wilpon’s management of the Mets has turned a team in baseball’s largest and most lucrative market into what is, practically speaking, a small market, financially strapped club, buried in debt service and forced to deal with payrolls that do not allow it to meet its baseball needs in an effective manner.
I would dare say that if Major League Baseball had an intern who lost $30 entrusted to him for a lunch run, the intern would either be fired or never allowed to touch money again. Fred Wilpon is put in charge of the finance committee. Hoo boy.
PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.
The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.
The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.
“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”
New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.
“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”
Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.
The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.
New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.
Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.