Archive for the 'Sports' category

Wilponzi Scheme

Nov 21 2011 Published by under Sports

The Wilpons – Fred and Jeff – have are moving forward with a new financing scheme to help infuse cash into the New York Mets baseball franchise. The reason a baseball team in the largest media market in the country needs an infusion of cash is because its inept owners – the Wilpons, Fred and Jeff – lost a large chunk of the team’s money in the infamous Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme.

The reason the Mets are now selling minority stakes in the franchise is because their original deal to sell one minority share of the team to local rich guy and Mets fan David Einhorn fell through. Most likely because Einhorn was angling for some kind of path to decision-making power in the franchise, if not ownership, if the Wilpons were unable to repay his investment.

The Wilpons’ latest latest scheme sounds like a Ponzi Scheme. Investors pay money to the Wilpons for a small stake in the ownership of the franchise, in exchange for a later interest payment on their investment. If the team succeeds despite the failings of its owners, then they’ll have some profit out of which to pay the investors. But if the team doesn’t make any money, these goniffs are going to be paying investors with money pulled from other investors buying in. Or worse, meeting payroll and other operating expenses with these ill-gotten funds.

Inept and crooked are a dangerous combination. Throw in some hubris, and you have a recipe for the current clowns who are in charge of the Mets franchise. The Wilpons will not go quietly, and this bodes ill for anyone who is a fan of the team, for probably about the entire decade or so.

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Wilpons’ Deal to Sell Stake in the Mets is in the Trash, Along With the Team’s Future

Sep 01 2011 Published by under Sports

ESPN.com reported that the deal to sell an ownership stake in The New York Mets to David Einhorn fell apart today. Also, a good take on this here.

I’ve written here before about the Wilpons, so my distaste for the tenure of Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff as owners of this team should be no secret.

The Wilpons have spent their entire tenure as owners running the team into the ground, despite inheriting a team in the largest media market in Major League Baseball with a devoted following. Their ineptitude and ignorance in both baseball and business should be as obvious as Carlos Beltran’s mole. Their choice to invest with Madoff, combined with a laundry list of poor decisions around the team, are the reasons the Mets are in a dire financial situation.

And the Wilpons’ solution to the team’s financial woes? According to the ESPN.com article, “the team will now try to sell a series of smaller units to family and friends to reach the $200 million stake they desire.” What this really means is, they’re going to get some shady loans from family and friends. That’s exactly the sort of semi-legal dealing that these crooks have engaged in for over a decade. That’s not a sale of ownership stakes – that’s paying an accountant to make your rich friends and family moving large sums of cash to you legal somehow. These clowns just don’t seem to learn. And don’t forget they scammed their way into the full ownership of the team that they wish to retain. So on top of everything else, their karma is bad, and likely to punish them and Mets fans for as long as they are in control of the team.

The hope that this father-son duo of incompetent rich idiots would have their control of my beloved Mets slip to someone who, by virtue of not being a member of the Wilpon family, would be more qualified than the current regime to run the team, has now died.

As long as the Wilpon family retains any degree of control over the New York Mets franchise, the franchise is doomed to be mismanaged, both financially and on the field. Everything we’ve seen up until now shows this will continue to be the case.

G*d help the Mets.

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Roman Refs Sucked, Too

Jun 21 2011 Published by under Sports

A Roman gladiator’s tombstone blamed his death on a missed call by a referee. [LiveScience, via Yahoo]

I don’t get how a gladiator – battle, fight, scrum, whatever the word is – has “rules.” Perhaps out of modern arrogance I just assumed two guys tried to see who could kill the other one first. The article hints without much explanation that there may be more order to these things than I thought.

The important thing here, though is the human element – umps have been blowing calls for damn near 2,000 years. And that only counts games since the year 0, known as the “modern era” of gladiating.

The Roman senate tried replay. Each time a play was under review, they had to bring in an artisan to etch the replay-glyph into stone. The delays became too lengthy so the senate voted to end replay after three seasons. There was one dissenter, who was thrown to the lions.

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Wilpon Woes

Feb 07 2011 Published by under Sports

So it’s the day after the Superbowl, and I’m taking stock of my teams. The end of football presents me with a grim situation. Rangers – four game losing streak, slipping in the standings. The Mets . . . alas, poor Mets.

Fred Wilpon, primary owner and Douschebag-In-Chief of the New York Mets, is the target of a lawsuit seeking to recover losses for some of those duped in Bernie Madoff’s infamous ponzi scheme. The lawsuit also names Wilpon’s partners – his ne’er-do-well son, Jeff, and his brother-in-law Saul Katz. First reported by CNBC over a month ago, the story has blown up since, with accusations of Wilpon’s complicity in Madoff’s scheme and growing sums of money emerging.

Nice take by Ian O’Connor at ESPN.com. So pretty much, the Mets owners are either guilty in a criminal sense, or they are guilty of being ignorant rubes.

Either way, the Mets are screwed. The franchise, their fans – totally screwed. Will be for a long time.

Let us not forget Wilpon gained sole ownership of the Mets under surreptitious circumstances. The short version is, Wilpon swindled Nelson Doubleday out of his ownership stake. Given that historic example, it would not surprise me if it comes out that Wilpon and his partners were engaging in criminal activity.

On the other hand, Wilpon’s mismanagement of the team could be considered criminal.

When Wilpon assumed control of the Mets there was great potential – a solid revenue base, located in America’s largest media market, with their own cable channel, and a World Series appearance only two years in the rearview mirror. The decade following Wilpon’s ascension to ownership has seen him and his partners presiding over an unending series of poor decisions, turning the team into a perennial also-ran while squandering the revenue potential of the New York market. They have run the team into the ground.

This season already was in shambles before the announcement of the lawsuit. Large cash commitments to placeholders Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo, coupled with complete absence of an attempt at improvement through the free-agent market, demonstrated to fans that management had chalked up the 2011 season as a loss before it began.

The current ownership has a track record of continued incompetence and incomprehension on the field. Now it seems it’s also the case off the field, and has been so for a while. I think Wilpon’s time has come – Mets fans’ best-case scenario is for a new, more competent, regime to step in.

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Deadspin Says Rex Ryan’s Wife In Footsie Flick

Dec 23 2010 Published by under media, Sports

I will not talk about Rex and his wife here. This is a comment on Deadspin’s editorial policy. I would hardly call this ‘reporting.’

In case you haven’t seen this, Deadspin surfaced a foot fetish video that they insinuate involves the wife of New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan (and maybe Ryan himself).

Deadspin’s article has zero journalistic value. It is nothing more than holding up a married couple’s personal lifestyle choices for public ridicule. For me, no different than ostracizing two men who choose to share their lives together in a healthy, loving relationship. Oh wait, that already does happen, and it’s actually sanctioned by law. So perhaps here we see where attitudes of sexual bigotry begin.

Why did Deadspin launch such a thorough investigation into the sex life of a married couple? They didn’t just leave it at the video. They actively tracked down profiles from an adult website they link to the Ryans. Sexed-up stories become picked-up stories.

Deadspin also broke this tasty nugget, so it’s not the first time they’ve raised questions about the sexual habits of someone connected to the Jets. But the Brett Favre story has journalistic value – it is a story of Favre’s potential sexual harassment, that involves a forceful act against a non-consenting person that violated the trust of a professional relationship. Some would say that should not only be an on-the-job demerit, but an actual crime.

No children were harmed in the making of this video and no citizens had their rights violated. Anything between consenting adults should be considered socially acceptable. But as long as America remains a nation of prudes, voyeuristic non-journalism such as this will continue to sell.

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