Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Return of Alex and Jennifer

According to the New York Post, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez haven't given up in their efforts to buy the New York Mets. The Post reports that the duo are now working with "senior  bankers" at JPMorgan Chase to put together the capital needed for the purchase. The article also states that they are putting hundreds of millions of their own wealth into the purchase.

Their thinking behind the purchase is interesting. Apparently they envision Citi Field as part of a larger entertainment and shopping venue. We've heard talk of something like that for years, but not much has really changed. The neighborhood around the ballpark is still pretty seedy. Unless your idea of entertainment is walking by rows of chop shops, there will need to be a huge investment involved in making the vision of Citi Field as an entertainment hub a reality.

It makes a ton of sense, really. That was supposed to be some of the justification behind building the new ballpark. Even back then they were talking about turning the area into a place people could spend the day. I remember seeing drawings envisioning what it might look like. I could only presume that the whole Madoff fiasco put an end to those dreams.

As I've mentioned previously on this blog, I worry that a group that needs to finance this purchase with a lot of debt will be under financial stress to pay off that debt, and may not be in the position to run this club as a large market franchise should be run. On the other hand, if you have a smart group of investors that aren't only interested in the club, but also making a long-term investment in the whole area, I can see that working out.

In that scenario, running the Mets as a first-class operation would be important to the long-term success of the whole endeavor. It would be much more likely to succeed if the Mets were a legitimate contender year after year. I could even foresee a point where money made from the operations around the park could be used to help finance the team, if the same folks were involved in team ownership and the surrounding shopping and entertainment areas. It would make sense to see the success of the club as the cornerstone of the entire project.

Of course, any of that would be in the future. Right now it would be a blessing just to see this club bid adieu to Fred and Jeff. We've seen enough of them to have long ago lost hope that a coherent vision for the future would ever come from them. I don't even hate them in the way a good number of Mets fans seem to, I'm just so tired of their act I'm willing to give anyone else with some vision a chance. We're told that the Wilpons are willing to put enough of a percentage of SNY into the deal to help it happen. To that, all I can say is, "make it so, Number One."


Saw this one in the New York Post, too. For what it's worth, I don't care about the whole Tim Tebow thing, as long as it's not hindering the development of any real prospect. Tebow has drawn fans wherever he has played in the minors, and that's a blessing for any Minor League operation. As far as whether other players should have received a "cut" of that sweet Tebow cash, that's just silly. Minor Leaguers should be paid better, period. Plus, at least from everything I've read, Tebow seems to be regarded as a good teammate.

More concerning is the way Andrew Church was handled, at least as he describes it. If I owned the club, I would immediately investigate these charges. It's been no secret for years that there has been a toxic culture within the Mets organization. If you really hope to change the trajectory this club has been on for decades, changing that perception would be a good place to start. Even if I take everything Church said with a grain of salt, understanding he was bitter about being released, I wouldn't ignore him.


At FanGraphs, Craig Edwards takes a really deep dive into MLB's latest proposal to the players, and shows that it doesn't differ much in the bottom line from the original revenue sharing idea. I know articles like this aren't for everyone, but the financial stuff intrigues me, and no one I've seen is better than Edwards at explaining things in a manner that normal people can follow.

Edwards points out that even the new proposal, supposedly more generous to those at the bottom of the pay scale, isn't that big of a help for them:
MLB came up with a plan designed to upset the game’s biggest, highest paid stars while also failing to provide significant incentive for the younger players to break ranks. MLB has asked the players to shoulder a billion dollar pay cut on top of the $2 billion cut already taken in the March agreement, but it hasn’t provided justification beyond talking points for doing so.
The negotiations really seem nowhere right now, and another week has passed without serious, consequential bargaining. We're no closer to playing ball than we were before any proposal was made. Indeed, I fear that things are heading in the wrong direction.


The Post has been doing a series of articles on Mets prospects. So far, they have done features on SS Ronny Mauricio and catcher Francisco Alvarez. Both pieces offer more than just the superficial stories that are normally done on prospects.

That will be it for me today. As always, thanks for giving me some of your time. I hope you'll come back soon. Please stay safe.

 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos


  1. It's getting incredibly difficult to find things to cover that are original, or that have a fresh slant over what others have been saying. Congrats for doing both, Mike.


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