King’s son says talk of Mets interest is premature (AP)

Martin Luther King Jr.'s oldest son says any discussion of his potential interest in becoming a minority owner of the New York Mets is premature. Martin Luther King III said he was contacted Saturday by television executive Larry Meli, who is interested in putting together a group that would include former Mets first baseman Ed Kranepool and Donn Clendenon Jr., whose father was MVP of the…

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 31, 2011

Viola becomes pitching coach of Brooklyn Cyclones (AP)

Frank Viola is returning to professional baseball, agreeing to become the pitching coach for the New York Mets' Class A Brooklyn Cyclones. The 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner, now 50, pitched for the Mets from 1989-91 and retired as a player in 1996. He has coached at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla., and has broadcast Red Sox games for NESN.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 31, 2011

Report: King’s son interested in buying into Mets (The Canadian Press)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Martin Luther King Jr.'s oldest son is reportedly interested in becoming a minority owner of the New York Mets.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 31, 2011

MLK Jr.’s son seeks to own a piece of the Mets (Yahoo! Sports)

The New York Mets announced on Friday that the team is seeking investors to come in as minority partners .

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 31, 2011

Report: King’s son interested in buying into Mets (The Canadian Press)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The son of Martin Luther King Jr. is reportedly interested in becoming a minority owner of the New York Mets.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 31, 2011

This Could Be The Beginning of the End For The Wilpons

This one comes as no shock to anyone.

Yesterday’s announcement that Wilpon Family is looking to sell 20 to 25 percent of the team is only surprising in the timing of the announcement, not the fact that they are looking for a few extra dollars.

Since the Madoff Scandal hit at the end of 2008, whispers of the Wilpons financial woes came across the baseball world and there was talk that Fred Wilpon was looking for friends to invest in the Mets.

None of that happened of course, so now they are opening it up to anyone who has about $170 million to own a piece of the Mets action.

And why this announcement today, after swearing on stacks of bibles for the past two years, the Mets were financially sound.

Well according to multiple sources, the law suit filed by Madoff Trustee Irving Picard, not only is trying to seize any profits the Mets received, but also is going for punitive damages since the Wilpons referred clients to the Ponzi swindler. That number has been reported to be $1 billion, so you can see why Mets ownership is scrambling.

The Wilpons are looking for a settlement with the court, so they probably won’t have to pay the billion, but will still have come up with a large chunk of change.

That’s where these investors come in. The Wilpons hired Steve Greenberg – Hank’s son – to find potential investors, but before Fred and Jeff can breathe a sigh of relief, understand, that doesn’t mean they will get any. Last year, Tom Hicks was looking for silent investors with the Texas Rangers, and when none surfaced he was forced to sell the whole team.

Minority investors work when the team is run soundly. It worked for the Pittsburgh Steelers, because the NFL prints money, and it would work with a team like the Yankees, because there is a built in guarantee that the money invested would get a return.

But the last few seasons saw turmoil for the Wilpons, and why would anyone want to invest in that? This is a team that is leveraged to the hilt and on the hook for the Citi Field bond payments. Last year, they were downgraded to junk status, but unlike a corporate bond, which can easily default, these are municipal obligations, so the City of New York is involved.

Then there’s the large payroll with diminishing attendance, which never seems to work for any club.

Actually the only thing going for the Wilpons these days is SNY, but Jeff Wilpon said, the asset isn’t for sale.

Back in the late 1990s, there was talk about Jame Dolan coming in and buying the Mets. That probably won’t happen now, as the Mets are no long a MSG Network program and there also may be an ownership conflict with Dolan’s uncle owning the Cleveland Indians.

All of this points to a very tough road ahead for the Mets. With a team value – according to Forbes – of $858 million, the Wilpons just might be forced to sell if they are on the hook for that billion dollars. And even if they only will owe a portion of that, they may have to sell controlling interest if no minority buyers come through.

This means is that a once solid ownership team is now full of question marks and everything is resolved one way or another, everything move the Mets do will be clouded by the Madoff actions.

And that’s been no secret either.

Posted under 1 Billion, Baseball World, Beginning Of The End, Bibles, Chunk, Financial Woes, Fred Wilpon, Law Suit, Minority Investors, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ponzi, Punitive Damages, Sigh Of Relief, Stacks, Steve Greenberg, Texas Rangers, Tom Hicks, Top Story, Trustee, Turmoil, Whispers

This post was written by Joe McDonald on January 29, 2011

Mets owners explore partial sale of team (PA SportsTicker)

By RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 28, 2011

Hernandez back in Seattle with more hardware (PA SportsTicker)

By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 27, 2011

Strawberry to run up Empire State Building (The Canadian Press)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Darryl Strawberry will run to the top of the Empire State Building to raise money for cancer research.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 27, 2011

Strawberry to run to top of Empire State Building (AP)

Darryl Strawberry will run to the top of the Empire State Building to raise money for cancer research. The former baseball slugger will race up 1,576 steps and 86 floors to the Observatory on Tuesday with about 100 other participants as part of the Empire State Building Run-Up. They're raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on January 27, 2011