A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fred Wilpon? Brilliant.

More Forbes fun.

The New York Mets were second at $824 million and the Boston Red Sox third at $816 million, the magazine said Wednesday. After that, there was a big gap to the Los Angeles Dodgers ($694 million) and the Chicago Cubs ($642 million).

Suck on it Boston! We're #2! We're #2!

The Yankees were listed by Forbes as having $327 million in revenue last year and a $47.3 million operating loss, up from a $25.2 million loss on revenue of $302 million the previous year. Forbes' revenue figure is after deducting revenue sharing payments, which the Yankees estimate at about $92 million. The team also paid approximately $24 million in luxury tax, which is reflected in the operating loss.

The Mets had an operating profit of $32.9 million, according to Forbes. Boston, according to Forbes, had a $19.1 million operating loss.

Wilpon is looking rather brilliant right now. At this rate, he is going to be up a billion dollars off of his initial investment very soon. A billion!!!!! Wilpon paid Doubleday $130 million for his 50% stake in the Mets back in 2002 roundabouts in October. According to MLB4U.com, Wilpon bought the Mets with Doubleday for $80.75 million in 1986. Let's round up there and say his portion was worth oooooohhhhh say $41 million. His cost basis for the Mets is roughly $171 million at this point excluding any other investment that he might have thrown into the pot.

$824,000,000 - $171,000,000 = a shitload of money. Since 2000, the Mets as a franchise have averaged a 15% growth rate in terms of team value. If that average continues, the Mets will be worth over a billion after the 2010 season and Wilpon will have made over a billion dollars in his investment after the 2011 season. You just expunged your coffee from your body through your nose? Don't worry, I did too.

Actually, all my crude math is very conservative because shiny new stadiums add a lot of value to franchise valuations. Sure, Wilpon put a lot of money into the stadium, but this is all still very, very impressive. Since he has been the sole owner, he has put another $23 million into the Mets bank account from profits while most likely taking a tidy paycheck for himself and his son as well. Wilpon has done pretty good from a business standpoint. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

* * *

  • Good teams take other team's mistakes and rub their faces in it. Last night was one of those games when it was hard to tell whether the pitching was that good or the hitting was that bad. Either way, Ronnie Belliard was playing a bit too deep even with a lefty up and booted a Ryan Church grounder that should have been an out.

    A walk and a single later, Church crossed home plate and the game was tied. Some spectacular relief pitching and some timely hitting later and the Mets stood victorious. The Nationals are not horrible, but they are not all that good. Certainly sweeping them is nothing to brag about, but a sweep is never easy no matter who is on the other end. Even historically bad teams win 1 out of 3 games. Marginally bad teams do a better than that and the Nationals are surely not historically bad and are more towards marginally bad end of things.

    The Mets are looking better these days and all the doomsdayers can settle down for the time being because this team is actually good. They are still the favorites to win the NL East and are still the most complete team in the NL East. With the Diamondbacks laying waste to everyone these days, I might rescind the statement that the Mets are the best team in the NL for the time being, but they could easily reclaim that top spot in a week or two. It is early folks, let's act like it and while we are at, let's stop booing whenever anything negative happens.

    Whatever happened to the eternally optimistic Met fans? I thought we 'gotta believe' or some shit like that? I have thought the Mets were at least a fringe playoff team in every season since 2001 with the exception of maybe one season. How is that for optimism? I'm not all that old, but seeing the plethora of pessimism this year is certainly perplexing (say plethora of pessimism is perplexing three times really fast). The only negativity should be thrown towards Willie and the rest is all good so far and should only get better.

  • Klaw drops some perspective.

    Wilson (NYC): 1 to 10. How bad was the Bannister-Burgos deal for the Mets?

    Keith Law: At the time, I thought it made sense. Bannister couldn't and still can't miss a bat. If the argument is that he's going to be the one guy who defies the prevailing sabermetric wisdom about balls in play, well, I don't know how you can fault the Mets for not seeing that.

    The deal looks bad now. Very bad. However, at the time, it did not look terrible. At least not to this Met fan.

    Immy (DC): Great chat, Keith. Do you think Mike Pelfrey's start is indicative of his future development, or just a nice break from his disappointing 2007 and 2008 spring training?

    Keith Law: I'm cautiously optimistic. He's been getting groundballs in his last two starts. That and throwing strikes are the two keys for him.

    The 'ole compliment on how great the chat/book/hair is to get your answer taken. The oldest trick in the book! It did however work in this instance and it seems the Pelfrey meter has gone from cold to lukewarm.

  • Delgado looks done. Not can't play done, but done as a middle of the order beast. Though Willie hates to stack lefties, I would love to see Reyes, Church, Wright, Beltran, Alou, Delgado, Schneider, and Castillo trotted out there the majority of the time. Of course I am getting ahead of myself because Alou is not back in the lineup yet, but I'm just sayin'.

  • Martinez is all rainbows and unicorns.

    "I am surprised with the way I am recovering," Martinez was quoted as saying. "It's going much faster than I thought. Everything is moving smoothly. The Mets know that I'm working and that I will not abandon them. I don't want it to be a long wait like everybody thinks."

    No rush Petey. No rush.

  • Santana vs. Hamels? Fucking A!

    "I don't even care," Hamels said. "The guy could have eight arms and it's not going to bother me."

  • Willie is gaining confidence in Smitty of late. However, is that at a good thing (he actually gets used) or is that a bad thing (he gets overused).

    "Joe did a great job -- [he] got a big double play for us and made a great pitch on Zimmerman," Randolph said. "He's really whipping the ball in and going after people. I'm really happy with the way he threw. It was very similar [to last season].

    "He looks similar to last year, but different. He's whipping the ball better, and that's key for him. He's able to pop the ball in there, use his slider. He's throwing well. ... When you're a submariner or sidearmer, the feel and rhythm of your delivery is so different. It's unorthodox. His mechanics were out of whack [in Spring Training]."

    Right. He's popping and whipping. Everyone get that? That quote wreaks of someone talking about something they have no idea about.

  • It turns out Tejada is a bit older than his listed age.

    The Astros' media guide lists Tejada's birthday as May 25, 1976. However, in addition to the birth certificate produced by ESPN, the Chronicle reported that Tejada's green card, driver's license and other legal papers in the United States list his actual birthday as May 25, 1974.

    "Fact of the matter is that he plays like he's 25, so I don't think it really matters a whole lot," Astros GM Ed Wade told the Chronicle. "We're still trying to figure out Jose Cruz Sr.'s age."

    Green card, driver's license, and other legal papers corroborate that he is indeed two years older? Don't you have to look at this stuff before you know...you start writing paychecks totaling $12 million a year? Not that I care or think it really matters all that much at this point. Maybe it would matter if someone just gave him a long term deal, but now? No es importante. Although, it does make Wade look a little dumber than he already did for trading for him right before he gets outed for roids.

    Whether or not you think he should have traded for him is irrelevant and Tejada is still a valuable player, but Wade probably could have gotten him for a bit cheaper a few days after he did.

  • I like Ryan Church and he looks good in the two spot, but enough with the bunting. I get it. You can bunt when necessary, however, please do not get into the frame of mind that you are there to move players along. If you are going to do that, you might as well bat 6th or 7th so you can not feel the need to do that and swing away.

    1st and 2nd no outs in the bottom of the 12th? Swing away baby. Swing away.

  • Can we talk about how weird it is to have your starter pitch from the stretch at all times and closer using the windup when no one is on base? When they brought that up in the telecast, I almost dropped my latest issue of Barely Legal.....almost.

    Oh, and Figgy rules. One more thing, Willie did push the right buttons and he did a good job with the bullpen calling the right numbers at the right time and using Schneider at the end was a gamble, but it paid off. Good stuff!

  • Beltran is going to get boooooooooed this weekend.

  • There are two things going on there...

    Manager Willie Randolph, an old-school veteran of the gang warfare between the Yankees and Red Sox, was not among the intermingling groups of front-office members and players. Not this week, and rarely.

    To see one of his former lieutenants fawned over by members of the Mets organization probably makes every game against Washington an annoyance for Randolph. But that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon, and neither does the inexplicable chumminess between some Mets and the team that humiliated them only seven months ago.

    "How does that happen? How does that become normal?" Randolph said. "I don't know. It's just foreign to me, that's all. I'm fine with, 'Hey, how you doing?' That stuff. I wish that we could enforce it more, really. They talk about it, but I don't really see anyone policing it. You can't force people not to talk to someone."

    #1) I agree with Willie. Too much chumminess is not ok.
    #2) Willie know quite well that the Mets front office would rather have Acta and is a bit miffed. Too bad.

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This just came over CNN.Com.

    Please please PLEASE dont let this turn into a 'change ballpark name' thing over the next few years. That would be bad:

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) --

    Citigroup delivered yet another devastating quarterly loss Friday, this time losing more than $5 billion due to troubling results in its fixed-income business and higher consumer credit costs, adding it would also cut an additional 9,000 jobs.

    The New York-based company also recorded more than $13 billion in writedowns, nearly half of which came from subprime-related direct exposures.

    But Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) shares gained 4.5% in early trading as its quarterly revenue topped expectations.

    Citigroup said its net loss totaled $5.1 billion, or $1.02 per share, during the first quarter, wider than analysts had anticipated. That compares with a $5.01 billion profit just a year earlier.

    During a conference call with analysts, Citigroup's Chief Financial Officer Gary Crittenden said the company would cut another 9,000 jobs, on top of the 4,200 cuts announced during the previous quarter.

    Citi, however, did offer some other surprises, by reporting better-than-expected top line growth. The company reported revenue of $13.22 billion for the quarter, up sharply from the previous quarter, but nearly half of $25.46 billion a year earlier.

    Analysts had expected the company to report a loss of 95 cents a share on revenue of $12.77 billion, according to analysts surveyed by earnings tracker Thomson Financial.

    Last quarter, the company reported a eye-popping $9.83 billion loss - the worst quarterly loss ever recorded in the 196-year-history of the firm and its predecessors.

    Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit blamed the results on ongoing market turmoil and tough credit conditions, adding that Citi would continue to implement its recent strategy of shedding those parts of the company that did not fit its core business model.

    "As we move into the second quarter and beyond, we will continue to divest non-strategic assets and allocate capital to the products and regions that will drive increased revenues, enhance the value of our franchise, and ultimately, maximize shareholder value," Pandit said in a statement.

    On Thursday, the company announced it would sell its commercial lending and leasing business to General Electric. Since Pandit ascended to the throne of CEO in December, the company has sold Diners Club International and trimmed its stake in Brazilian credit card company Redecard SA.

    Dragging down Citi's results was the company's markets and banking division, which recorded a $4.48 billion loss due to substantial writedowns.

    Among them: a $6 billion on its subprime exposures; a $1.5 billion adjustment related to its exposure to bond insurers; a $1.5 billion writedown on auction rate securities; a $1 billion writedown on Alt-A mortgages and a $600 million writedown on its commercial real estate portfolio.

    The company was also forced to take a writedown worth $3.1 billion on its leveraged loan commitments.

    Citi's wealth management and its global consumer group, which includes the company's retail banking and credit card businesses, also reported a decline in earnings, hurt by rising credit costs.

    All totaled, the company recorded a $3.1 billion increase in credit costs in that division as consumers had a more difficult time keeping up with their mortgage, credit card and car payments - at a time when unemployment is on the rise and the broader U.S. economy has slowed substantially

    Citigroup's results wrap up what has been a particularly tough week of results for the nation's largest financial firms.

    - Nokes

    11:06 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    As a shareholder, you would have to be reeeeaaalllly unhappy about $20,000,000 a year to the Mets to slap their name on the stadium at this point. They are laying off a lot of people and a lot of them could be kept if they shift the money from the stadium into getting through this mess.

    11:26 AM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Isn't it amazing what about 6 years can do on the return on initial invesment for Mr. Wilpon?

    Like you said, a sweep is a sweep.

    It actually pains me to see Delgado do bad :-(

    Miguel Tejada is 2 years older? SURPRISE!!! Although I can just imagine the conversation:
    Scout: Hey Miguel Tejada, I'm a scout, how old are you?
    Miguel Tejada: I'm 2 years younger than every government document says *shifty eyes* :-)

    Scratch my visit to Philly, I'm not going anymore. That's what happens when you depend on an un-dependable friend.

    11:39 AM

    Blogger almar said...

    "#1) I agree with Willie. Too much chumminess is not ok.
    #2) Willie know quite well that the Mets front office would rather have Acta and is a bit miffed. Too bad."

    Too bad for Willie or too bad for the front office?

    Willie is right. I am getting a bit perturbed about the chumminess between opposing teams, even if free agency has made it easier. What baseball needs is to go back to the 70's attitude when teams and leagues actually hated each other. This is the reason why you don't see many pitchers throw in at batters anymore to keep them honest because they would sooner have a beer with them after the game than try to assert some aggressiveness or send a message. How long will it be before someone on the Mets or ANY team sends Utley a message to stop leaning over the plate? How about never?

    This fault also lies at the feet of Selig with his overdone interleague experiment.

    11:41 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    No Philly today? Sucks for you!!!

    Delgado's bat is slooooow. But of course, he is entrenched for another few months.

    almar, bad for both.

    Eh, the fault for the chumminess is everyone is high paid and seemingly losing their edge. Don't win? I care, but not thaaaat much.

    12:07 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    You know hanging out and being cool with people is fine but on the field I don't like it either. Hell, when I played in Little League and High School, even the kids I knew and was acquainted with, I hated them once I had my cleats and jersey on.

    If I can do it how comes these guys can't where the stakes are higher? When we were having defensive practice I didn't even want to be near the other team.

    But how would you control and enforece something like this?

    And there's also the chance that alot of the hitting batter stuff might come from the Player's Union, I mean, if you hit somebody in the right spot you could completely mess them up and change thier careers, thus, destroying some earning potential.

    12:09 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I hated them once I had my cleats and jersey on.

    Me too man. I used to get into scraps all the time with friends and get pissed.

    Co-ed sports are the worst. I get so mad and the girls are like, 'take it easy'...i'm like 'fuck you'. Who likes to lose? I mean, who?

    12:11 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    that attitude towards the chicks wins games, but loses tang.

    newsflash... i fucking hate willie. if this pisses him off then so be it. the only reason i kinda liked the estrada pick was because i hoped he would fight willie in the dugout and whoop his ass.

    remember in spring training, everyone was grumbling when minaya went on and said that figueroa was in the running for the 5 spot. his entire offseason looks brilliant right now (except for castillo)

    i got worried when sanchez came out for the 2nd inning.

    joe smith becoming a favorite of willie is worrisome. he's gonna pitch him every game

    1:06 PM

    Blogger almar said...

    "joe smith becoming a favorite of willie is worrisome. he's gonna pitch him every game"

    Yeah well,…with the new an improved Joe Smith (courtesy of the Jacket) I would rather have an overworked Smith than Show coming in from the bullpen with the game on the line.

    1:32 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    why knock schoenweis? he's been solid and if not for the error degaldo made on that double play ball, he would be perfect this year.

    despite that here are some #'s:

    0.82 .214 2.45

    thats his whip, baa, and era

    1:38 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    that attitude towards the chicks wins games, but loses tang.

    Ha! Plenty of tang out there. I don't play co-ed sports to get ladies. I can do that just fine outside of these co-ed disasters. I play to win!

    Good point on Minaya. So far his offseason looks great, but the Milledge trade is up in the air still, but looks even to me at this point. Two years I will reevaluate.

    Scho! Used correctly, he can be good. In fact, everyone used correctly makes them better. Willie did not get that last year and tried to force to many things.

    2:18 PM

    Anonymous gbaked said...

    i have a suspicion that the Jacket has taken over much of the bullpen decisions. Not the final call, but I bet Willie has been "asked" to listen to him a little bit more.

    either that, or Willie has actually researched and learned how to use a bullpen. Because he is doing much better at it this year. I get nervous about overusing smith... but doesnt the sidearm make it less stressful on the arm?

    Hating on Willie is tough for me. I would love to see him succeed here, as he is a native NYer and does have many characteristics I like. Tough D, small ball, no BS, disliking the other team to name a few... I still agree this team would be better without him. However, if he learns on the job... no reason not to give credit where it is due. It was a well managed game yesterday (at least from what I read, didnt get a chance to see it). It would be great to pair him up with a young up and comer who is heavy into stats to sit on his bench.

    Good feelings in met land today. Gotta love Figgy.

    Wagner is awesome. He is that guy that if you are not friends with, you hate. And he is the guy your girlfriend hates ("why are your friends with that jerk?") But if he is your boy... he is the first guy I want in my corner...

    2:38 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    gabaked...I agree 110%. Situationally, he has been excellent and though it seemed like he would lean on Sosa too much as he did with Mota, he has righted that ship.

    Used correctly, this bullpen can be devastating with Sanchez looking great.

    Hating Willie is not tough for me! He irks me!

    RE: Wagner..good stuff. I've always stood up for him here and I think he has been amazing for us. People do not realize how good he has been because they are clouded by his quotes or the inevitable blow ups.

    3:28 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    the only reason to play coed sports is to catch a feel. i dont need a sport to tell me that i'm superior to a tiny brain woman.

    in case you didnt notice, Ron Burgundy is my fucking idol

    i do like that willie wants to bash the other teams head in. he would be wise to carry that feeling today to phillie and have somebody put it in somebody's grill.

    wagner has been good but his mouth is annoying when its not in willie bash mode

    5:11 PM

    Anonymous tc said...

    $400 million for stadium naming rights when you posted a $5,000,000,000 loss ... good thing I worked for Lehman last year and not Citi.

    "He looks similar to last year, but different." -- Brilliant, Willie!

    Figs was on point last night (that one mistake to Nick Johnson notwithstanding). Joel Hanrahan, wow, he sucked. Wild pitch, throwing error, wild pitch, game over. I'd be punching him in the face if he was on my team.

    'Pen looks sick thus far. Smith's usage is scaring me (he's pitched over an inning a couple of times lately) ... but with Sanchez back, it's less irksome.

    When I played my friends in baseball in high school, I played my ass off. Spikes up, throwing up and in, barreling over the catcher. There's no love in sports.

    Acta > Willie, and everyone in the Mets front office knows it.

    Whoever invented co-ed sports is cool in my book. Nothing better than going to a gym after work to relieve stress and throw dodge balls at the face of the obnoxious whore that is your boss.

    5:20 PM

    Anonymous tc said...

    Just came across this online:

    TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese high school pleaded for a regional game to be abandoned after surrendering 66 runs in less than two innings, local media reported on Thursday.

    The coach of Kawamoto technical high school threw in the towel to spare his pitcher's arm with his team losing 66-0 with just one batter out in the bottom of the second.

    The hapless hurler had already sent down over 250 pitches, allowing 26 runs in the first inning and 40 in the second before Kawamoto asked for mercy.

    "At that pace the pitcher would have thrown around 500 pitches in four innings," Kawamoto's coach was quoted as saying. "There was a danger he could get injured."

    Opponents Shunshukan were officially credited with a 9-0 victory, giving the scoreline a tinge of respectability for the luckless Kawamoto school.


    250 pitches?! 66-0?! Shit!

    5:31 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I know it's been said before, but holy shit there are some bad announcers out there. I don't get SNY, so I watch gameday/listen on the radio. For those of you who don't need gameday, it now instantly auto-links clips of hilight plays as they happen from the home team's station. Well, anyway, the Phillies have some awful, boring, dry, announcers.

    That is all.

    8:23 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ::insert sarcasm here:: That should get Heilman some cheers from Mets fans. ::insert sarcasm here::

    9:39 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Billy Wagner has been VERY impressive. He hasn't pitched this good since, man, who knows how long ago? 2002?
    Throwing 99 and 100 mph? HOLY SHIT! He hasn't thrown like that on the Mets. And that changeup has made him a grade A badass.

    11:57 PM

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    6:33 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A touching moment between Utley Howard and Reyes after the collision. I almost broke into tears.


    8:11 AM

    Anonymous tc said...

    Luis Castillo just put together one of the worst at-bats I have ever seen. First and second, no outs, and he can't get down a bunt then makes a piss poor swing for a third strike.

    He fuckin blows. Once again, Willie shows his genius by batting him second after Church has been on fire in the 2-hole lately.

    11:25 PM

    Blogger almar said...

    "He fuckin blows. Once again, Willie shows his genius by batting him second after Church has been on fire in the 2-hole lately."

    Not saying I disagree with you, but the thinking is that it may have had to do with Schneider being out of the lineup and having to not make the 6-8 part of the lineup automatic outs with Church, Casanova and Endy batting there. Basically keep some semblance of balance at the bottom.

    I can overlook that for one game if Church is back in the 2 hole tomorrow.

    12:23 AM


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