Baseball, Bud Selig & Bob DuPuy, Don Mattingly, Frank McCourt, Fred Wilpon, MLB, New York Mets, Saul Katz, Sports

Brother Can You Spare A Dime …….. ?


Brother Can You Spare A Dime ?

As a precursor to the MLB season two stories still stick out and really indicate the plight of the game at present . Competitively we could prescribe to the fact that baseball has never been better . We had two surprising penant winners take aim at winning the World Series . The San Francisco Giants essentially had their way in taking down the Texas Rangers on their way to winning their first championship in over four decades . And for the Giants this upcoming season comes the hard part in trying to make a successful defense of their title.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Away from the game the continuing story is that of the New York Mets and their financial woes and that also of the Los Angeles Dodgers . MLB through the commissioner’s office issued a public statement that as recently November of 2010 the New York Mets had sought to borrow $25 million from the league in order to meet certain obligated expenses . .Now as we know the Mets’ ownership led by Fred Wilpon and team President Saul Katz . Both individuals as well the Mets an entity are being sued by Irving Picard the lead attorney for the plaintiffs who were victims of the Bernie Madoff “Ponzi Scheme” Picard vs Wilpon , Katz et all leads us into the depths that the Wilpons went to in trying hide the fact they were indeed the benefactors of ill gotten gains in the profits that they’re said to have received over the last two decades. It is estimated that collectively the Mets , Katz and Wilpon received in excess of $550 million but the Wilpons specifically have argued that they were unaware that the monies received from Madoff’s company were in fact of or from a fraudulent act. Pardon me for saying this , Madoff claimed that he was able to gain his clients in excess of 30 to 50 % return on their investments at a time when banks and major financial institutions were playing simply no more than 4% at the time . Somehow the Wilpons and Katz are either stupid or one can indeed surmise that they’re trying to blow smoke up everyone’s ass !

Neither Wilpon , Katz or Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon have claimed any wrongdoing on their part and they claim that they too were victims of this Ponzi scheme . But that doesn’t hide the fact that once the indictment of Madoff by the Justice Dept and his arrest by the FBI before his trial the defendants still denied wrongdoing but when asked why it is that they chose not to return the monies received. It’s interesting to see how it is that the league and in particular Commissioner Bud Selig would now make it a point of now making this news public as it relates to the New York Mets.

After the acrimonious divorce of Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt from his now ex wife Jamie McCourt the LA County Courts decided that the team and organization was a communal property and an asset that should be split between the two. The Los Angeles Dodgers it’s estimated worth is in excess of $1.1 billion and with the team being in the nation’s second largest advertising market it has been a boost to the ownership and the rewards reaped . However , in light of this all Frank McCourt has been extravagant in his spending and has simply burdened this team with an unwanted debt . That debt of $800 million ( $800,000,000 ) could seriously jeopardize hamper the financially viability of the ballclub and any ambition that it might have as to its future . Team GM Ned Colletti has been cautious in not making any public statement concerning the team’s present predicament.

The Dodgers had requested a loan of $250 million from the league in order to meet certain financial obligations of which they haven’t made clear. McCourt had stated that the loan would be guaranteed by the broadcast television rights that the team has with the local Fox affiliate and their partners nationwide. The sum involved there is a twenty year $2 billion ($2,000,000,000) contract. Given the precarious situation of the Los Angeles Dodgers , the decision made by the league’s hierarchy is a prudent one at this juncture and for once it looks as if Bud Selig is either getting some prudent advice rather than simply going out and making rather irrational decisions that in the end tends to hurt the image of the game rather than add to its luster.

And given the Dodgers history and its recent showing in the league one has to ask the question where does all now take the team and specifically how can Don Mattingly and his staff ignore the off the field issues and get the team playing with any degree of resolve and success. It should come as no surprise that Mattingly’s predecessor left the Dodgers in the way that he did as there was no clarity as to the organization’s situation and it certainly hadn’t help the situation with the constant bickering that was said to be taking place between McCourt and his wife as well with Frank McCourt and certain individuals within the front office , so much so that you got the feeling that there was indeed more than a great deal of unrest within the Los Angeles Dodgers.

If there’s no resolve as to an amicable solution to the issues between Frank McCourt , his ex wife Jamie and the Los Angeles Dodgers then the team will have to be sold to an interested third party. It would be embarrassing for the team to go into the regular season and their situation still not resolved , albeit that McCourt is now divorced. Frank McCourt now is in the process of suing his legal representatives in his case because it’s been stated that one of his lawyers apparently forged a signature pertinent to the divorce proceedings that had a bearing on the case, which subsequently the presiding judge and jury would side with Jamie McCourt in reaching their verdict of granting her petition to divide the couples’ assets as communal property apart from the finalizing of their divorce. Do you get the impression that had this been two mature adults then quite possibly this situation could have reached an amicable solution for both parties ? Now you have a situation where one of the games most renowned and fabled ballclubs now wrestles for its survival and there’s not yet to be a certainty that the Dodgers will exist in its present guise under McCourt’s ownership.

In order to meet the judge’s verdict of dividing the couple’s assets of which the most prized is the Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt will have to adhere to the verdict. . McCourt for his part hasn’t yet said how he intends to deal with ballclub’s financial problems of a mounting debt and the fact that his creditors are hovering closely like vultures circling a dead animal’s carcass. Personally I’d think idiotic had baseball even thought of meeting the Dodgers’ request for a loan of a quarter of a billion dollars ($250,000,000) specifically in case where the team itself has an $800 million debt and its creditors are said to be unduly happy with the actions of the ownership group. But that being said when it comes to showing business acumen as it relates to the game the league hierarchy and the owners in particular I’ve never felt that they were ever smart much less had any real business acumen. We’re often told that these men are corporate executives and they’ve made their fortunes showing sound judgment , however when it comes to business of owning a professional sport’s franchise they’ve shown the actions of a blind man taking the chance of thinking that they can walk safely through a mine-field .

Baseball’s owners aren’t all that smart and neither is Bud Selig and the executives who are his subordinates within the league’s head office. If nothing else they’ve shown that they don’t completely understand the economics of running a professional sporting concern ! The game itself is in something of a financial mess which Selig isn’t prepared to address publicly when broached on the subject.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the statements now made by the commissioner’s office concerning both the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets do you feel that the right decision was made by the commissioner ? And in light of another rumor now brewing that after the league’s existing collective bargaining agreement due to expire in 2013 do you believe that there will one or two teams that quite possibly will be contracted ? It has been rumored that one of the teams in question could very well be the Tampa Bay Rays if they’re unable to find a new home within the state of Florida or elsewhere. Simply leave a comment on this topic or any other as it relates to baseball .

Picture and slide show details .
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(1) JACKIE ROBINSON FIELD: Mets owner Fred Wilpon (left), MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (center) and former MLB COO Bob DuPuy (from the MLB) were on hand for the naming of the field at Forest Hills HS in honor of the late Jackie Robinson. The Mets are now seeking to borrow $25 million from the ML hierarchy in lieu of pending litigation against team owner Fred Wilpon and team President Saul Katz. AP Photo / Andy MacDonald ……………

(2) Fred Wilpon, General Manager Sandy Alderson, New York Mets new manager Terry Collins, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz pose for pictures during a press conference at Citi Field on November 23, 2010 in New York, New York. Chris McGrath / Getty Images ……….

(3) Dodgers owner Frank McCourt (to Torre’s left) congratulates incumbent manager Don Mattingly as he’s flanked by current Manager Joe Torre (left) and General Manager Ned Colletti (far right) on Friday during a news conference to announce that Torre will not return next season. McCourt has requested a $250 million loan from the league’s hierarchy and in doing so wishes to place as collateral the team’s broadcast rights that they have with the local Fox affiliate and its partners nationwide. Wali Skalij / Los Angeles Times ……….

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Alan aka tophatal ……………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

😛

NB: If the league should subsequently choose to purchase the team from Frank McCourt then it’d mean that the other teams in the league will would instantaneously become adjunct owners of the Dodgers and more likely than not would have to assume the debt ($800 million) . If anything it’d be preferable for McCourt and his ex wife to either file for Bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 while trying to clear its debt and then come back out of bankruptcy as a newly reorganized ballclub clear of its original indebtedness.


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Eye candy …………. Angie Conwell

Tastin’ the flava lickin’ and suckin’ it well !

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Bill Withers ………….” Lean On Me”
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Baseball, Bud Selig & Bob DuPuy, Frank & Jamie McCourt, Jeff Wilpon, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Mets, Sports

Three Strikes And You’re Out


Three Strikes And You’re Out

Well the baseball season is almost upon and already there’s a number of stories that have come to the fore. Februrary 14thh pitchers and catchers report for duty at their Spring Training venues and the 26th for all remaining players . And while I’ll be looking forward to seeing a number of teams in the preseason games scheduled for them. It will be interesting to see whether or not the San Francisco Giants can make a successful defense of their World Series title. I certainly know this, they were thoroughly deserving of their win in the defeat of the Texas Rangers .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now while the regular season has yet to begin there is a great deal of turmoil that’s going on within the game and it’s patently obvious that Commissioner Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy are completely out of their depth. The acrimonious divorce of billionaire real estate mogul Frank McCourt has essentially placed the Los Angeles Dodgers at risk as the courts have sided with McCourt’s ex wife Jamie in a ruling that splits the baseball team as a communal asset.

Frank McCourt as the principal owner of the ball-club insists that he has no intention of selling the team and he also insists that his wife cannot contribute in the day to day operation of the organization . Clearly Frank McCourt has no belief in the rule of law and what has made the situation all the more unbelievable has been the lengths and depths McCourt went to in trying to cheat his wife out of a share in the team. In essence he induced his wife into signing a document that had no bearing on the team’s operations but somehow that same document then shows that in part agreed that she wasn’t a stakeholder in the Dodgers. And here was I thinking that this sort of corruption was only conducted within the halls both US Congress and Senate ? Boy was I ever so wrong ! McCourt’s machinations and maneuvers make those of the members of the legislative chambers seem like a romp in the park.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Dodger divorce: New lawyers for Frank McCourt, and for his old law firm

February 7, 2011 | 12:44 pm

With the possibility that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt could blame Bingham McCutchen should he lose control of the team, the Boston-based law firm has retained a high-powered firm with expertise in defense against legal malpractice suits.

Bingham has hired Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, based in Los Angeles and described in the American Lawyer magazine last year as “a top choice for law firms in need of their own rescue, particularly in malpractice litigation.”

McCourt, meanwhile, has hired a premier New York attorney to replace Bingham as the Dodgers’ outside counsel.

A Bingham spokesperson said the firm had “asked Gibson Dunn to advise us concerning various matters of California law related to the ongoing situation.”

“I think Bingham needed third-party advice from somebody who did not have anything at stake,” said Michael Dempsey, a Century City attorney specializing in legal malpractice but not involved on the McCourt case.

McCourt and Bingham parted ways in December after a judge threw out a marital property agreement that would have granted him sole ownership of the Dodgers. However, Bingham retained Kevin Rosen, chairman of the Gibson Dunn legal malpractice defense group, before the judge’s ruling and for experience beyond malpractice law, according to a source familiar with the McCourt divorce proceedings.

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Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are a financial mess as the team has amassed a debt in excess of $800 million but what makes the team so value is its history , legacy and the fact that it is in the country’s second largest advertising market . That may well saving grace for the team if it at all to survive and any pursuer of the team with a view to buying had better be ready to up the ante and at the same assure the fans that they’re in it for the long haul should Frank McCourt be pressed into the selling of the team.

It’ll be interesting to see what public statements will be forthcoming from the commissioner’s office before the dust has settled on the Dodgers and this mess. Selig through his spokesperson Bob DuPuy has said that they would closely monitor the situation. Well now the shit has hit the crapper and it’s time for action , if not from the commissioner , then from someone within the game’s hierarchy. At stake is the financial stability and viability of the organization. And what might be even more troubling may well be the image being created by this all and how it is being perceived by the fans. God knows after the horrid season by the team and the fact that Joe Torre essentially bailed on the organization , I’ve got to ask where do the Dodgers now go from here ?

It’s been strange to think it has been over three decades since the New York Mets won a World Series title . In that time the team has been essentially inept while from a financial standpoint they’ve essentially spent money on bringing high priced free agents who essentially have been busts in the same way that the Obama administration has spent countless billions of taxpayers’ monies without any real oversight and barely anything tangible in return to show for it all. I guess you could say that GM may well say finally is paying its way but that’s been solely down to the fact that the company is now more profitable outside North America than it is on its domestic soil. That if anything should tell you all you need to know about the company as a whole at this juncture. And that other blood sucking entity that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner , House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking & Finance Committee saw fit to bail out AIG the insurance and financial behemoth that essentially gobbled up close to $200 billion ( $200,000,000,000) the way that a vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt off an uncleaned rug.

The company still isn’t out of the woods as of yet even though it has paid back several billion dollars the fact of the matter is the taxpayer is still owed in excess of $120 billion which the government as such has a stake in company as an equity stakeholder. My own personal feeling was that the company should have been split up and sold off in parts as seen fit by the US Bankrupcty Courts . But as we know Congress and its ‘paymasters’ (lobbyists) march to the beat of a different drum . How else can you explain the fact that a small business can’t obtain a loan from a commercial bank much less the government’s own financially backed SBA (Small Business Administration) but yet a totally morally bankrupt financial concern can essentially get billions of dollars single handedly at the drop of a hat ? I’m still waiting for an explanation from Barack Obama , Geithner or any of the idiots who sit on the House Banking Committee and Senate Banking & Finance Committee .
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Courtesy of Reuters

Ex-NY governor Cuomo to mediate $1 billion Mets-Madoff suit

(Reuters) – Mario Cuomo, the former New York governor, was named as mediator in the $1 billion legal battle between the owners of the New York Mets baseball team and the trustee for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland appointed Cuomo, the father of current New York governor Andrew Cuomo, late Thursday afternoon, saying the dispute presented “special issues” that required “an appropriately experienced mediator.”

Irving Picard, the trustee, is seeking to recover roughly $300 million of “fictitious” profits as well as principal from Sterling Equities Inc, which controls the Mets, and its officials including Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.

The trustee contends that the team owners long ignored red flags about Madoff’s estimated $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Wilpon and Katz have maintained that they too were Madoff victims.

Picard and the Mets principals had been in talks about a settlement, but talks broke down after details of the lawsuit, which had been filed under seal in December, leaked. Wilpon has said he may sell part of the team because of the litigation.

Mario Cuomo, 78, was a mediator before serving as New York’s governor from 1983 to 1994. He is now a lawyer at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

As mediator, Cuomo can try to bring Picard and the Mets principals together, but cannot force them to settle.

The case is Picard v. Katz et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-ap-05287.

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As I alluded to earlier the New York Mets have been a mess but now more than ever team owner Fred Wilpon and his family face a civil suit in the US District Courts that seeks $350 million in damages and a further sum of between $400 to $600 million in punitive damages . The reason behind the suit is that the Wilpons profited from these funds that were gained dubiously through the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme that defrauded countless thousands out of some $59 billion ($59,000,000,000) . Madoff is now serving a 125 year sentence in a Federal Penitentiary for his crimes . It’d appear that Fred Wilpon and many of his family members were one of the major recipients from this scheme but through their legal counsel they now contend that they too were victims of Madoff’s fraudulent activities. Somehow over the two decades that Madoff’s scheme went on the family seemed to have been recipients of the scheme’s largess rather than a victim. Now in the face of this civil suit the front office will have a decision to make . Do they divest themselves complete of the team or do they sell a minority stake as a way of having some ready made liquidity ? Martin Luther King III and a consortium have approached the Wilpon family about buying a 20% -25% stake in the team and though the figure is said to vary between $275million to $300 million.

One can easily see the mess that has been created here and the very fact baseball’s hierarchy is completely out of touch with the reality and financial stability of its game. I’ve always felt that Selig and the team owners simply will drink from the well like a starved animal until it is dry. And there lies the problem within the league. There’s simply not enough water in the well for everyone to drink from. And while most certainly the likes of the New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox , St Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies can simply buy their way out of trouble that’s not the case of the vast majority of the teams within baseball.

These are some of the inherent problems that the game faces and one which the owners , league hierarchy and MLBPA (union) don’t wish to address in public with a openly frank statement . MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner hasn’t addressed the issue when broached on the subject and we shouldn’t expect anything else from either party at this juncture.

The funny thing is that the more I read the pieces concerning the game no one really wants to deal with the underlying issues that baseball faces. Certainly not from the standpoint as to why there’s such a wide margin between the haves and have nots within the game. The Wilpons and Steinbrenners of the world have it extremely easy when they can have their respective ballparks built for them at the taxpayers’ expense courtesy of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg . At a combined $2.355 billion ($2,355,000,000) both Citi Field , Yankee Stadium stand as cavernous edifices and a tribute to grand opulence and greed !

Many of the patrons would rather give you a deluge of information as to how they view a team and their chances of doing well in the season. Prognosticating while great , it’s essentially the same thing repeatedly being said by a number of people in different terms. Nothing new and nothing ever changes !

Once the MLB season starts there’ll be a great many stories to unfold we’ll see how things unfold for both the Mets and the Dodgers . I do believe however that those two stories could engulf the season and make us all realize how acute the situation is within the game. The very fact that Bud Selig stands around like an ostrich with his head buried in the sand gives you clear indication as to the sort individual he really is. Meanwhile the idiot writers who cover the sport simply drool like Cheshire cats licking their whiskers having drank a bowl of milk . And while the likes of Peter Gammons , Buster Olney , Tim Kurkjian a slew of other journalists and analysts who cover the sport simply cow tow to the league hierarchy like a slave in obeyance of their slave master . I simply wonder what the fans will think of this all ? More often than not they’re only concerned with the fate of their teams rather than the overall big picture .

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How do you now see things quite possibly panning out as to the fate of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets ? And do you believe that the game of baseball would now be better off if Bud Selig were to immediate resign from his post as commissioner and someone with a real feel for all aspects of the game were to be installed in his place ? If so who would you prefer to succeed Selig in the post of commissioner ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter any other baseball related issue ?

Picture and slide show details
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(1) San Francisco Giants CEO Bill Neukom , center, shakes hands with manager Bruce Bochy , right, as general manager Brian Sabean , left, looks on during a baseball news conference at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. Neukom announced that the Giants have exercised contract options for both Sabean and Bochy for the 2012 season. AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

(2) Arlington ,Tx,. (2) Edgar Renteria (16) of the San Francisco Giants hits a 3-run home run in the seventh inning against Cliff Lee (33) of the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP ……..

(3) Elvis Andrus (1) of the Texas Rangers tries to break up a double play in front of Freddy Sanchez (22) of the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 30, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images / Doug Pensinger ………

(4) In happier times seen from left to right actor James Brolin, singer Barbra Streisand, Jamie McCourt and owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt watch Game Four against the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 13, 2008 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Harry How ……..

(5) Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt is seen here congratulating incoming coach Don Mattingly having assumed the position from Joe Torre seen left of the owner. Also seen in picture is the team’s general manager (far right) Ned Colletti . LA Times /Wally Skalij ………

(6) New York Mets owner and CEO Fred Wilpon, right, and COO Jeff Wilpon speak to the media during a news conference on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at Citi Field in New York. The New York Mets fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya on Monday, an expected shake-up of the big-spending ballclub after its second straight losing season. The Mets said a search is under way for a new GM, who will work with the team to hire a new manager. The organization eventually hired Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi to head the front office . In the wake of Manuel and Minaya’s firing Terry Collins was hired by the duo to manage the team . AP Photo / Jeff Wenig ……..

(7) Baseball managers Joe Torre , left, Lou Piniella , second from left, and Cito Gaston , right, join baseball commissioner Bud Selig at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. AP / Roberto Gonzalez ……..

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Alan aka tophatal …………………

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Amie

Eye candy ……………….. Amazin Amie …..yes sir she’s the cats’ meow !

Boy do I love what she’s doin’ with that hose !

Back that ass up baby back that ass up !

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Bob Marley …………….. “Natural Mystic “

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