February 27, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets chief executive officer Fred Wilpon during spring training workouts at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon spoke with reporters Monday, and it mustn't have astonished anyone when he declared that Wilpons and/or Katzes will own the team "for a very long time." He continued:
"There shouldn't be concern about us owning the franchise. . . . Whether (fans) are happy about that right now or not, I don't know. As long as I can, I plan to be the owner here."
Wilpon's comments are neither revelatory nor surprising. Whatever comes of his snarled mess of a lawsuit at the hands of the Madoff trustees, the man can be taken at his word that he desires and intends to go on owning the team he loves until it's pried from his cold, penniless hands. Saying otherwise would be pointless and fatalistic, raw meat for the pointy-toothed Mets fans, already ravenous and salivating at the thought of ousting Wilpon from his ivory Metropolitan throne.
Maybe Irving Picard will bleed Wilpon dry and he'll be forced to sell the team, either by bankruptcy court or executive fiat, which latter seems vanishingly unlikely given commissioner Bud Selig's opinion of and relationship with Wilpon. Or maybe the lawsuit will fizzle out and the Wilpons will be able to maintain control of the franchise for decades to come. What definitely won't happen is Wilpon selling the team merely because a lot of Mets fans think he's a crummy owner. In other words, if you're desperate for ownership change, the onset of pauperdom at Casa de Wilpon is your only realistic endgame here. Unless or until that happens, don't hold your breath waiting for Fred Wilpon to bow out on his own.