clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Date in Mets History: May 26 — The Wilpons play Let's (nearly) Make a Deal

If you liken the travails of the current Mets ownership to a game show, hedge fund manager David Eichorn was an unlucky contestant,

Paul Bereswill / Getty images

As of this date in 2013, the Wilpon family claims that their Bernie Madoff-induced money issues are "all in the rear view mirror," though the veracity of that claim is certainly debatable. True or not, both the Wilpons and the Mets would likely be in better financial shape had Fred, Jeff, et al. followed through with the plan to sell a minority share of the team to hedge fund manager David Einhorn, a deal agreed to in principle on this date in 2011. Under the terms of the since-scuttled transaction, Einhorn would have gained a 17 percent stake of the Mets for $200 million, plus the option to become the majority team's owner (for a price rumored to be as low as one dollar) if the Wilpons were unable to repay his nine-figure investment within five years. According to Wilpon's Folly, the book by the aforelinked Howard Megdal, Fred Wilpon immediately regretted the terms of that deal and set about trying to get out of it, which he eventually did.

While it might be fun to fantasize about a new owner coming in to refill the Mets' coffers, keep in mind that there's no guarantee he, she, or even it would necessarily be better than the Wilpons. Einhorn, in particular, as his judgment hasn't proved to be too sound lately. In December 2012, he was forced to pay a $11.2 million fine by the U.K. Financial Services Authority, the second largest ever levied by the body, for insider trading. Lately, Einhorn has been taking a bath on gold, the Jason Bay of investments. With the price of the precious metal dropping 17 percent from its 2011 peak, Greenlight Capital, Einhorn's hedge fund, reported a loss in April despite strong performances by other holdings like Apple and General Motors.

No Mets have been born on May 26, but rocker Lenny Kravitz was and several New York players have used his tunes as their at-bat or warm up music. The most recent do to so was John Maine. who got loose to "Are You Gonna Go My Way" during the 2006 season.

Game of Note
Obviously, there's one Johan Santana start from 2012 that's a bit more memorable than the rest, but his performance against the Padres one rotation turn earlier was pretty good, too. On May 26 of last year, the once and future No-han needed just 96 pitches to shut out San Diego at Citi Field. Offensively, the Mets backed their ace with nine bookend runs, four coming in the first and five in the eighth. Perhaps the most remarkable part of the game, topping even Johan rounding into fine form after missing the last year due to shoulder surgery, was that final run scoring outburst. Mainly because the bulk of it came courtesy of a Mike Nickeas grand slam. For the record, the well mane-tamed backstop is presently hitting .113/.203/.132 in his fourth go-round with the Buffalo Bisons.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Montana joined the union as a territory on this date in 1868. The future Treasure State hasn't proved a viable mine for MLB talent, though. Roughly 20 big leaguers have come from Big Sky country, including former Mets Ed Bouchee, John Gibbons, and Rob Johnson. While not a Montanan by birth, current Met Justin Turner has roots in the state. His professional career began with an assignment to the Billings Mustangs, Rookie League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. One assumes the lower-case magic of Montana's Magic City inspired the young Turner to start honing his celebratory pie-hurling skills.