Bernie Madoff Scandal
Bernie Madoff was the head operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in history when he was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty in 2009. In case you do not know a Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors.
One of those investors happened to be Fred Wilpon who was partners with his brother-in-law Saul Katz. In 2012 Fred Wilpon reached a settlement where he had to pay back up to one hundred sixty-two million dollars that he received from Madoff during the scandal.
Now the issue was two years prior to this settlement the MLB loaned the Mets twenty-five million dollars to help with the financial issues they were then dealing with. The loan was mostly because the Mets are based in New York which is considered a “big market” and when big market cities are successful in sports it helps those specific leagues.
Even with the loan from the MLB the Mets, who were never really big spenders under the Wilpons, continued to still not go after big free agent names year in and year out. They were even labeled as spending like a small market and it didn’t help the look with the Yankees being from the same city.
The Mets were then hearing the backlash from media, the fans, and even teams in the MLB. This pushed the Mets back a few more years and for a team that was coming off back-to-back collapses at the time in 2007 and 2008, this was not a good look on the Wilpon family.