Mets: Five of the worst memories during the Wilpon era
By Michael Carballeira
Mets fans of all ages know about this one. July 1st of every year, well at least from 2011 through 2035, is known not only in New York but around the world as Bobby Bonilla Day. It is a day us Mets fans have to get poked at about year after year and well we deserve to at this point.
Back in 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining contract of Bobby Bonilla, who was an all-star in the majors but both stints with the Mets were not all-star caliber. When buying out Bonilla, the Mets owed him just under six million dollars but Bonilla and his agent came up with a deal that of course, Fred Wilpon accepted.
The deal was to defer his last payment for a decade and the Mets would pay him an annual payment of $1.19 million every July 1st. After July of 2035, Bonilla will have made just under thirty million dollars for a year in which he did not even play in a Mets uniform.
It was reported that Fred Wilpon accepted this deal mainly because he was heavily invested in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The ten percent returns he was supposed to get from Madoff was better than the eight percent interest that they would have owed Bonilla on his buyout.
Of course, the Mets being the Mets and Wilpons being the Wilpons, the Madoff Ponzi scheme came out and the Mets lost out on their investment with Madoff and Bobby Bonilla hit the jackpot getting paid once a year starting in 2011 when his last MLB game played was 2001.
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It has been a long, long time with the Wilpons but that time is finally over and hopefully us Mets fans do not have to see any more moments like these in the near future.