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Big League Stew

Report: Mets want casino in Citi Field parking lot

David Brown
Big League Stew

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If there's anything to this report in the New York Post, it's probably way beyond the time for Major League Baseball to take the New York Mets away from the Wilpon ownership group, because Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are out of ideas. In order to get out from under the disaster of ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, the report says the team wants to build a casino and hotel on land next to Citi Field, the Mets' home ballpark.

The plan is a longshot, of course. Not only is live-dealer casino gambling illegal in New York state outside of tribal lands, but MLB surely doesn't want gambling happening next door to one of its stadiums. Even if there's no sportsbook involved, baseball has a bad history with gambling.

There's also the potentially dicey matter of building a giant casino among a lot of low-income housing, which is what the Willets Point area features. Morals? Bah!

Not only that, but who knows what a casino at Citi Field would mean for Mr. Met's job description. The "Charlie M." dramatization above might give us a sneak peak into his future as a loan shark and street tough like Joe Pesci's character from "Casino."

[Also: Inspiration for 'League of Their Own' character dies at 88]

The Post writes:

The Mets’ owners want to roll the dice on building a Las Vegas-style casino next to Citi Field to recoup some of the $162 million for which team brass are still on the hook following the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-scheme debacle, plans obtained by The Post reveal.

They're funny. "... plans obtained by The Post reveal." As if "Many Bothan spies died to bring us this information."

“This will be a place about fun — for families, sports fans and thrill seekers alike,” the proposal says.

“[It] will attract millions of visitors from the New York area and around the world and will serve as New York’s newest and most unique entertainment destination.”

Even as he planned to let it all ride on the glitzy casino, Wilpon’s team has lowered payroll to about $93 million this season, down from $143 million in 2011, when the team lost $70 million.

Hey, you have to pay David Wright somehow. Even though Wilpon and Bud Selig are longtime chums, I think this is an offer the commissioner can, and will, refuse.

Pitchers and catchers report any moment.
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