It looks like New York Mets fans may have just picked up an unlikely ally as they cry for a much-needed change in ownership.
OK, it's true. Having super agent Scott Boras riding shotgun on their quest to ouster the embattled Wilpon family might seem a bit strange given their different goals.
After all, Mets fans just want their franchise returned to the land of the respectable while Boras' aim is to resuscitate another big-market bidder for the services of his clients.
But since their end goal is the same, something tells me that Mets fans can welcome Boras' criticism of the team's current situation with open arms.
Boras did not mention the two owners — Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz — by name, but responded: "When they are not providing fans with the highest quality of play, and they take an attitude of 'we're going to take on a development role,' knowing that the TV contracts, the market size and such allow them revenues that far exceed many of the clubs that have to pursue those development policies, that impacts the game.
"The major franchises who are getting the majority of revenues should provide a product, or an attempt at a product, that has the near-highest payrolls commensurate with the markets they are in."
Boras also said that "the betterment of the game requires us often to look beyond the personal needs of an ownership."
This isn't the first time that Boras has pined for the days when a big market meant big spending. As the NYT's Vincent Mallozzi notes, Boras once noted that the Mets and Dodgers "used to shop in the steaks aisle and now they're in the fruits and nuts section."
I'm guessing the offseason pickups for those two teams don't like being characterized as "fruits and nuts," but Boras is right in contending that baseball needs owners who are able to put their team first and foremost. Bud Selig agreed on that point when it came to Frank McCourt and now the Los Angeles Dodgers have any number of better stewards bidding for ownership. Better days are presumably ahead in Southern California.
The commissioner, however, has held off on pushing anything with the Mets' situation in Queens, allowing his friends to float on the aid of league loans while they focus on escaping the suffocating mess of being tied to Bernie Madoff. Those legal implications are a full-time job in itself and exactly the type of personal distraction/obstruction that Boras is talking about.
But until Selig starts to agree with this pair of unlikely bedfellows, the Boras camp and Mets fans can wish all they want. Fred Wilpon said last week that his family isn't going anywhere and there's been no pressure from the league to make them think otherwise.
Big BLS H/N: MetsBlog