He's still out there.
I keep reading that the Mets want to keep the payroll down, under $140 million.
According to the Ledger the payroll is at $116 million.
They want Ollie to take $10 million. That gets you to $126. (Or the same $10 for Pettitte/Sheets/Whoever).
Manny Ramirez declined two years and $45 million from Los Angeles. Let's bring that up to $25 million. Yes, that's obscene. Yes, Manny is a jerk. Yes, I have sold my soul.
$126 plus $25 is $151. The Mets would be one or two million over the artificial cap. With no facts and just a gut feeling, I imagine there's one or two million dollars worth of TV ratings, jersey sales and hot dogs that Manny would bring to Taxpayer Field.
So I wonder what this is all about—and I think it's the same thing that's it is always about whether you are the Mets or the Marlins. Not just make money, but make as much money as you can.
The Mets have the fanbase believing that the team could win. So we'll buy four million tickets or whatever Taxpayer Field holds. It's a new stadium and a good enough team, so we'll take the bait and show up.
Maybe the Wilpons have run some numbers and find that's it's a better business if they finish second and play before 3.7 million fans. Then next winter they can splash one free agent and fool us again. Over time this will diminish (see Baltimore) and they'll have to go all in and bring in a whole bunch of free agents (see the great Eddie Murray & Willie Randolph teams of the 1990's).
So Fred, I ask you—do you actually want to win, or would you be just as happy being the Marlins? You know what, I take that back, at least the Marlins have two rings since 1987.
As for that image in this article, check out this.