There are so many potentially negative scenarios that could arise from the Madoff trustee’s suit against the owners of the Mets that it’s difficult to pinpoint any one of them as the worst case scenario. Obviously, the Wilpons and Saul Katz could lose a judgment or a costly settlement that could cause them to sell the team or plunge the team into financial ruin.
In addition to the potential disasters that the Mets’ owner face is the collateral damage that could occur from the lawsuit. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi wrote a great piece for Fox Sports that examines the possibility that the lawsuit could force the exposure of some MLB financial data related to the Mets. That’s a nightmare scenario for MLB and the other owners. One former baseball executive described the damage that could be done to MLB if their finances are exposed in the Madoff lawsuit:
The executive added that the league’s business partners — such as networks, corporate sponsors, and other advertisers — could conceivably become aware of financial information that wasn’t previously available to them. Armed with this data, those entities may be able to negotiate contracts on terms less favorable to MLB and its clubs.
It’s possible that the Madoff lawsuit could cause irreparable damage to not only the Mets, but the entire league if it can’t be settled before it goes to court. Both the trustee and MLB will be putting tremendous pressure on the Wilpons and Katz to get this issue settled before the collateral damage impacts MLB as a whole.