LI vodka maven Silver wants shot to buy Mets

Long Island vodka mogul Martin Silver, center, surrounded

Long Island vodka mogul Martin Silver, center, surrounded by "Georgi girls" Shana Marchetti, left, and Brieana Devita, right, wants to buy a piece of the Mets' franchise. (Jan. 20, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

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A Mets fan from Syosset who once mailed chickens to the Wilpons in protest of their midnight firing of manager Willie Randolph now wants to become part of their ownership group.

On the heels of the Wilpons' surprising announcement Friday that they're willing to sell 20 to 25 percent of the Mets, vodka maven Martin Silver held a news conference at a Manhattan bar Saturday to express his interest in buying at least a piece of the club.

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Flanked by two women wearing Mets hats and tank tops publicizing his vodka brand, Silver said he rounded up a group of investors to buy the Mets two years ago but "the Wilpons blew me off." He insisted anybody who purchases a percentage of the ballclub deserves to have influence in the decision-making.

"The management of the Mets and the owners say they're willing to sell part of the team but whoever they sell it to won't have a say in how the team is managed," Silver said. "We want that to change a little bit. Whoever invests in the team has to have a say in what's going on."

A longtime Mets season-ticket holder, Silver also is a part owner of the Wilmington (Del.) Blue Rocks, a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

"They have a new manager, a new general manager. They need players now," Silver added. "They can get players out of the farm system and give them a chance or they can get established players."

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With Jim Baumbach

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