Huge day for the Mets ownership, as the Wilpons and Saul Katz settled their legal differences with Madoff trustee Irving Picard.
You could argue that the Wilpons got lucky, that they wouldn't have fared well in a jury trial and that some of Picard's witnesses would've been particularly compelling. But it's moot now. Just as Ryan Braun prevailed in his rather different legal battle, no questions asked, the Wilpons are winners, as these terms make clear.
That the Mets will announce today that they've sold their 12 minority shares and have repaid their debts to Major League Baseball and Bank of America makes it all the sweeter. You can bet that Wilpon ally Bud Selig will be thumping his chest over these developments, saying that he told us all along that there was nothing over which to worry with the Mets.
There still is much work to be done to get the Mets and their owners back to respectability. But the immediate crises are past now - my understanding is that those looming payments in 2014 and 2015 are not as foreboding as they appear to be - and the team's baseball operations department and players can fully focus on the field. No matter how dispiriting things seem there.
--Mark Herrmann spoke to Yankees old-timers about Andy Pettitte's return. What distinguishes Pettitte from the likes of Ron Guidry, Rich Gossage and David Wells, as well as Jorge Posada, is just how good he was prior to calling it quits. He was so good in 2010 that, a few months ago, Brian Cashman was willing to pay him eight figures for the 2012 season, despite not having seen Pettitte pitch in over a year.
--Great story by Tyler Kepner about Robin Ventura, the White Sox's new manager. Ventura will be a particularly interesting case study in the tales of inexperienced managers. How much can great communication skills compensate for a complete lack of experience as a manager, or even a coach?
--Bad news for Kansas City closer Joakim Soria, who appears headed for Tommy John surgery.
--Chase Utley left Phillies camp to meet with an unnamed specialist about his ailing knees. These Phillies are starting to feel like the 2001 Yankees - breaking down and relying increasingly on a stellar starting rotation. Of course, those Yankees came two outs short of of winning it all.
--Have a great day.