Prospective Mets minority owner David Einhorn yesterday declined to make any guarantees about reviving the franchise, saying he hopes the sale will be complete by the end of June but that the financial future of the team is "uncertain."
Einhorn was asked during an impromptu pregame news conference near the on-deck circle if he could assure fans that the next few years will not be a slide into financial oblivion for the Mets.
"I can't make any such assurance," Einhorn said. "It will be what it will be, you know? It's not that people aren't going to try really hard to avoid that sort of a circumstance. But the future is uncertain and there's a wide range of possible outcomes of all sorts of things. That's true of life in general, and it's true in this circumstance as well."
Einhorn refused to confirm or deny the reported details of the sale agreement. He did suggest there is some validity to the reports, even if the full picture has yet to emerge.
"The agreement itself is confidential," Einhorn said. "I can't disclose the terms as per the agreement. That just wouldn't be the right thing to do. Let me just say this: When the agreement first came out or the discussion that first came out, there was a lot of reaction that this was a very one-sided agreement in favor of the Wilpons. And now, as the other stuff -- much of which is not correct -- has come out, there's a lot of view that the agreement is very one-sided in favor of me, and I think both of those characterizations are wrong.
"This agreement I think is a fair agreement. It's a win-win agreement. It covers a lot of the basic goals that I was hoping to achieve in the negotiations. I think it achieved a lot of the basic goals that the Wilpons were trying to achieve in the negotiations, and I think it sets us on a path to a very good partnership going forward."
While Einhorn is paying $200 million for what reportedly is roughly a 30-percent stake in the team, ESPN.com and The New York Times reported the agreement includes a chance for him to purchase a controlling 60 percent of the team at the end of a three-year period.
Wilpon reportedly can block that takeover bid by repaying Einhorn's original $200 million, leaving him with a smaller share of the club.
Einhorn spoke to reporters at Citi Field for the second time in three days. Instead of being chased by reporters this time, however, Einhorn watched with his family as the Mets took batting practice and then held the news conference.
Einhorn spoke for a little more than three minutes, then returned to watching batting practice. When it was over, he took his family into the Mets' dugout, which was empty at the time.
Einhorn also was spotted at Citi Field during Saturday's game against the Phillies, which he watched from a luxury box.
While the prospective owner gushed about Citi Field itself, calling the park "beautiful," he reserved comment when asked about the team. The Mets entered Monday with a 24-28 record, which had them in fourth place in the National League East.
"I don't have anything to say about the team at this point," he said. When asked why not, Einhorn replied, "I just don't think it would be the right thing to do."