Fred Wilpon has always been a familiar figure at spring training. He has been known to arrive early, but there are no reports of his plans in the specter of bad financial times that threaten his family’s control of the team.
Last year, Wilpon used the word ``torture’’ to describe the Mets 72-90 record in 2009. One could only imagine what he is feeling now as the team seeks minority investors to mitigate a potentially diasterous ruling as trustee Irving Picard seeks up to $1 billion from the Mets.
Wilpon had to fend off questions last year about potential belt tightening because of perceived losses by the Mets in the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
The subject of selling the team was dismissed by Wilpon, who was quoted, ``I've always said, if it's up to me, my family will be involved for the next generations. That's all I can tell you. I can't say that about any other asset we own.’’
Wilpon has always enjoyed tooling around the complex in a golf cart and it would not be uncommon for a visit from his boyhood friend, Sandy Koufax.
It has been reported that Koufax, the Hall of Fame pitcher, lost some money he invested with Madoff’s firm. It is not known if the relationship between Wilpon and Koufax has been affected by those dealings.