The Mets are fiscally fit, according to commissioner Rob Manfred.
“The Mets are financially stable,’’ he told a group from the Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday at Major League Baseball’s offices in Manhattan. “There is no ongoing concern from this office about the Mets’ financial stability. They’re actually performing very well now from a financial perspective. I understand why people ask the question, but I think we’re past that.’’
Reeling from losses in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, the Mets lost a reported $70 million in 2011 and ultimately had to borrow $25 million from MLB and take a loan for $40 million from Bank of America. Mets ownership later sold 12 minority shares at $20 million each after a failed deal to sell a minority share for $200 million to hedge fund manager David Einhorn. The loans to MLB and the bank reportedly were paid off.
Manfred said the Mets’ finances improved with last year’s run to the World Series. “This is sort of a baseball truism,’’ he said. “You win, it shows up really more the next year than the prior year. I think the Mets’ financial performance was much improved because of the way they played last year. And will be even more improved this year as a result of the glow associated with making it to the World Series.”
The Mets declined to comment on Manfred’s remarks.
Manfred also commented on other topics.
New slide rule: Manfred said the regulation, which requires a baserunner to make a “bona fide’’ attempt not to slide into a fielder on a potential double play, is “undergoing a period of adjustment’’ and “worth it to me if we get better player safety. Our players are extraordinarily valuable. We felt that it was important to have a rule that put player safety first.’’
All-Star voting: From 60 million to 65 million votes were canceled last season because of potential voter fraud. MLB did not give a reason, but it reportedly was tied to the possibility of eight Royals making the starting lineup. “Our technology is good enough to make sure that we don’t have some computer out there running votes infinitely for an individual player,’’ he said.
Minority representation: Manfred said 25 percent of the players drafted in the first round last June were African-American. “We’re thinking we’re going to have another really good year from a diversity perspective,” he said.
Jose Reyes domestic-abuse case: He said the investigation is coming to a close and added, “We should be in the homestretch’’ on a decision on potential punishment for the Rockies shortstop.