Does it make me a horrible person if I want the Mets to lose their shirts to Irving Picard?
Probably. But the way I see it, I'm going straight to hell anyway. And if that's where I'm going, I'd like to see the Mets relevant again before I get there. So yeah, it's good news to hear that a U.S. District Judge has ruled that the Picard vs. Wilpons suit will go on as planned, and that the first family of tone deaf has to pay out those $83 million in ficticious profits. Now that alone wouldn't be the best news, as $83 million is just enough to doom the Mets to financial irrelevancy over the next couple of years yet not enough to give Bud Selig the ample reason he needs to force these clowns out of business. But there's a chance now that the Wilpons have to pay out a whole lot more money at the end of this trial, which would probably be the death blow.
But for that to happen, the prosecution has to prove that the Wilpons were "willfully blind" to Madoff's shenanigans. Now, I believe that on some level, they were indeed willfully blind ... in so much as they didn't want to believe their friend would do anything bad, and stuck their heads in the sand. But is my belief enough to convince a court of law of this? More importantly, will the prosecution do enough to convince a jury of this? I have my doubts about that. Intent seems to be a tough thing to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Besides, the Wilpons have a full proof alibi. "Look, there's no way we could have known what Madoff was doing with our money ... we're really not that bright. Look, we signed off on Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and Jason Bay. Are those the actions of evil geniuses? Hardly. We can't manage money to save our lives! We're stupid ... it's just who we are."
But fear not, young squires, because there was actual baseball tonight! The spring training schedule got under way with a televised home game against the Washington Nationals. The smell of hot dogs, the sight of blue uniforms, and the sounds of Keith Hernandez telling us that he read the entire Harry Potter book collection over the winter. Yup, baseball is back.
And so is Dillon Gee, who grew a small chinchilla on his face which makes him look like Eric Gagne without the steroids. Kind of makes you think that there's a missing intern or two in that beard, which will hopefully scare the daylights out of opposing batters. That is, except for Rick Ankiel who isn't scared of anybody wearing blue and orange as he smacked a Gee pitch over the left field fence in the second inning. But overall Gee didn't look half-bad. And neither did Matt Harvey, who pitched two innings, showed a good curveball, and got out of some self imposed trouble in his second inning of work by inducing a double play with the bases loaded. Soon after, Mike Pelfrey was checking out real estate ads in out of town newspapers.
As far as the offense goes, Ike Davis had two at-bats and didn't cough up any fungal particles. And Andres Torres looked good as he walked, stole second, and scored on a Daniel Murphy base hit as the Mets had a 1-0 lead after two batters. It's already enough to make me forget about Angel Pagan (oh who am I kidding, I forgot about Angel Pagan in December.) Of course, in true Met fashion, it was the only run they scored all game. Here's the ominous part: the new closer, Frank Francisco, came into the game in the fifth inning to the docile tones of our announce team telling us how Francisco was so reminiscent of Armando Benitez. The swagger, the walk, the scowl ... all of it. And of course he was just like Benitez in another way too: he gave up the winning run, just like Benitez. Way to get the fan base pumped up with that comparison.
Up next, a split squad game against the Cardinals where we'll have a look at Brandon Nimmo, and we'll see if Johan Santana can spot his patented change-up on a dime without his arm falling off.