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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Turn the Mets Around

The Mets are only enlisting a “turnaround consultant” now? Where was this service in September 2007? August 2002? May 1993? June 1977? The Mets have definitely been in need of a few sharp 180s in their storied history. You’d figure they’d have a “turnaround consultant” on call 24/7.

The “turnaround” in question isn’t directly baseball-related, though I guess a sturdy financial footing would be the first step back on a player-procurement path that isn’t littered with the likes of Omar Quintanilla, Jeff Stevens and Corey Wimberley. I’ll take the easy way out and say I have no idea what the revelation contained in Eno Sarris’s report at Amazin’ Avenue will lead to — it’s easy and it also happens to be true. The endgame might be in sight where a sale of the New York Mets is concerned. Or, per what CRG Partners says it does, unique operational and financial challenges faced by the Mets organization may be singularly focused upon and that organization’s results may be changed.

I honestly don’t know that an outcome from this news is preordained, I do know companies don’t enlist consultants of this nature because a tweak here and a tightening there is in order. I also know that when a company starts bringing in people like these, it’s tough to believe the statements that are issued as explanation.

The Mets’ statement is, “Mets Limited Partnership engaged CRG Partners to provide services in connection with financial reporting and budget processes.” It sounds pretty innocent, as if the only thing ownership has been lacking lately is someone to strongly recommend the colors on the tabs of the file folders be changed.

I find myself reminded of a company for which I worked some time ago. It was neither public nor large. Those of us employed by it figured everything was pretty much status quo until one day somebody picked up an industry newsletter and noticed an item about our president retaining the services of a firm that placed valuations on companies like ours for the purpose of selling them. Naturally, everybody got very curious and very nervous, for nobody told us anything — we had to read about it second-hand. When approached, our president said, basically, “Oh, that…it’s nothing.”

Three months later, the new owners stood in the middle of our office introducing themselves to us.

The Mets are a private enterprise that we semi-reasonably treat as a quasi-public trust. We don’t work for them, though you could say we are, collectively, their biggest client. So we have an interest in what hiring the firm that shepherded the Texas Rangers through bankruptcy and into new ownership means. Right now, I suppose, it means whatever we wish it to mean, at least until it doesn’t or, more likely, somebody brings the new owners around to meet everybody.

11 comments to Turn the Mets Around

  • Jim Haines

    How are they paying for this? They can’t pay the rent. Or the loans. Or the interest on the loans.

    • From the original Amazin’ Avenue report:

      a turnaround company typically gets only a modest fee if it comes in and merely makes recommendations; it has a considerable economic incentive to push for a huge sale when a sizable commission is in the offing.

  • Patrick

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but Tom Hicks was in the good graces of MLB and the commissioners office? Yes? I think what we have here is reality meets the road. Bud Selig allowed a long time friend and supporter to try and get his ship steadied and kept the rest of the owners at bay. And now when that has come to an end they are going to steer him to a suitable port that won’t vanquish him. I’ve been saying for a while now, unfortunately in some ways for us fans (because it likely cost us at least Jose Reyes, depending on your view of keeping him or not) this was always headed toward an orchestrated landing by MLB so that the Wilpons left with at least a Luxury Box.

  • open the gates

    If CRG is the first step toward a Wilpon-less Metropolitans franchise, then bring ‘em on, I say.

    BTW, I clicked on to your link on Omar Quintanilla. I can just picture the scouting report: “He’s a 30-year-old Quadruple-A (well, honestly, barely Triple-A) player who had one hit in 30+ at bats with a slew of strikeouts. Oh, and he’s coming off a drug suspension, which you have to have the intelligence of a flea to flunk these days. He’s perfect!”

    AAAAAAAUGH!!

    I refer back to my first sentence.

  • Will in Central NJ

    The retention of the services of the CRG Partners recalls to mind a quote from the inimitable Stymie of the Little Rascals comedies:

    “I don’t know where we’re goin’, but we’re on our way.”

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Most all statements issued by the Mets from finances down to hamstrings have been for public consumption resembling little of what was actually going on. This latest announcment makes it seem like they hired Bob from Accounts Temps. Wonder what the real goal of CRG is, considering the Wilpon’s hired them after their friend Bud Selig approved the $40 million bridge loan. It does seem kind of late for budget restructuring as it is the time to sell.

  • dmg

    i can’t believe this is really happening, but it is. figure on less than a year before the team is up for sale. how much less, hard to say.

  • RoundRock Mets

    Dolans, Dolans, Dolans, get ready for the Dolans, the Wilpons are-a-sellin’, good-bye…

  • “I also know that when a company starts bringing in people like these, it’s tough to believe the statements that are issued as explanation.”

    Wait a minute, this post is about Dave Howard?