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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 [1], Jeff Stevens and Corey Wimberley [2]. 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 [3] 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 [4], 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 [5] 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 [6], at least until it doesn’t or, more likely, somebody brings the new owners around to meet everybody.