Owner of the House and All, Wilpon Gets Welcome Mat Pulled From Under Him

first_imgNEW YORK— A group of New York Mets fans has its own slogan this season, a message directed at the club’s owners. When the team arrived at Citi Field for Monday’s home opener, it was greeted by two new billboards just outside the ballpark.“FRED, JEFF & SAUL,” one reads, “Ya gotta leave.”And the other one: “Sell the Team.”The billboards on Roosevelt Avenue, both 10 1/2 feet by 22 3/4 feet, stand alongside the elevated No. 7 subway line — a spot where thousands of fans are sure to see them. They are scheduled to be removed on May 3.The one with a blue background, which faces the stadium and is visible from a parking lot, plays off the “Ya gotta believe!” phrase Tug McGraw coined for the Mets as they chased and won the 1973 NL pennant.The sign in orange is visible from the east and implores owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz to sell. Next to the words are a caricature of a person with a baseball for a head, furrowed brow and scowl, a fella who resembles an angry relative of the Mr. Met mascot.Gary Palumbo, a 39-year-old Mets fan who lives in New London, New Hampshire, raised $6,700 on Kickstarter to pay for the placards. He was frustrated when the owners cut spending as they dealt with the fallout from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Now he’s angry the Mets maintain a payroll similar to those of middle-market teams, even though they say they hope to contend with a club buoyed by the return of star pitcher Matt Harvey from elbow surgery.“They asked us to be patient through the Madoff issue and to let them go through their rebuilding process, and then they said when the time was ready, they were going to reinvest back into the team and get it ready for competitiveness,” Palumbo said. “That was supposed to be last year, but with the Harvey injury, that kind of set everything back. And so once we went into this offseason and they signed (Michael) Cuddyer and then did nothing else, that was really the tipping point for me. That demonstrated that the Wilpons are still not financially capable of doing what needs to be done for the long-term best of the team.”Fred Wilpon became a minority owner of the team in 1980, co-owner in 1986 and sole controlling owner in 2002. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006 and has finished with a losing record in six straight seasons.Jeff Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer and Fred Wilpon’s son, declined to discuss the signs. Mets manager Terry Collins considers the money poorly spent.“I think it’s a waste of time, but that’s just my own opinion,” he said before the Mets’ 2-0 victory over Philadelphia. “You want to spend $6,000? Go feed the homeless.”Palumbo, a project manager for a technology firm, grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, and started following the Mets just before the franchise’s most recent last World Series title in 1986. He launched the Kickstarter campaign in December and said he received contributions from 250 people ranging from $1 to $350.David Restiano, who attended Marist in Poughkeepsie at the same time as Palumbo, volunteered to be his graphic designer. The two had not spoken in years before Restiano noticed the campaign and sent Palumbo a Facebook message.“This is not anti-Mets. This is pro player,” said Restiano, a 39-year-old from, Brick, New Jersey, who works as a designer for a financial-services company. “The Wilpons are not responsible stewards. They’re not doing what we need them to do to be successful. They’re not supporting the team like us.”Restiano drew his inspiration from McGraw and said he was careful to allude to Mr. Met without copying him exactly.“I said, ‘I don’t want to do anything that is even close to treading litigious grounds because the Wilpons will hammer us,’” he recalled. “I drew it from scratch, and I changed it enough where we put a different characterization to it. We call him Flushing Frank. At first I said to Gary we could call him Mr. Matt, but it was just too close.”Palumbo at first hoped to raise $5,000 and used the excess for a billboard put up in Florida along Interstate 95, about 8 miles north of the Mets’ spring training complex in Port St. Lucie. Much of the money came in after former Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez talked about New York’s teams at the Hall of Fame news conference in January.“Queens is a little bit different than the Yankees fans. Queens, they’re wild; they’re happy. They settle for what they have,” Martinez said. “Yankees fans cannot. Win or nothing.”Palumbo last week began another Kickstarter campaign to raise $7,000, which would extend the signs for four weeks and add one on Queens Boulevard. T-shirts ($16.50) and stickers ($4) of each billboard’s image also are being sold.Mets captain David Wright, focused on playing the Phillies, didn’t notice the signs on his way in.“Obviously I care about the fans and I want to put on a good show for the fans, but the last thing I need to think about before the home opener is some banner that’s up in front of the stadium,” he said. “It’s irrelevant to me, and it doesn’t help me get ready for a game.”RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Who makes Man City vs Liverpool combined XI?

first_imgManchester City v Liverpool Salah or Sane? Jesus or Firmino? – Manchester City vs Liverpool combined XI Tom Maston Last updated 2 years ago 18:02 7/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(6) Liverpool celebrate Getty Images Manchester City v Liverpool Premier League Manchester City Liverpool Opinion Two Premier League heavyweights face off at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but who of the available players deserve a place in the best combined XI? Despite both clubs making an unbeaten start to the season, defeat is not an option for either Manchester City or Liverpool when they meet at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.The two Premier League heavyweights are now almost at full-strength following injuries and transfer speculation surrounding a number of their key players.City 6/1 to win & under 2.5 goals Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing But who would make a combined XI between the players available? Goal uses their form so far this season to put together the best possible team…Simon Mignolet LiverpoolSIMON MIGNOLET (Liverpool):  Despite being left out for the victory over Arsenal, Loris Karius’s performance suggested that the Belgium international will have no issues getting back into Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI. Ederson has not totally convinced yet at City, and Mignolet has had a decent start to the season, despite others grabbing the headlines at Anfield.DANILO (Manchester City):  Having arrived in England as a figure of ridicule following his time at Real Madrid, the former Porto man has impressed in his short City career thus far, with his attacking intent particularly impressive and befitting of Pep Guardiola’s style.JOEL MATIP (Liverpool):  While there are clear deficiencies within the Liverpool defence, the former Schalke centre-back is by far their most reliable performer, particularly with Dejan Lovren continuing to struggle. The failure to land Virgil van Dijk means the Cameroon international will likely lead the Reds backline until January at the very least.VINCENT KOMPANY (Manchester City):  It is easy to forget given his lack of matches in recent years, but there are few finer centre-backs in the Premier League when fit than the City captain. Already they look far more solid with the Belgian at the heart of the defence despite Nicolas Otamendi flattering to deceive alongside him.BENJAMIN MENDY (Manchester City):  Though this team is based on recent form, such was Mendy’s impact on his City debut against Bournemouth that it is impossible to argue that he should not get in over Alberto Moreno. He has the potential to become the best in his position the English top flight has to offer.David Silva Manchester CityKEVIN DE BRUYNE (Manchester City):  He may have been moved back into a deeper role by Guardiola this season, but the former Chelsea midfielder continues to create endless chances for City as he looks to again finish the season as the top assist-provider.EMRE CAN (Liverpool):  After being called upon to cover for Jordan Henderson for much of last season, the Germany international finally seems to be finding his feet in the Premier League. Having always been a fine passer of the ball, he now seems to have found his goalscoring boots, as underlined by his double against Hoffenheim.DAVID SILVA (Manchester City):  He may have got rid of his hair, but the Spain playmaker has lost none of his talent as he continues to run the City midfield. The new contract he is currently mulling over is a sign that City do not feel he is finished yet.SADIO MANE (Liverpool):  With Philippe Countiho yet to make an appearance for the Reds this season, the Senegal international has further pressed his claim to be Liverpool’s most important player, having scored in all three of their Premier League matches thus far.Mohamed Salah LiverpoolMOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool):  Much was expected of the former Chelsea winger following his big-money arrival from Roma in the off-season and he has hit the ground running with three key goals already. Indeed, he seems to have struck up a superb understanding with Mane and Roberto Firmino.ROBERTO FIRMINO (Liverpool):  Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero might be more natural goalscorers, but the work Firmino does as a central striker for Jurgen Klopp’s side means he pips them to take his place in this side. Having been handed the No.9 shirt this season, he is showing no signs of letting up and allowing Daniel Sturridge to retain his place.Man City Liverpool Combined XI GFXHave we got it right? Is there someone missing from our XI that deserves a place? Have your say in the comments below! Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

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