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Despite owners' losses, Mets will pursue pricey pitching


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Posted by: Jon Heyman CNNSI 03:13 PM ET

The Mets are planning no changes and "it's business as usual,'' according to Mets people in the wake of the scandal involving alleged scam artist Bernie Madoff that may have costs Mets owners hundreds of millions of dollars. Madoff's prominent victims in the self-confessed giant Ponzi scheme include Mets owner Fred Wilpon and partner Saul Katz.

Regardless of the personal losses, which are said to be separate from the team, the Mets still are pursuing their own high-priced free agent pitcher Oliver Perez, as well as other available pitchers, such as Randy Wolf and Jon Garland.

Reports have indicated that Wilpon may have had exposure of $300-400 million in Madoff's phony funds, which Madoff admitted to authorities was nothing more than a $50-billion Ponzi scheme. If so, that would make it the largest such fraud on record. Madoff has been charged and reportedly faces up to 20 years in prison.

Wilpon went to the extraordinary step of reassuring baseball commissioner Bud Selig, telling Selig there's nothing to worry about concerning the club, which has been estimated to have risen to be worth close to $1 billion under Wilpon's stewardship. Wilpon is said to be especially upset that a friend of decades would victimize him and many other friends in this manner.

The Mets say the team is not for sale and that Wilpon doesn't need to sell. Martin Silver, a Long Island liquor mogul, told the New York Daily News he'd be willing to buy the team, suggesting lowball figures of $600 million or $700 million.

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