I think I am old enough to recognize a stricken look.
That is what I have seen on the faces of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz in the past two years. They are of my generation – although a tad more wealthy – and I think I can tell the look of two people who felt betrayed by a friend. They have seen ruin and even death up close, to people they know.
Now they have settled their case, and perhaps they and the Mets can move on. Or not. But I come to this stage still unconvinced that Wilpon and Katz “knew” Madoff was cheating.
My belief is not based on their including Sandy Koufax in the Madoff web. That’s just one small piece of it.
I have read documents filed by the trustee, listing all the accounts held by Wilpon and his brother-in-law, Katz. The accounts are in the names of Wilpons and Katzes and other people clearly related to these two partners. The next generations, living mostly in favored suburbs of New York.
Bernie Madoff would, and did, involve his flesh and blood in his evil. The sick creep gave up his wife and children and grand-children.
I have been around Wilpon and Katz over the years, not enough to say I really know them but just enough to believe that family is important enough that they would not involve children and spouses and grandchildren in something they knew to be illegal.
Were they arrogant, foolish, greedy, sloppy, hasty? Sure. Should you like or admire them? Up to you.
People who know much more about law and finances than I do say that Wilpon and Katz “had to know.” That was up to lawyers and the trustee to prove. They did not.
I’ll have more to say about the Mets in the next few days.
I just wanted to make the point about the stricken look I think I saw.
Your comments are more than welcome; they are sought.
"....the monsters arrive."
"They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. I would call them mechanical locusts, descending upon every patch of gold in the neighborhood the way the grasshoppers of old would arrive, in numbers so great they darkened the sky, to lay bare a cornfield in minutes. But that comparison is unfair to locusts.
"Grasshoppers belong here. Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening, environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry."
---The great Margaret Renkl, from Nashville, one of my favorite NYT bylines, Oct. 26, 2021.
(She describes our Long Island enclave to every decibel, every stink.)
"The day after my 80th birthday, which overflowed with good wishes, surprises and Covid-safe celebrations, I awoke feeling fulfilled and thinking that whatever happens going forward, I’m OK with it. My life has been rewarding, my bucket list is empty, my family is thriving, and if everything ends tomorrow, so be it.
"Not that I expect to do anything to hasten my demise. I will continue to exercise regularly, eat healthfully and strive to minimize stress. But I’m also now taking stock of the many common hallmarks of aging and deciding what I need to reconsider."
--Jane E. Brody, my pal in the NYT newsroom, oh, a few years back, in the Personal Health column, Sept. 13, 2021.