Let’s Celebrate! It’s Bobby Bonillia Day
Today, as he has since 2011, Bobby Bonilla will receive a check for $1,193,248.20 for the New York Mets. In case you don't know the story, prior to the 2000 season the Mets wanted to buy out the remaining $5.9 million of Bonillia's contract. The Mets and Bonillia agreed that in lieu of paying $5.9 million right now, the team would pay the player approximately $1.2 million per year for 25 years starting on July 1, 2011 and to run through 2035.
Now these are the types of decisions that have made the Mets, well, the Mets, laughingstocks of the sports pages. The Wilpon's were enjoying the fraudulent profits from investing with their long time friend Bernie Madoff, which was another excellent decision (see dictionary for sarcasm) by Fred and his son Jeff. So, basically, Bonillia was another casualty of the their relationship with the world famous criminal.
Bobby Bonillia was a very good player. He played 16 years in the Major League with 2 stints in New York with the Mets. He amassed almost 300 home runs. He was a good defender and a steady hitter. By the time the season finished in 1999 with a loss to the Braves in the National League Championship Series, Mike Piazza was now the star of this team and Bonillia was in the way coming off the bench. So, you understood management wanting to dump the aging veteran off the roster. The math of the deal is where it gets scary.
The Wilpons no longer own the Mets and Bobby Bonillia, including agreed upon interest, took the Mets for roughly or not so roughly an additional $26,317,695.50 plus the original $5,900,000. Not bad. Congratulations Bobby!