Commentary

Trumpeting The Donald

Queens-bred Donald Trump would be the perfect man to revive the New York Mets

Updated: February 17, 2011, 10:43 AM ET
By Rob Parker | ESPNNewYork.com

Bring on The Donald.

The idea of Donald Trump buying the New York Mets would have to make all Mets fans excited.

Granted, this notion is closer to a dream than it is to reality. After all, Mets owner Fred Wilpon called Trump recently and asked if he would be interested in buying a non-controlling piece of the Metropolitans. To no surprise, The Donald said thanks but no thanks.

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You could never see a situation where Trump would be a silent partner -- putting in millions and having no input.

Trump, though, left the door open and said if the Wilpons -- financially strapped and facing a $1 billion lawsuit over the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme -- want to sell the team, he would be interested.

Trump, from Jamaica Estates, Queens, would be perfect to take on the task of turning the Mets back into a championship team.

On the surface, many will just look at Trump as a windbag, a camera hog with a lot of hair. And while that might be true in certain situations, that wouldn't be the reason here.

Trump -- who has made billions in real estate and casino gaming -- has shown over the years that he can get things done. He can build mountains out of molehills.

Best of all, The Donald is about winning.

That's the kind of owner you want leading your baseball team these days.

You can't be laid back and hope things happen for your team. Instead, you have to go for it, be one step ahead of your competition and make the big moves to win.

There's no doubt Trump would be the latter.

And while there still would be no guarantee that a Trump-led organization would win anything, there's one thing for sure: You would never doubt that he tried to win. That's the kind of owner the Mets need now more than ever before.

[+] EnlargeTrump
Bill Clark/Getty ImagesDonald Trump is from Queens, so it only seems appropriate he'd be the one to turn the Mets around.

Best of all, Trump comes with some experience. Let's not forget that he was the owner of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.

And Trump was all about winning back then. In fact, the Generals turned into winners under Trump's watch. They were 6-12 in the first season in 1983. Trump bought the team in the second season after the original owner died and the team went 14-4.

Trump was willing to do anything possible to win. The biggest star in the league was Generals running back Herschel Walker. Trump even honored the personal services contract Walker had signed with the Generals' first owner.

Under Trump, the Generals' wins totals went up and so did attendance. In their second season, the Generals averaged nearly 40,000 fans at the old Meadowlands.

Best of all, Trump loves sports. He's always at Yankee Stadium or the Garden for a big game. You want your owner not to just be attached to the franchise from the financial part, but also to have a personal, emotional stake. You want your owner to live and die for games the way fans do.

And as much as it would hurt a Mets fan to admit, you have to love the idea that Trump was around the Yankees a lot the last 20 years. Trump got first-hand knowledge as to how a top-flight organization is run.

Trump soaked up all the winning in the Bronx. Trump, if anybody, could bring some of that to Queens.

It's not that the Wilpons haven't tried. They have. They just haven't gotten the job done. The Mets -- who last won the World Series in 1986 -- should be better and have won a lot more in the last 25 years.

People in this town like to act as if the Mets never owned NYC. They did. For about five years, the Mets, not the Yankees, led Warner Wolf's highlights on the local news in the mid-1980s. The town was painted Mets' royal blue and orange.

The Yankees were second-class citizens, not out on the back page of the city's tabloids.

The Mets can get back there. But they need the right owner to get them there -- one that has the know-how, the money and the guts.

Donald Trump is that man.

He should forget about running for president. It's a thankless gig.

Instead, Trump should persuade the Wilpons to sell, then take on the biggest challenge of his life: Building a championship baseball team in the biggest baseball town in the country.

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