Move over, Mr. Met: The Metropolitans have a new mascot.
Bill Maher has taken his stand-up comedy antics to the New York Mets ownership box. The controversial political commentator has become a minority owner of the Mets.
Maher showed up to the Mets-Cardinals game at Citi Field on Sunday night proudly patting himself on the back. "I think it's a great investment," Maher, who was wearing a black Mets cap, told Newsday. "It happened months ago. It's the first time I've been in New York since then."
The 56-year-old comedian grew up a fan of New York's other baseball team, and Maher fondly remembers the few special moments in franchise history.
"I've been a Mets fan my whole life. I vaguely remember their first year. I vividly remember '69. The Bill Buckner game in '86, I was at The Improv in L.A. with Jerry Seinfeld watching on TV at the bar."
By the way, Maher, who makes his living criticizing public figures, was able to purchase his share of the Mets thanks to Bernie Madoff.
After Madoff's Ponzi scheme came tumbling down, Fred Wilpon, the team's owner, was in a sorry financial state, and had to come up with lots of cash fast. The Mets hatched a plan to sell 12 minority shares of the team for a total of $240 million.
Maher, who refused to talk about how much money he actually invested in the franchise, is part of that group of 12 who helped the Mets pay back $65 million in loans from Bank of America and MLB.
Incidentally, Maher told Newsday the most famous stand-up comedian fan of the team, Jerry Seinfeld, declined to purchase a minority stake in his beloved Mets. "Why he didn't, I have no idea," Maher said. "He's sure got more money than I do."
Maher ranted on his HBO show before the 2011 Super Bowl about football and baseball's differences being an economic lesson for America.
"Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity and baseball is built on model where the rich always win and the poor usually have no chance," Maher said. "Baseball on the other hand is exactly like the Republicans. And I don't just mean it's incredibly boring, I mean their economic theory is every man for himself."
If you tune into HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," expecting to hear the comedian blab about David Wright and Johan Santana, you'll likely end up disappointed. "I have enough stress in my real job," Maher said. "I don't need to worry about this."
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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