July 1st is a national holiday for New York Mets fans across the world, or maybe more of a day they dread which causes them to remember the success drought the organization has endured…guess it’s a toss up.
Today is Bobby Bonilla day, which means this is the day the Mets pay Bonilla his $1.1 million dollar annual salary, which he will continue to receive every July 1st up until 2035. Bobby is 57, by the way.
Why? Why would they do this? How did a franchise get themselves in such a quirky and seemingly useless situation?
Back in 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remainder of Bobby Bonilla’s $5.9 million dollar contract. Seems fairly simple right? I mean a cool $6 million for a Major League Baseball franchise with a billionaire owner, just a drop in the bucket.
Well, apparently not, actually. The Mets and Bonilla instead agreed to pay him an annual salary of nearly $1.2 million annually for 25 years, including 8% interest, starting in 2011.
Apparently at the time, the Mets were invested in a Bernie Madoff account that was forecasting double digit returns over the course of the contract, and didn’t want to pull out of it because of the significant profit at stake.
Despite this calculated risk, it did not pay off, and…today they’re still paying a 57 year old baseball player.