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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Mets Might Have Some Star Power Behind Them in the Future?

All the groups approved by Major League Baseball to bid on a stake in the Mets that have been publicly idenfitied have big time investors of major investment groups. Most of them being connected in some way with Goldman Sachs.

Only one group of bidders that includes "Entourage" executive producer Doug Ellin  has star power.

If the group can reach a deal with the Wilpon family to buy a minority share in the beleaguered ballclub, sources told the Daily News, Ellin will enlist actors Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon and Ed Burns to bring their star power to Citi Field.

"I'm a giant sports fan and to be involved in a professional sports franchise would be a dream come true," said Connolly, who plays Eric (E) Murphy on "Entourage." "Growing up on Long Island, I was a giant Mets fan, so that makes it even more of a dream come true."

Ellin's group also includes Steven Starker, a co-founder of BTIG, a global trading firm; Kenny Dichter, a co-founder of airline Marquis Jets; and Randy Frankel, a minority owner of the Tampa Bay Rays who helped turn a hapless franchise into a competitive team.

Connolly said the principals are all "genius marketers" who would help revive the Mets, who have struggled in recent years with on-field losses and off-field scandals. Owners Fred Wilpon, his son Jeff, and his brother-in-law Saul Katz announced they are selling a minority stake in the team after Irving Picard, the trustee for the victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, filed a lawsuit against them seeking up to $1 billion.

Dillon, who plays Johnny (Drama) Chase on the HBO series, grew up in Mamaroneck and is also a big Mets fan. So is Burns, who grew up not far from Citi Field in Woodside and had a recurring guest role in "Entourage."

Connolly, who played sports writer Bill Nack in 2010's "Secretariat," grew up in Patchogue, L.I. As "Entourage" viewers already know, he is a huge Islanders fan (the Isles' logo served as a screensaver on E's computer in one episode last season). He said the actors are willing to do whatever Ellin and his partners ask them if the group purchases a stake in the Mets.

"We have a lot of ideas and I think this could be a lot of fun," Connolly said. "As far as what we would do specifically, that's something we'll have to sit down and figure out. There are a lot of talented people from Long Island who are also Mets fans."

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