Further details emerged today from the settlement reached between New York Mets' owners and the trustee for Bernie Madoff's fraud victims, the most notable revelation being that those swindled by the jailed financier may use former Mets third baseman Bobby Bonilla for odd jobs at any hour.
"Sink clogged? Call Bobby Bonilla. Trouble opening a jar? Call Bobby Bonilla. Need something down from a shelf you can't reach? Bobby Bonilla is your man," federal judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote in his ruling. "Bernie Madoff robbed from you, but Bobby Bonilla can make your life easier."
Despite being out of baseball since 2001 and not a member of the Mets since 1999, Bonilla is still being paid $1.2 annually by the team through 2036 under the terms of a deferred payment plan that helped the franchise stay above water. Since Bonilla is still on the team's payroll, Judge Rakoff ruled he had the authority to include the six-time All-Star's services as part of the settlement.
"Do I need some things retrieved from my shelves? I sure do," said 82 year-old Edna Friedman, who lost her life savings to Madoff. "But Bobby Bonilla? He kind of sucked for the Mets. I'd much rather have Mike Piazza get a jar for me. He could hit and was very handsome."
Bonilla said he will not fight the judge's ruling.
"I'll be honest, I don't know a lot about plumbing or painting or any of that," he said. "But I still can't believe I'm somehow getting paid $1.2 million a year by the Mets through 2036 — 38 years after I will have played for them! I'll do anything to keep that going. It's the easiest money ever. So will I take $1.2 million to plunge some old lady's toilet? Yes. Yes, I will."