It's July 1st in New York and that can mean only one thing: Mets fans everywhere are getting reminded that the team is paying Bobby Bonilla over one million dollars in his retirement because of deal to defer money owed to the outfielder when they released him in 2000. Many observers suggest that this is laughable, the LOLMets of all LOLMets. What this blog post suggests is...maybe it's good.

The story, for anyone blessedly unfamiliar with the Bobby Bonilla Day saga goes like this: the Mets, trying to clear payroll and exile a malcontent Bobby Bonilla for the second time in less 10 years, came to an agreement with the outfielder in which he would defer the $5.9 million dollars owed to him until 2011. In return, the team would pay him $1,193,248.20 every July 1st from 2011 until 2035.

This would have maybe been a footnote in Mets history, except for that fact that the Wilpon family, which owned the team, lost a huge chunk of their personal fortune in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Following the collapse of Madoff's scheme, the team ran smaller and smaller payrolls, and even this year's $155 million payroll puts them closer to mid-market teams like the Cardinals, Mariners and Royals than it does their major market juggernaut compatriots like the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox.

In the sense that team ownership still hasn't recovered from their own idiotic self-inflicted wound, Bobby Bonilla Day is funny. However, there's a growing Bonilla deferment day revisionist movement which argues that not only did the Mets do the right thing in paying Bonilla so much money to go away, but that it changed team history.

The argument, as relayed by the likes of BuzzFeed, USA Today and Amazin' Avenue, is a little complicated, but it checks out. Bonilla, who came back to the team in 1999 for a playoff run that would ultimately fall short (and see Bonilla blow off the final innings of a heartbreaking Game 6 of the NLCS to play cards in the clubhouse), was threatening to throw a fit if the Mets didn't give him ample playing time in 2000. Wanting to avoid that and trying to free up some money, the Mets made their deferred cash deal to release Bonilla.

That money then covered the salary of Mike Hampton, who the team acquired in a trade to complement ace Al Leiter. Leiter and Hampton pitched the Mets to the 2000 World Series which they lost to the Yankees, but still, the Mets won their first pennant since 1986. Exciting!

Hampton left in the off-season, signing with the Colorado Rockies for a then-record $121 million contract (though he said the money was secondary to Denver's great schools). The Mets got a compensatory draft pick for losing Hampton, which they then used to pick David Wright, who merely turned out to be one of the greatest players in franchise history and a borderline Hall of Famer.

Do we know for sure that without Hampton and the compensatory pick that David Wright would never have been a Met? No, but what we do know is that the chain of evidence leads directly from Bonilla getting cut to the Mets picking up a franchise icon. I wouldn't trade that as Mets fan, would you? I wouldn't trade this moment for the Wilpons having an extra million dollars every year:

So some of you laugh your annual LOLMets laugh about Bonilla getting paid. I say you're laughing with a little child brain, unable to appreciate the finer Mets disgraces throughout team history, which I've gone over previously. I say, again, that Mets life without David Wright is no life at all.