As if the Mets needed anymore battering—now the team has to say that owner Fred Wilpon's huge losses from investing with Bernard Madoff aren't affecting the team! Investigative journalist Erin Arvedlund, who wrote a book about Madoff, claimed that Wilpon lost $700 million with the Ponzi schemer—and suggest that he'll have to sell the team next year. The Mets responded, "The author of the book has no knowledge or facts related to the Mets business operations or finances. Her speculation that the Mets - or any part of the team - is for sale is completely false and is irresponsible." But now Newsday points out one possible sign of belt-tightening, "The Mets have canceled their Instructional League, held annually in Port St. Lucie, and instead will have a "modified" program at their baseball academy in the Dominican Republic"—which will save about $250,000 and which former GM Jim Duquette thinks is a bad move, "[The IL] gives you a chance to extend the development of your young players, of your prospects. and they're not gonna have it. ...If you're development-oriented, it's not a good decision, in my opinion."