Bobby Bonilla had a pretty stellar baseball career, despite having a tumultuous relationship with the Mets and the New York media. Though he retired back in 2001, he still has plenty of reasons to get butterflies with each new baseball season. That's because every July 1, the Mets cut him a check for $1.2 million, and will continue to do so until 2035. All because of Bernie Madoff.
See, back in 2000, the Mets probably thought they grifted Bonilla as soundly as Madoff shafted, well ... everybody else. They agreed to buy out his contract for $5.9 million after becoming fed up with his stunts, like the time he pissed off to play cards in the clubhouse while his team was losing. During the playoffs. But instead of ending the whole issue with one lump sum, the team negotiated a long-term installment plan with interest.
Mets ownership didn't mind deferring the payment at a loss, because as one of good ol' Madoff's best customers, they believed they were about to make incredible returns on their multi-million-dollar investments and didn't want to redirect even a single cent from their portfolio. "Who cares that a $5.9 million debt will turn into $30 million, given what an incredible windfall must surely be coming our way?" they asked, even as the entire island of Manhattan shook with the laughter of Yankees fans. Of course, that windfall never came. And now Bobby Bonilla will make more money not playing for the Mets than he ever did playing for them.