The Mets can't get lucky.
Anytime they get on a bit of a winning streak with PR, something inevitably goes bust.
After hiring a shiny new GM and a few backups just in case last week, the news comes down this week that beloved equipment manager Charlie Samuels has been suspended while being investigated by the feds on gambling charges.
This is not an issue of Radomski
-esque proportions (although Charlie did hire the Mitchell snitch) but enough already. Can't this team just have one solid week where nothing stupid happens?Here be the details:
Longtime Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuels has been suspended
amid an investigation into mob-run gambling, law-enforcement sources
told The Post yesterday.
The probe -- which has been ongoing for at
least six months -- centers on allegations that Samuels placed illicit
wagers on various sporting events, the sources said. The investigation
was launched when an informant went to the office of Queens DA Richard
Brown with details about alleged bets Samuels made with members of
organized crime, according to the sources.
investigation is being conducted by Brown's office and the NYPD's
Organized Crime Investigations Division.
Samuels placed wagers
ranging from a couple of hundred bucks to $5,000 on horse racing and NFL
games, the sources said.
Investigators are looking into
whether he also bet on other sports, including baseball.
Samuels -- who sometimes allegedly phoned bets in from work -- would
also place wagers for other team employees, but not baseball players,
the sources said.
The Mets let investigators check Samuels'
work computer, but they found no evidence of wrongdoing, the sources
He was suspended indefinitely, without pay, on Oct. 27,
the Mets said yesterday.
Major League Baseball is conducting
its own probe, questioning people close to Samuels, the sources said.
The Mets refused comment beyond acknowledging the suspension. MLB
refused to say whether it's investigating Samuels.
Samuels, 53, joined the Mets in 1976 after working for the Phillies.
He has been equipment manager since 1983, when he succeeded the late
Herb Norman after serving as his assistant for four years.
has also worked as the team's associate travel director for the past 15
years -- and probers are looking into whether he skimmed money off hotel
room bookings, the sources said.
In addition, he's suspected
of ripping off bats, balls and jerseys from the clubhouse, according to
In 1985, Samuels hired future steroid
pusher-turned-whistleblower Kirk Radomski as a clubhouse attendant.
Radomski, who worked for the Mets until 1995, was convicted of
supplying performance-enhancing steroids to major leaguers. He admitted
acquiring human-growth hormone for MLB superstars, according to the
Mitchell Report, the 2007 congressional investigation into steroid use
Samuels' suspension is not related in any
way to steroids, the sources said.
This isn't the first time a
Mets employee has been linked to illicit gambling.
Dominic Valila, once the head groundskeeper at Shea Stadium, was nailed
after authorities tied him to a $360 million Bonanno crime family-run
Valila copped a plea to promoting
gambling, and admitted using Shea phones to call in action.
also took bets from two clubhouse employees.
prison time but lost his high-profile, $80,000-a-year job with the