NEW YORK -- Mr. Met stood near the podium with baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Mets owner Fred Wilpon and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"Thanks for bringing your boss along," Bloomberg said to the mascot. "Does he pay you well?"
After more than three years of trouble on and off the field, the Mets feel things are looking up.
Major League Baseball finally announced Wednesday that the 2013 All-Star game will be hosted by the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 16 -- the latest date for the game since 1985.
The Mets last hosted the All-Stars in 1964, the year Shea Stadium opened, when Johnny Callison's three-run homer capped a four-run ninth inning and gave the NL a 7-4 win. The game was last in New York in 2008, the final season of the old Yankee Stadium, when the AL won 4-3 in 15 innings.
"I think we are headed in the right direction," Wilpon said, using a cane following left hip-replacement surgery two weeks ago.
The only downer Wednesday was the scheduled game between the Mets and Cincinnati as the Reds used a four-run eighth inning to rally for a 6-3 win. Todd Frazier homered twice, Brandon Phillips hit a tying single off Jon Rauch in the eighth and Jay Bruce drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.
On the field, the Mets have had losing records in each of their first three seasons at Citi Field. Off the field, their finances were paralyzed by the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. In March the team's ownership group agreed to pay up to $162 million to the trustee recovering money for the victims.
"I said to Bud in the car, 'Now that this case is over -- and it was very painful, and I don't want to get into that, it's in the rearview mirror now -- there are no challenges in life for me,'" Wilpon said. "I can take any challenge."
After the news conference, Wilpon also modified his comment about third baseman David Wright. The owner was quoted in May 2011 in The New Yorker saying "a really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar."
With Wright now hitting a major league-leading .408, Wilpon said: "I think he's playing like a superstar right now."