(C) - Get Report

is reportedly trying to back out of its $400 million stadium sponsorship for the

New York Mets



I can't believe they haven't walked away already. This has been talked about since November, when Citi got $306 billion in federal loan guarantees and its first tranche of the $45 billion in cash it has collected so far from the government's so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Of course, if Citi abandons the Mets, somebody will have to pick up the tab. But who? The City of New York is already facing a huge deficit and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is talking about raising taxes. I doubt local taxpayers would like to take an even bigger hit.

Honestly, I don't know who's got any money left these days. Maybe the billionaire mayor himself would like the naming rights -- he's never been shy about putting his name on things. Hey Mike, how about "Bloomberg Ballpark"?

Or maybe the Mets should apply for some federal funds themselves. They could present their financing woes as another mortgage-related casualty of the bad banks.

Then the Federal government would get the naming rights. How about "Fed Field" or maybe "TARP Field."

Either name would be a fitting memorial to the era of banking nationalization brought to you by Citi,

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report


Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

and all the rest of the banking bozos whose spectacular failure to manage risk nearly brought this country to its knees.

After all, this whole Mets debacle is just another example of how our banking industry's bad decisions are hurting ordinary folk. The Mets and their fans are just innocent bystanders hit by the bailout bus.

I guess we're lucky we got through the college football bowl games, considering all the bailed out sponsors there -- including, yes, Citi as well as



General Motors

(GM) - Get Report


Capitol One

(COF) - Get Report


Whatever happens, baseball must not be sacrificed on this altar of avarice.

Hall is the editor of

. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at

The Orange County Register

and as a news manager at

Bloomberg News

in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at

The Journal-Gazette

in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including

The Wall Street Journal


The New York Times


International Herald Tribune

. Hall received a bachelor�s degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and has taken graduate management science courses at Boston University.