Charging that Bernie Madoff recovery specialist Irving Picard is sullying the good name of Mets owner Fred Wilpon, lawyers for the latter filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday to keep details of Picard’s anti-Met machinations under wraps. From the New York Daily News’ Terri Thompson and Nathaniel Vinton :

“The public’s interest in the contents of the suit are closer to “mere curiosity” than “legitimate public concern,” the attorneys wrote.

“The Sterling Defendants need time to assess their position as they consider the value of the continued sealing of the Sterling Complaint in the wake of significant leaks and a blatant violation of this Court’s order, which have left the Sterling Defendants unable to respond publicly to the Trustee’s baseless allegations,” wrote Karen Wagner and Dana Seshens of the law firm Davis Polk and Wardwell.

The motion goes on to say that Picard is attempting “to paint the Sterling Defendants as persons who should have known that Madoff did no trading,” and that public news stories about the case “reflect no valid basis for the Trustee’s attempted character assassination.”

Indeed, I can’t think of a single reason why the fate of the New York Mets — or Wilpon’s possible involvement in one of the more infamous swindles in modern history — would be a matter of public interest.