So much excitement came out of speculation the Wilpons would sell their share to hedge fund guy Steve Cohen a few months ago. Mets fans couldn’t wait to express their excitement. The media made this a lead story in the front page of both New York dallies and on local newscasts.
Never mind no one forgot to read the fine print. Forget history when David Einhorn tried to purchase control of the Mets in 2011 only to be sent packing by the Wilpons a few months later. Fans despise the Wilpons so much that this news got them carried away.
The joke is on the Mets fans. A cruel joke that is. A ruse that no fanbase should deal with. It turned out Cohen would walk away from the deal as reported first by Barstool Sports’ Kevin Clancy because the Wilpons reneged by changing the terms of the sale and Mets COO Jeff Wilpon wanted to stay on and have power with the Mets. Mets owner Fred Wilpon reportedly is not happy that all of this leaked to the public.
For anyone familiar with how the Wilpons operate, it’s business as usual. It’s old news. The Wilpons tested the waters to see how much they can get by selling the franchise, and that was it. Mets fans should have known this was too good to be true.
It did not cause a ripple from my end because I saw this movie played out before. Einhorn thought he would be a majority owner until the Wilpons reneged on their sale. It was hard to believe they would change their mind because Cohen would have the money. The Wilpons would never give up control and leave just like that, even if they were there for five years after the sale was completed.
The Wilpons may have wanted Cohen’s money to operate, but they would not relinquish control whatsoever. Understandably, Cohen would disagree since it’s his money and he should have the right to have full say on what goes on with the baseball operations. It was never going to work, so both agree that this sale should end.
Just another loss Mets fans take in what has become tiring and boring.
Sad thing about this is that Cohen was not doing this to get his name in the papers. He entertained the idea of hosting a Mets gala on Opening Day for his friends and contemporaries since he was that confident of getting the Mets. Maybe that scared the Wilpons off to the point they realized he was serious about all this, and that could explain why they decided to change the terms of the sale.
The Wilpons knew what they were doing to change the terms of sale. Don’t be fooled about any negotiation tactics. They pulled the same stunt with Einhorn, so that should serve as a reminder that they can do it again. They understood Cohen wasn’t going to play around, and they did this as a way to get him to go away.
Remarkably, the Wilpons blame all of this on Cohen for leaking it out in public as a way of currying favor with the public. Do they think we are stupid?
The Wilpons knew what they were doing. They shouldn’t make Cohen look like a bad guy here. The fans are not buying this whatsoever. They should have not bothered wasting time coming up with a public relation move that makes them look good, especially when they have no shot to ever win with the public.
The fans look at the Wilpons as baggage, and that was before the news came out about the sale. They have been done with them since the Madoff scandal, in which the Wilpons were involved in a Ponzi scheme that they used the team’s money for Madoff to invest. The trust with the current owners died a long time ago. They weren’t even going to games to begin with, and that’s even when the Mets were a playoff team.
Who knows how good Cohen can be? Just because he has money does not mean much. There’s no guarantee he would hire the right front office. He may spend, but he could spend on the wrong players and it may not work out. Knicks CEO James Dolan spends money, and his run has been an utter failure with the Knicks.
Still, Cohen would have been better than the Wilpons just because he is not them. He professes to be a baseball fan. He would be willing to spend rather than cash in profits. There would be no negative karma or baggage that comes with him initially. Mets fans could have thought of the possibilities of him spending to get players.
In other words, the devil the fan doesn’t know would be an improvement over the devil the fans know.
With spring training starting next week, why should fans be excited about the Mets? What reason they have to go to the games today? Just watching Pete Alonso and Jacob deGrom will not be enough. Mets fans want to see wins, playoffs and championships rather than individual accomplishments.
The Mets did nothing to make themselves a playoff team. Only offseason news that had fans excited was the potential change of ownership of the Mets, and now that has fallen out of the wayside.
All the Wilpons accomplished was this: Jeff Wilpon is worse than Dolan.