I can only imagine how nervous New York Mets fans are right now. They’re just outside the gates after a harrowing journey, and now they stand outside the gates of what they fear could turn into ‘The Red Wedding.’
It’ll probably be fine. Mets fans are desperate to see the team sold by the Wilpon Family to, well, anyone, but especially ultra-rich billionaire Steve Cohen, whom many think is really going to open up the pursestrings immediately. Cohen has been approved by the ownership committee, but needs to get 23 out of 30 yes votes from all the owners to take control of the team. That vote is reportedly expected to take place this week (I also wonder if any other league business – rules considerations? – will take place this week after the World Series, but that’s TBA).
Cohen is expected to get the votes according to the reports I’ve seen, and also isn’t necessarily expected to be held up by a very unlikely source: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Steve Cohen has the votes. Barring a de Blasio block, they should be officially counted this week. But the votes are there now.https://t.co/jj9rdBjVee
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) October 26, 2020
As SNY reports, the mayor does have the right to block land transfers involving “any person that has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude,” but the 2018 securities fraud conviction for Cohen’s company, S.A.C. Capital, wouldn’t seem to apply. Nevertheless, the Mayor’s legal department is looking into it, according to SNY, and you wonder if maybe Cohen and/or MLB will have to offer some kind of sweetener to finalize things.
Meanwhile, at the MLB level, while we’d heard that Chicago White Sox (and Bulls) owner Jerry Reinsdorf was trying to block the sale to Cohen, SNY doesn’t see him being able to bring along more than three or four other owners as ‘no’ votes.
So, then, if things go according to expectation, the Mets will officially have a new owner at some point over the next week, just in time for one of the most unpredictable offseasons in recent memory. If Cohen does indeed decide to spend right away, it’s possible he and his Mets will have the pick of the litter in a free agency otherwise marked by low offers, non-tenders, and tremendous uncertainty. The Mets might move the market all on their own.