When you go down the list of terrible team owners, you’ll see the New York Mets’ owners sooner rather than later. That’s because the Wilpons are easily among the worst owners in professional sports. Back in December, Mets fans were elated to hear that the Wilpons would be selling the team. Fans were even more excited to learn that billionaire Steve Cohen was the one the Wilpons were selling to. They were even MORE excited when they started hearing about Cohen’s willingness to spend any amount of money to win. Yesterday, Mets fans were reminded exactly why they should never get their hopes up.
The Wilpons Hate Mets Fans
Yesterday, Barstool Sports reported that the potential sale of the New York Mets to Steve Cohen had gone south. Now, in fairness, neither the Mets nor Cohen has confirmed this report. However, this is due more to the non-disclosure agreements between the two parties than anything else. Reports suggest that Cohen has stepped back because the Wilpons tried to change the terms of the deal. It’s the type of thing that shady business people do. This is fitting because the Wilpons are shady business people.
A similar situation unfolded in 2011 when the Wilpons tried to sell a portion of the team to David Einhorn. A deal was in place and at the last moment, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz decided to remove a provision that would have allowed Einhorn to take majority control of the team down the road. We’re unsure of what changes the Wilpons tried to make this time. However, they must have been significant for a man who’s worth $13.7 billion to potentially walk away at this late stage.
What Do We Make of All of This?
Reports suggest that while this deal is not entirely dead, it is on life support, to say the least. Cohen is a businessman and by all accounts, a tough negotiator. This could be a strategy by Cohen to make the deal more favorable to him. Given the Wilpons’ track record though, that seems unlikely. The more likely scenario is that the Wilpons attempted some sort of bait and switch. There have also been reports that there may be another potential suitor. This also seems unlikely though due to the late stage this deal was already at. Not only that, but that Cohen was about to pay $2.6 billion for a franchise valued at $2.3 billion.
The Cohen sale falling through would be a shot through the heart for Mets fans. This fanbase has become jaded by the way the Wilpons operate. Time and again the Wilpons have prioritized saving money over winning. There’s something to be said for operating this way if you’re a small-market team. The Mets are no small-market team though. In fact, as of 2019, the New York Mets were the 6th most valuable franchise in MLB. All Mets fans want is an owner who wants to win as badly as they do. The Wilpons have never been that and likely will never be that. Again, this deal isn’t completely dead but it doesn’t look good. If this sale falls through, who knows when the next potential sale of the Mets will happen. I’m not sure this fanbase can deal with another decade of the Wilpons.