USA TODAY- Steve Cohen certainly has the money to purchase the New York Mets, and appears to have the support of Major League Baseball owners, but there’s still a large hurdle potentially blocking his path.It’s New York City.
While MLB owners are scheduled to vote Nov. 17 on whether to approve Cohen at their owners’ meetings in Dallas, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could torpedo Cohen’s plans before it even reaches a vote. The 2006 Stadium Lease Agreement between the New York City Industrial Development Agency and Queens Ballpark Company provides the city consent rights to deny the Mets and their stadium be transferred to a person who has committed a felony.
Cohen was never charged with a crime, but in 2013 his former hedge-fund company, S.A.C. Capital Investors, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud. The company agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines in one of the largest criminal cases against a hedge fund. Cohen, in a civil suit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was prohibited from managing outside money for two years.
In the stadium lease agreement, Cohen is technically classified as a “prohibited person,’’ which the agreement defines as “any person that has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.’’ Mayor de Blasio and his office, under section 17.01 of the lease agreement, have the legal right to determine whether to approve the sale. The New York City Mayor’s office has a 30-day window, which was triggered last week, to complete their vetting process. “The Mayor has an obligation to the people of New York City,’’ press secretary Bill Neidhardt told USA TODAY Sports, “to closely examine new leases on culturally important and incredibly valuable city-owned land.’’
If de Blasio rejects or even delays the $2.475 billion sale, the Mets’ ownership led by Fred Wilpon, would have to decide whether to simply wait, or re-open the bidding process.
Look, if somebody told me that Mayor de Blasio would be a hurdle to stopping Steve Cohen from getting something he would want, I would correct them in saying here is a mere speed bump for Uncle Stevie to run over on the way to getting his latest precious collector's item. Because in a melting pot city filled with zillions of different viewpoints on everything, the one common thing everyone regardless of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical/mental ability, veteran status, military obligations, marital status, or political party is "Fuck de Blasio". This isn't a political stance or anything. It's a simple New York fact of life just like apartments being overpriced or the subway being pure filth.
However, considering the person writing this report, I have no choice but to take this news seriously. Not because I trust Bob Nightengale's word. Heavens no! Hubbs has made an entire cottage industry blowing whatever shreds of credibility he has to bits.
The thing that worries me is two people like de Blasio and Nightengale teaming up to ruin a simple transaction like a real life Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn while trying to get whatever clicks/cash they can out of Uncle Stevie by continuing the cite this stupid ass Section 17.01. I realize New York is a city where the money talks, which means Uncle Stevie essentially has Portnoy and his big green hammer in his pocket for whenever he needs it. I'm not worried about Steve Cohen being outwitted by either of these guys just like I'm not worried about him being outwitted by the MLB owners who oppose him, like that snake fuck Jerry Reinsdorf.
However, I do worry about these two mamalukes will continue to meddle for their own gain. If de Blasio does somehow fuck this all up, he would then have a very angry billionaire on his ass along with basically sending the Wilpons to the poor house since the entire sale process would have to restart, which would almost definitely lead to them being stuck with all their debt as a bunch of it becomes due at the end of the year, which would clearly piss of a ton of New Yorkers, which I'm pretty sure is de Blasio's favorite thing to do.
More than likely this is all just another click trick as the media tries to get their last few pageviews in on us battered and scarred Mets fans expecting the worst until Uncle Stevie builds a competent franchise that will only make the news after big wins. But finding out that Bad Shot Bob went Nightengaledamus on us 8 years ago has left me shaken to my core.
In the end, I don't think there is actually anything to worry about from these reports or any of the other bullshit stories meant to prey on the broken spirits of Mets fans. Because as a wise man once said: Dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same.
And there ain't nothing some mayor or Section 17.01 can do about that motherfucker.