Steve Cohen is worth $ 14 billion. This makes him a very unlikely candidate to gain recognition as “the people’s choice”. But, then, we are talking about the New York Mets. And as Cohen, a longtime fan, can surely explain: the Mets are always a little different. In almost any way.
And now, pending a final hurdle, they’re about to own New York City’s most popular billionaire. Go figure.
“I am thrilled to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets,” was Cohen’s simple 20-word statement released by the team on Monday afternoon. It covers a roller coaster for Mets fans who have seen Cohen go from a certainty to giving up on the offer entirely, then back in, and finally to where we are now, with Cohen only needing 23 of the 30 owners of baseball to approve it.
Fans of the Mets have not been so happy since Marty Barrett challenged a Jesse Orosco fastball on the evening of October 27, 1
The previous Mets championship, in 1969, had been a paradox of well-being, a good team and better luck. It’s hard to imagine anything representing New York City as a loser, but those Mets were. And in many ways, even the good Mets teams that followed – in 1999 and 2000, 2006, 2015. Much of this was the re-emergence of the Yankees after the late 1980s, which reiterated a claim to all. soul of city baseball that has been held strong for nearly 30 years; cast a huge shadow.
But much of that was weak ownership, reluctant to spend dollar for dollar on the Yankees, hampered by its association with Bernie Madoff, highly unpopular with much of his constituency. Nobody likes being a younger brother in sports. The Mets have been the younger brother for more than a generation and have played the part.
Not anymore. Not with Cohen. And that’s what animates the spirit of Mets fans now. Yes, it’s worth $ 14 billion, and as Forbes pointed out, the next three richest baseball owners – Ted Lerner (Nationals), Christopher Ilitch (Tigers) and Greg Johnson (Giants) – are worth $ 13.1 billion combined. . And Cohen will certainly take advantage of it.
But what Cohen represents, to Mets fans, is an attitude. He is one of them. And all you have to do is look at his career – he hates losing. To him it is anathema. And that makes him even more one of them.
And it is this attitude that has made him more attractive to Mets fans than the marriage of Sport and Page Six that J-Rod would have been, and certainly more so than the very rich guys who own the Devils. This is what Mets fans yearned for. And that’s what they get now.
And look: what made George Steinbrenner Steinbrenner wasn’t just deep pockets – in fact, he didn’t invest most of his money in the beginning. It was his will to own the Yankees, in his heyday, as an avid fan might do: crack Reggie Jackson. Jumping into free will with both feet. Fighting rival fans in the elevators (assume the story was true. If it were it’s a better world)
The money helped too, as Cohen’s money will help. But the foundations of the Bronx were built with bravado. It’s easy to imagine a similar project emerging in Queens as well. And it’s even easier to see why this morning makes Mets fans smile.