The Mets and Steve Cohen are close to re-entering a state of dysfunction that was thought to be gone with the Wilpons, and it could be even worse.
The Mets reached a new offseason low when they dismissed acting general manager Zack Scott on Monday, according to the New York Daily News‘s Deesha Thosar and Dennis Young.
While the dismissal of Scott is clearly for a good cause, the question of its timing is cause for concern and once again opens the charge that Steve Cohen not all he’s trumped up to be.
Zack Scott, then the Acting GM of the Mets, was arrested for a DUI incident following a party he attended at the home of Cohen back in August.
On the rebound from another incident in which the Mets fired then-general manager Jared Porter, who was dismissed after he reportedly sent explicit and unsolicited texts to a female reporter, the Mets decided to hide under cover of “due process” for Scott instead of firing him immediately.
To act in a timely and authoritative manner would have complied with Cohen’s pledge to promote a new Mets’ culture.
Here’s the problem with the Scott timeline. His trial is now set for December 8, so what happened overnight that erases the Mets’ goodwill to Scott and the due process surrounding the Mets’ stance?
Mets: The Cohen-Christie Connection
My educated guess is the Mets, and Steve Cohen are connected and subsequently caught in a web of inaction and false starts surrounding their search to fill two key positions in their front office.
Thus, the Mets fired Scott as a public relations gimmick that is likely spurred by Cohen’s newest ally, Chris Christie.
Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, is a political hack of the highest species. He flows and bends with the wind, attaching his sails to the hottest political commodity available.
Proof of the matter is best detailed in an article from The New Yorker. When Christie’s flamboyant support of Donald Trump is not returned in kind with an appointment to a cabinet position when Trump wins the election, Christie later and publicly rues his decision to support Trump.
In this light, it’s not a leap to suggest that something along the lines of this conversation took place between Cohen and Christie, leading to the dismissal of Zack Scott.
“Steve, you are being seen as a man floundering in the alien world of baseball, and while it’s an image far removed from your overwhelming success in the hedge fund business, you have to remember that perception is the better part of reality.”
“Therefore, you need to change that perception, and the only way I see you doing that now is to present yourself as the man in charge of the Mets by letting this Scott guy go. Lord knows, he deserves it anyway…”
Steve Cohen: A Victim Of His Success
I’m led to believe Cohen has been given too much credit for success as a hedge fund operator, and it’s catching up to him as the Mets owner.
Cohen built his $14 billion empire because he could attract the best and the brightest in the field. Attaching their star to Cohen, these men and women worked long and hard to accomplish what no one man could, and they were duly rewarded by Cohen as his empire grew.
The trouble for Cohen now is the best and the brightest work elsewhere in the baseball business, and for all his efforts and powers of persuasion, they have no desire to join the Mets organization.
Alone on an island, Steve Cohen is left only with Sandy Alderson in his inner circle of baseball advisors, and that in itself is yet another problem for Cohen.
Sandy Alderson Has To Go
Recent comments from readers universally see Alderson as the barrier stopping interest to joining the Mets, and more significantly, Steve Cohen’s team.
The inference is that Cohen’s indecision is reflected by his inability to fire Alderson, a move that is likely to open the door into which qualified candidates will line up to join the Mets organization.
While Mets fans want to see Alderson fired for past sins, Cohen needs to publicly establish clear lines of authority between Alderson and the new front office hires.
Albeit, one that shows Alderson serving only as a consultant in the truest sense of the word – and from the dictionary, only as an advisor.
Imagine, for example, the plight of Terry McGuirk, the Atlanta Braves Chairman, without the support and baseball acumen of his General Manager, Alex Anthopoulos.
Or, Hal Steinbrenner making trades and free-agent signings without Brian Cashman.
Steve Cohen’s Considerable Baggage
Steve Cohen has issues of his own regarding his character and personality, and he is only making it worse by attaching himself to pretenders like Chris Christie and a baseball dinosaur-like Sandy Alderson.
Mets fans expected and deserved so much more when Steve Cohen appeared as the hero-rescuer from the dysfunction of the Wilpon years.
But more and more, it’s looking like many of us looked only at those fourteen billion dollars as a refuge from the past and not close enough at the man who controlled that treasury.
In another scenario, I see similarities between Mets owner Steve Cohen and Michael Jordan, as two giants in previous endeavors, but who failed (or are failing) to transfer that success to baseball. (Re: Jordan’s baseball stats)
Michael Jordan spent an entire year dabbling with his new toy, but in the end, he realized that for all of his optimism and effort, he was not cut out to be a major league ballplayer.
Cohen’s one year as the Mets owner is over, and it’s legitimate to ask what, if anything, Cohen has accomplished over that span?
I’m not suggesting that Cohen fold his tent as Jordan did.
But the Mets and their fans deserve an honest confession from Cohen. Albeit one that acknowledges that he is in over his head, along with a need to come down from the mountaintop (and Twitter!) to address his failings to date.
The Mets Can’t-Wait For Cohen To Catch Up
Steve Cohen is a genuine Mets fan, and his enthusiasm for the team’s success is to be encouraged and welcomed.
However, audacity and flamboyancy do not carry far in the business of baseball. Just ask Bill Veeck, Marge Schott, and George Steinbrenner about the effects of their behavior as it spilled into their relationship with fellow club owners…
Neither Sandy Alderson nor Chris Christie is the answer, and in fact, they only worsen the problem before the Mets and their flagging reputation in baseball.
More than anything, Steve Cohen needs a come to Jesus moment that recognizes and alters the apparent misguided notion to pattern his ownership of the Mets after his successful plan to reach the top in another endeavor.
Anything less, and Mets fans will long for the days of the Wilpons when at least there was no pretension of innocence and promise.