The Mets sale ain’t over til it’s over says, Jennifer Lopez. Rising to the forefront, J-Lo makes her case – She will control the team – not A-Rod.
Up to this point, the Mets sale has featured Alex Rodriguez as the face of the team of investors built to head off Steve Cohen’s $14 billion stashes of cash and holdings.
As other bidders dropped out, it became clear that between Cohen and Rodriguez, the choice would narrow down to the better of two evils.
Cohen, the billionaire hedge fund manager, paid a $1.8 billion fine for insider trading and currently has a sexual discrimination suit against him, making it far from a guarantee that he could get the 23 necessary votes from the 30 owners to gain control of the Mets.
Not far behind in the questionable character department is Alex Rodriguez, whose involvement with steroids as a player led to a one-year suspension, executed by Major League Baseball.
Even though the Mets sale is supposedly in its final stages with Cohen given exclusive rights to negotiate with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the principal owners of the Mets, the talks are reportedly bogged down in the language of the agreement.
MLB has yet to explain how and why those exclusive rights were granted three days before the pre-announced final bids due date of August 31.
Mets Sale: J-Lo Emerges From Hiding Big Time
As murky as the Mets sale appears to be, Jennifer Lopez is coming forth with a series of arguments that may supersede everything, and even though publications like the New York Post are branding her efforts as desperate and a “Hail Mary”, she packs a punch.
First and most significantly, J-Lo makes it abundantly clear that she – not A-Rod – will be the controlling partner.
This accomplishes two things. First, it negates having to put A-Rod’s name in front of existing team owners to approve the Mets sale.
But even more significant is that if the sale becomes final, Jennifer Lopez will have succeeded in becoming the first woman of Puerto Rican descent to own a major league team.
That’s huge, especially given MLB’s feeble attempts to incorporate minorities into top positions, that primarily now reside within an exclusive club of white males.
Note: Although it is seen as a step in the right direction, Derek Jeter, as a Black-American and owner of 8% of the Miami Marlins, does not qualify as a majority team owner.
Beyond all of that, though, is the picture Jennifer Lopez is framing of herself as genuine and decidedly resolved to complete this journey when she proclaims:
“It ain’t over until it is over,” Lopez told The New York Post. “We are New Yorkers, and we are not going to give up. We feel we have the best bid for the sport, the team, and the city.”
If A-Rod had spoken the same words, as as he expressed last week, it’s likely he would be met with the same torrent of criticism he incurred then from Met’s fans who still see A-Rod as a cheater, and worst of all, a Yankee.
With Jennifer Lopez, a brand new element is introduced into the fray that heretofore has portrayed her in a co-star role to her fiance, Alex Rodriguez. A Walmart executive explains:
“This is a big moment in the history of baseball and the Mets to have the first Latina owner of a Major League Baseball franchise,” said Marc Lore, a senior executive at Walmart. The latter was investing a few hundred million dollars as part of the J.Lo/A-Rod consortium. “It would be a really big win for racial and gender equality in this country and the world.”
Don’t Count Behind The Scenes An A-Rod Out Though
A-Rod, however, remains a formidable part of the Mets sale. According to multiple reports, the investors have an additional $300 million set aside to augment the Mets’ payroll to $225 million, a move up from the team’s 2020 payroll of $208 million.
True to his nature, and his steadfast belief that he knows baseball, Rodriguez even kicks it up a notch:
Rodriguez has promised to compete for a World Series title annually as an owner because it’s “what New York fans deserve,” and the couple says they’ll help deliver a championship within a decade by increasing the payroll to around $225 million.
If they don’t deliver on their title aspirations, they said they would donate $100 million to New York charities. (CBS Sports)
To what degree this will sway the current status of the Mets sale is anyone’s guess. Is it too late, or is it never too late?
Mets Sale: MLB Has Power To Direct The Outcome
Major League Baseball can step in at any moment to direct the Mets’ sale to “what’s best for baseball”. There is precedent for it, and Steve Cohen is very much involved.
In 2011, it was determined by MLB that the McCourts needed to go. A bitter divorce battle between the two co-owners, plus the influx of wild debt and questionable expenses, MLB forced the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ironically, it was Steve Cohen who emerged as the highest bidder, only to have MLB owners spurn him due to his aforementioned egregious business dealing as a hedge fund manager.
MLB’s involvement produced a sale of the Dodgers to the widely respected and renowned Los Angeles Guggenheim family (same as the museum). Almost immediately, the franchise rebounded, to where the team now sits with the best record in baseball.
Mets Sale: Could It Be Any Other Way With This Franchise?
Mets fans are making a big mistake if they are not following the intricacies of the Mets sale.
New York teams do not go on the bloc every day, and what happens with the Mets sale will have repercussions for decades.
Fresh of the tumultuous and dysfunctional years of the Wilpons, Mets fans have always deserved far better treatment than they have received, and that doesn’t only include the placement of a winning team on the field – every single season.
Mets Sale: Will The Mets Be His Favorite Toy
My judgment tells me that Steve Cohen, as a self-professed long-time fan of the Mets, probably is willing to part with a good portion of his wealth to be the George Steinbrenner of the team at Citi Field.
But it’s also becoming increasingly apparent that Cohen is on the verge of taking on too much, raising the question – where will the Mets fit in the ranking of his toys?
For the J-Rod family to be, the Mets sale is it. Jennifer Lopez has her career, but it’s an on and off personal decision to further pursue with tours and new records. Her recordings belong to the ages, and the royalties will keep pouring in no matter what she does or doesn’t do.
For Alex Rodriguez, he has nothing left but a stilted career as a network commentator. Underlying it all, however, is A-Rod’s love of baseball and his understanding of the game and how it’s played today – plus the unyielding respect of former teammates.
To be sure, Alex can excel as (let’s say) the CEO of Mets Baseball Operations. Not only that, but he would also put his heart and soul into assuming that responsibility.
It’s One For The Money (Cohen) And Two For The Show (Lopez)
I don’t know about you, but Jennifer Lopez surprises me, and in the right way.
From the background surrounding the Mets’ sale comes a star—a woman who knows what she wants and has succeeded before in accomplishing her goals – in spades.
Now, the question becomes whether or not the Wilpon/Katz team will give her a fair hearing, breaking away from exclusive discussions with Steve Cohen, before making a final decision on who they will recommend to MLB owners for approval.
The Wilpon/Katz team wants out, and the sooner, the better. This is why MLB (ultimately) should step in to direct the Mets sale to the parties that will best represent baseball in New York.
My vote goes overwhelmingly to the J-Rod team. What say you?