Steve Cohen, despite all the money in the MLB universe, is now facing new charges of questionable behavior. The Met’s sale is wide open again.
Steve Cohen has once again drawn attention to himself in ways that throw a wrench into his third bid to purchase a major league franchise.
If it’s true, and in this case, it probably will be, that money can’t buy you, love; then Steve Cohen has succeeded in re-opening the field of buyers for the New York Mets.
First, the details behind the latest development. In an exclusive article appearing in the New York Post and written by Josh Kosman and Thorton McEnery.
“A Manhattan federal court lawsuit described the $16 billion hedge fund firm (headed by Cohen) as a “boys club” that subjected female staffers to misogynist treatment, including a whiteboard in a high-ranking manager’s office with the word “Pussy” scrawled across it for weeks”.
Steve Cohen: This Is Not His First Rodeo
True or not, this is the type of character references Steve Cohen has carried on his back for decades.
It dates back to his ill-fated attempt to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 when Frank McCourt surrendered to MLB after driving his team into bankruptcy.
For Steve Cohen, his fate was cast when two former SAC fund managers pled guilty to insider trading as part of a wide-ranging federal investigation.
Charges were never filed against Cohen, but a vast shadow was cast over character traits that stay with him even today.
The sale of a major league requires the vote of three-fourths of current team owners.
When it became clear Cohen did not have that support, MLB shifted their focus to the Guggenheim family, the eventual owners of the Dodgers.
MLB Team Owners: Money Can’t Buy Their Love
The question now becomes – has Steve Cohen, with truth to be told later in some unknown court before a no-name judge, given MLB owners yet another “strike” against his character with which to wail him?
The answer from the already not enthralled team owners seems to point to a universal “Yes”.
August 31 has been set as the date for “final bids” to be received. In the interim, Steve Cohen has only one choice – the same decision he’s always had. Throw money at the “problem” – money talks.
Steve Cohen can, and probably will introduce an extravagant bid by drawing from what is said to be an existing and real treasury of $14 billion, give or take a few million.
Cohen is competing against at least two other interested parties, including a group led by former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and a team led by Philadelphia 76ers owners Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer.
At last check, neither was able (Rodriguez/Lopez) or willing (Harris/Blitzer) to locate additional Investors with enough juice to counteract Steve Cohen.
That could change with leakage of these new discrimination charges against Cohen.
Steve Cohen: Always The Elephant In The Room
The focus, though, is and always has been on Steve Cohen. At the beginning of this year, it was Cohen who stole the show with a $2.6 billion bid, quickly distancing himself from the pack.
Eventually, Cohen and Fred Wilpon couldn’t see eye to eye, and the sale was retracted.
But it was Mets fans who took notice of Cohen’s big pockets, with visions of George Steinbrenner’s days with the Yankees.
A time when no free agent was too expensive and the only thing that mattered was the parade down the Canyon Of Heroes in October.
An added complication turns on the legacy Fred Wilpon leaves behind when the Mets are eventually sold. Wilpon and his son Jeff are universally hated among Mets fans.
It is a tag well earned with adjectives like cheap, disinterested, dysfunctional, and stupid attached at will.
So, in a sense, the person(s) he sells the Mets to is his going away present to fans of the Mets. Selling the team to a clone of himself is guaranteed to enrage the fan base, and destroy what little is left of his reputation in New York as a team owner.
On the other hand, Fred Wilpon’s calculation in choosing who to sell to works the other way if he recommends a maverick like Steve Cohen to his peers, only to be rejected when team owners revolt against Cohen, putting Wilpon back to square one.
To put it another way, in the eyes of Major League Baseball, Steve Cohen has two strikes on him, and one little slip-up could be all it takes for team owners to squash him when their vote is tallied.
“Given Cohen’s history, we don’t need this,” one MLB source told The Post, referring to Cohen’s 2013 settlement with the feds after his former firm, SAC Capital, pleaded guilty to securities fraud.
Is This The Straw That Breaks The Camel’s Back
The newer charges The Post brings to light may or may not be more than a ripple in the pond. At the moment, there are back-to-back complaints from two women who worked for Cohen’s Stamford, Conn., hedge fund. All relevant documents are sealed.
Typically, the way these things work, though, is based on the adage – where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
If so, the two complaints on file will multiply exponentially as more women come forward.
Steve Cohen did not get where he is today with an ego that is ultra-sensitive to personal and business-related attacks.
But securities fraud is in a different league than sexual discrimination, and that’s especially true today, given the ongoing coverage of a man who is dead (Jeffrey Epstein).
“We don’t need this,” said the MLB source. For Steve Cohen, he’ll soon be doubling down on that.