So far, Steve Cohen’s bid to buy the New York Mets is proceeding on schedule. But a New York State Senator is not convinced the team needs his money.
In all likelihood, Steve Cohen has developed a thick skin over the many years he spent amassing a personal fortune valued at just under $14 billion.
But worthy of notice and tucked away on the Op-Ed page of the New York Daily News, where few, if any ever venture, is a scathing opinion piece written by Jessica Ramos.
Ramos represents Corona, East Elmhurst, and other neighborhoods in the New York State Senate.
Aptly, Citi Field, the home of the Mets, is in her district, and because of that, Ramos laments the excellent chance that Steve Cohen will inherit the Mets as its team owner.
Perhaps because her piece has not been widely read, Steve Cohen has not replied, and is hoping it will just “go away”. Maybe, it will.
But because I believe her words have validity and a passion behind them, this forum today on Reflections On Baseball belongs to Jessica Ramos.
Steve Cohen: Is He Worthy Of Mets Fans
Her complete essay can be read here, but to summarize, Ramos wonders if Mets fans deserve better than a scoundrel (my word) like Steve Cohen.
Especially since Mets fans have endured more than their share of suffering during the reign of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, an enterprise that bleeds debt and corruption (Bernie Madoff), and massive dysfunction in the operations associated with how to run a baseball franchise.
And so it went that when the Mets were first put up for sale early this year, Steve Cohen’s bid of $2.6 billion to buy the team was met almost universally by Mets fans with something that went like – “Wow, we finally have someone who is going to spend some money on our team”.
Jessica Ramos has a different take, though, and it’s summed up in the Latin phrase, Caveat Emptor – Let the buyer (Mets fans) beware.
Jessica Ramos is a Mets fan who takes these things to heart. She is not alone and is not bashful in pointing out that “the Mets have always been an important part of my life and my family. They are an integral pillar of our Queens community and an invaluable neighbor that embodies the spirit of not just our borough, but all of New York City”.
Does Steve Cohen’s Money Match His Character
The thrust of Ramos’s argument centers on the questionable business dealings and the inevitable spill over into his character. There is plenty to back up her theory about Steve Cohen.
“A quick look at Mr. Cohen’s career raises red flag after red flag. In 2013, his firm, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of insider trading and fraud before agreeing to pay $1.8 billion in fines for their malpractice. In the wake of that investigation, the world also learned of SAC’s toxic work culture amid reports of extremely disturbing workplace sexual harassment.
Even his latest venture, Point72 Asset Management, has been accused of hostility to women“.
Ramos will be pleased to learn that Cohen’s “day in court” to defend against these charges and facts will come when he faces gaining the approval of MLB’s team owners before a sale is finalized. On the other hand, Cohen did receive approval earlier this year when the Wilpons pulled back from selling the team.
Will MLB’s Approval Of Steve Cohen Hinge On Any Of This
Regrettably (my opinion), Jessica Ramos should have stopped there, but instead, she went on to make a political point as well with this reference:
“At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and as the nation reckons with racial justice protests across the country — and in the same month as even the NFL’s Washington football team retires its racist moniker — are baseball’s owners truly going to side with yet another rich white man over someone who would be the first woman of color to own a major sports franchise in equal partnership with her partner?”
The latter part presumably is a reference to Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez as prospective buyers of the Mets and competing directly with Steve Cohen.
The point she misses is that baseball team owners are interested only in maximizing profits, just as in any other business. If Mickey Mouse can do that, he’s welcome to join their exclusive club.
Nevertheless, Jessica Ramos gives credence to the sale of the Mets to a new owner as serious business, and as such, Mets fans and all fans of baseball deserve the best to be offered in this time and place.
Again, if you missed it before, here’s a link to read her complete essay.