The Mets just can’t seem to win these days. On the field, the team is an abysmal .444. easily one of the worst in the league. And word today is that the Mets are losing off the field, as well.
According to the NY Post, hedge-fund mogul Steve Cohen is backing out of a reported $200 million minority purchase of the Mets, meaning the Wilpons and Saul Katz are back to square one. The club would not comment, and a source has said that Sterling Equities, ergo, the Mets would not be commenting.
But, if you have been following Cohen recently, this turn of events may actually be a blessing in disguise. Last week , the Wall Street Journal reported that prosecutors are examining trades made in an account overseen Cohen that were suggested by two of his former fund managers who have pleaded guilty to insider trading. At the center of the investigation is a $3 billion stock portfolio personally overseen by Cohen at SAC Capital Advisors and referred to by the government in the filings as the "Cohen Account" and internally at SAC as "The Big Book."
As I said on Twitter last week, bringing in Cohen could be setting the Mets up for more potential embarrassment.
But, it may be more than Cohen simply deciding to pull back from wanting in on the Mets. As the NY Post report outlines, “Cohen may be falling from his leadership position because MLB, which must approve his investment, has some questions about the reported federal probe into trading activity at Cohen's SAC Capital, a source close to the situation said.“
If that is indeed the case, kudos to those at 245 Park for pulling back on the deal. As badly as the Mets need the money to try and deal with the fallout from the Bernie Madoff ponzi scandal, bringing in a minority owner that could then see a potential arrest over insider trading is surely something the league (and Mets) need to avoid. Look at what happened today with Raj Rajaratnam.
Playing it safe is sometimes the best way to play the game of baseball. And that includes off the field, as well.
SPECIAL BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK REPORTS:
The Labor Battle in the NFL. See BizOfFootball.com for details
Welcome to the 2011 Business of Sports Network Autism Challenge
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
Follow Maury Brown on Twitter
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter
Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook