Steve Cohen has officially secured the votes necessary to approve his purchase of the New York Mets. Let’s party.
Rejoice, New York Mets fans: the Steve Cohen era is here.
After months of waiting, Mets fans finally have their new owner. In what was music to Mets fans ears, Cohen was officially approved as the new owner of the Metropolitans by securing the necessary to transfer ownership from the Wilpons. Shortly after Cohen was approved, Mayor de Blasio announced that the city had no objections and the sale could move forward. And now, as the attention shifts to the flurry of offseason moves on the horizon, we have a reason to celebrate right now.
See, we’re used to heartbreak. We’re used to the turn for the worst. Alex Rodriguez as our new owner. Jeff Wilpon sabotaging Cohen’s purchase. The freaking mayor possibly blocking the sale. Which one of you among us didn’t read all these headlines and confidently believe something was going to go wrong? But this is what we’ve grown to expect over the last 18 years with this team, with this ownership – eerily familiar and demoralizingly inevitable, which is why today will go down in history for us.
You could look at countless examples to better understand the history of ineptitude with this club, but for the sake of time, look no further than the sale of the team itself. Last December, Cohen was positioned to purchase an 80% stake in the team. What ensued over the next ten months was something all too familiar for this fanbase: chaos.
It’s almost poetic, in an anarchic kind of way, how the Wilpons have ended their reign. Every step of the way in the course of this sale, Mets fans have been subconsciously embracing themselves for a catastrophe. We were cautiously optimistic that Cohen could actually liberate us from our eternal abasement. Yet every time a new story broke, or whispers of a new rumor swept across timelines, we, without batting an eye, defaulted to our intrinsic pessimism.
We’ve grown accustomed to the worst-case-scenario. In the land of LOLMets, whatever can go wrong, will and whatever can go right, won’t. We have ventured into each offseason in hopes of welcoming home the likes of Manny Machado only to end up with knees of Jed Lowrie. Whether it’s Benitez, Wagner, Familia, or Diaz in for the ninth, a save is more surprising than a blown one. A Wainwright curve, back-to-back collapses and many, many other agonizing moments have all contributed to us feeling as though we are actually cursed.
Not to mention all this happening while being in the same city as the most successful franchise in baseball history. Forever relegating us to second fiddle, our cross-town rivals, in the year which they secured their 27th championship, did so by spending almost half a billion dollars on the top names in free agency. That same year, the Mets walked away with Oliver Perez, Freddy Garcia, and Omir Santos to name a few.
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The perennial underdog, proverbial little brother and literal laughing stock, we have endured almost two decades of dysfunction in every area.
Players who were great before their arrival (Jason Bay) somehow lost their production. Others who left the organization went on to become stars (Justin Turner). Bizarre injuries that somehow cost players an inordinate amount of time since the training staff could never get a handle on the issue (cue Ike Davis highlights).
Bernie Madoff pulled off one of the most devastating ponzi schemes in history and to absolutely no one’s surprise, the Mets were in the middle of it. In Flushing, if it could go wrong, it did.
And yet, here we are, in an entirely different world that almost seems uncomfortable to embrace. The wealthiest owner in the sport. Trade rumors of Francisco Lindor. Not a single free agent that’s off the table. This is uncharted territory.
While clubs are laying off staff, the Mets are set to give a stipend to employees who missed work this season. On the public relations side, as the New York Post and USA Today were serving as mouthpieces for what we can only assume was both Jeff and A-Rod desperately trying to stop the seemingly inevitable, the Cohen camp hardly let out a peep.
This is not how things go for the team in Queens. We’re used to the disappointment, the penny-pinching, the bargain hunting and my personal favorite, the age-old adage: “if everyone stays healthy..”
Now, without ever making a move, we’re being linked to every big name free agent. International players are already being prioritized as a key focus. Fears of letting homegrown players walk away are being replaced with an almost unabashed certainty the Mets core stars will stay in blue and orange. With talks of bolstering what was an anemic analytics department, all of these things point to a major league club that is going to be run like one in New York is supposed to be.
We all know the phrase “you can’t appreciate the sun without the rain”. The problem for us has been, the rain is a torrential downpour and the sun pokes through for two minutes, once a decade.
But the skies are clearing. There’s a lot of work to do. We don’t know exactly what moves will be made or what the roster will look like come spring training, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the most crucial transaction has already been made.
Delete your “LOLMets” and “thatssoMets” hashtags. Replace your The days of Kaz Matsui signings, the Luis Castillo errors, the Aaron Heilman homers and Jarred Kelenic trades are over. We can finally put away the umbrellas in Flushing, the sunniest days are getting set to shine at Citi Field.
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Rejoice, Mets fan: The Steve Cohen era is here.