Sports

De Blasio’s shameful Steve Cohen, Mets ploy is about A-Rod

De Blasio's shameful Steve Cohen, Mets ploy is about A-Rod

There have been so many things that have pockmarked the tortured and torturous Bill de Blasio Error in this city, ever since its residents made the ever-so-dubious decision to elect him Mayor in 2013 and re-elect him in 2017. You have read about those missteps and misdeeds all over this newspaper, and others, even those generally more sympathetic to his mission.

But as he enters the bell lap of his second term, de Blasio is apparently determined to leave behind a most curious legacy. It is already a given that he will be remembered as among the most vainglorious mayors to ever walk the corridors of City Hall. Now, it seems, he wants to make sure that he adds a few more million aggrieved and aggravated citizens in his wake.

He has targeted you, Mets fans.

He has, The Post has learned, told MLB commissioner Rob Manfred outright that he doesn’t want Steve Cohen to own the Mets. What has seemed a mere grandstanding ploy to make life difficult for Cohen — because among de Blasio’s more peculiar hobbies is making life difficult for many billionaires who choose to conduct business in New York — actually has more sinister overtones.

He wants to take the provision that would allow his office to block a “prohibited person” from owning a team that occupies Citi Field, which is partly owned by the city, and extend that definition beyond reason — and beyond its present boundaries.

A clause in the Mets’ lease with the stadium defines such an individual as “any Person that has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude or that is an organized crime figure.” The mayor, fueled by his own ego and a cadre of Cohen enemies, wants to extend that to anyone “who controls any person or entity that has been convicted of a felony.”

Cohen’s hedge fund, S.A.C. Capital Advisors, rather famously, pleaded guilty in 2013 to insider trading charges and paid a $1.8 billion fine. Eight traders pleaded guilty. Cohen wasn’t one of them. He should, by all reasonable conclusion, be allowed to worry alone about the vote MLB is set to conduct Friday to approve the sale, one in which Cohen needs 22 out of 29 owners to vote in favor of his $2.4 billion purchase.

But there is nothing reasonable about this, and it doesn’t exactly take an extraordinary leap to connect a few of the dots and see where de Blasio’s rooting interest lies.

A key Cohen opponent is State Senator Jessica Ramos, who also had a hand in scuttling the Amazon fiasco in 2019, when the shipping giant pulled out of a planned expansion into Long Island City that would have brought 25,000 jobs here. Sources told the Post that Ramos has been in contact with City Hall about the Mets sale. That’s one dot.

But here’s the more important one: Ramos also penned an op-ed in July endorsing the sale of the Mets to the group led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.

And there it is.

Alex Rodriguez; Bill de Blasio; Steve Cohen
Alex Rodriguez; Bill de Blasio; Steve CohenGetty (2), EPA

The third dot in this wicked power play is Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the White Sox and an avowed opponent of Cohen’s bid. Reinsdorf has been furiously attempting to compile a bloc of “no” votes in advance of Friday (to little effect, reportedly, at least so far). Reinsdorf is also an acknowledged supporter of the Rodriguez/Lopez bid to buy the Mets.

Back on Jan. 12, Rodriguez tweeted a picture of himself and Reinsdorf that said: “Honored to catch up with my mentor & own personal rabbi last night, the incredible Jerry Reinsdorf. Jerry, It’s been so much fun talking real estate & baseball w/you. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me the last 20 years!”

It’s perfectly within de Blasio’s purview to prefer one buyer over another. He’s a citizen like everyone else. But sometimes you back the wrong horse. The Wilpons already have made their decision. More to the point, so have a vast majority of Mets fans, and not only because Cohen figures to transform the team into a legitimate big-spending, big-market team.

See: most fans want no part of A-Rod, either. They want no part of his own fractured and folly-filled history with baseball, which he dishonored both by his willingness to use PEDs and also his later brazen attempts to legally wrestle with the sport when it disciplined him. A-Rod’s longtime (and played-out) boyhood affinity for the Mets holds little significance in the minds and hearts of Mets fans: most can’t stand him. Most preferred Cohen.

But Rodriguez is a sore loser.

And de Blasio, by all accounts, is a willing enabler.

And if the mayor is too tone deaf and too thick-headed to realize that … well, given the last seven years, we shouldn’t be surprised. It also seems that the ploy is destined to fail, at least in the eyes of most objective observers. Mets fans certainly hope so. They finally saw a beacon of light in the darkness when Steve Cohen — himself a lifelong Mets fan — and his $14 billion fortune entered the room.

The mayor wants to try and extinguish that flame? Good luck with that. It’s his political funeral, and his odd legacy: add a few million Mets fans to his personal roster of disillusioned and disabused New Yorkers. Good plan.

About the author

Avatar

Erin Clark

Erin is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional football matches. She is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. She currently caters her skills for the sports and health section of Report Door.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *