The Phillies open up a series with the Mets starting tonight, and something has changed with the Mets since the last time we saw them: the Mets have a new benefactor! Meet hedge fund manager and new Mets minority owner David Einhorn, who is helping the team avoid complete financial insolvency by buying a $200 million stake:
He's known as outspoken on Wall Street, publicly announcing his intentions to short sell other companies. He's powerful enough that his words alone caused those companies' stocks to take a major hit, and it got him investigated by the SEC for market manipulation.
That’s perfect. Here’s a team that is on the verge of ruin due to the Bernie Madoff scandal, and now it’s poised to be bailed out by a risky hedge fund manager who's "no shrinking violent." TWO WRONGS TOTALLY MAKE A DAVID WRIGHT.
This week’s Sports Illustrated has an in-depth look at just how much trouble current majority owner Fred Wilpon is in right now. It’s likely that Einhorn didn’t plunk down $200 million just to be the team’s fairy godmother. It’s probable that Wilpon will eventually be forced to sell the rest of the club to Einhorn, and the team will begin a new era, if and when the legal fallout is ever untangled.
Newark Star Ledger columnist Jeff Bradley says that the Mets can look to the Phillies to figure out a way to reverse their fortunes. And while it’s true that the Phillies have managed to become one of baseball’s model franchises after spending the early portion of the previous decade floundering, they never had a situation quite as dire as the what the Mets currently face. I’m not sure ANY baseball team has ever been indirectly involved in a financial collapse of such extraordinary magnitude. By the time all the lawyers have had their say, it could be that 9,000 former Madoff clients end up owning the team. It’s an unstable situation that can’t possibly be improved until all these issues are resolved, and only then can the Mets begin to model themselves after the team coming to CitiField this evening. It’s gonna be a long road.