- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

New Year’s Steve

The keys are a couple of months from formal exchange, but the hardware store has been put on alert to make up a new set for the new owner who is preparing to move into 41 Seaver Way.

Say “hi” real soon to Steve Cohen, your next control person of the New York Mets. We’ve heard such advice before, like less than a year ago, but this version of it’s really happening seems closer to real than ever before. For a reported $2.42 billion [1], it ought to be no further than six socially distant feet from our loving embrace. The parties have issued their respective statements that an agreement has been reached. Sterling Partners — you know them as Fred, Jeff and Saul — will sell our favorite baseball team, with hopes and dreams to be named later, to Cohen. You know him as our savior, whether ultimately he is or not.

He’s not a Wilpon, so that’s a start. Once he’s approved, which seems something verging on a given, then not being a Wilpon will only be the beginning. At some point, we will discover that having Steve Cohen calling the shots won’t be a 100% unadulterated delight, if only because no living, active sports franchise owner keeps a universal approval rating extant forever. The only ones we’ve really cared for in this century have been Joan Payson and Nelson Doubleday.

[2]

Suitable for framing, as Murph used to say about the team picture.

But enough with waving the yellow flag indicating caution. Let your heart race with anticipation. Consider the players who will become available on the open market and either become Mets or not become Mets, but the result won’t be because there’s this murky Madoff residue lurking in the equation. Think about a front office potentially less encumbered and let loose to think ahead and thrive. Think about not cringing when you hear what “the owner of the New York Mets” has to say about the team he and we each have our own kind of stake in.

We’ll all see our own ink blot when we look at Steve Cohen taking charge and imagine our own version of Metsian nirvana. The reality has little chance of matching exactly our wildest wishes, but we’re probably going to like the net Met effect. To reiterate from the last time this seemed to be a sure thing [3], Cohen is a lifelong Mets fan who has resources like your or I have pocket lint. He saw the Mets at the Polo Grounds. He grew up down the LIRR tracks from Shea Stadium. He’s maintained a piece of the Mets at Citi Field. He’s not known to have fetishized Ebbets Field.

He’s been around. He’s been around the Mets. Think about it. Somebody who intimately knows our team still wants our team, and presumably for more than real estate reasons. Nice to know after all these years, so many of them unkind, that “Mets” means that much to somebody who has so much but wouldn’t rest until he had that.

Which he doesn’t quite, but he’s closing in. When the keys are turned over, then we’ll raise a glass. Make mine a Rheingold. Steve will understand. It never felt like Fred, Jeff or Saul would.