Thursday, September 01, 2011

Mets Won't Be Selling to David Einhorn Afterall

When I saw the news that the Mets will not be selling a minority share to David Einhorn I got that something stinks in Denmark feeling.

Einhorn thought he had a $200 million deal with Fred Wilpon and the Mets. He had entered into a agreement that had an exclusivity period but was non-binding. The Mets need cash because they were victimized by (though some say complicit with) Bernie Madoff. It should be noted that the Mets have a pretty cozy relationship with baseball commissioner Bud Selig. At around the same time the Mets were having financial difficulties - the Los Angeles Dodgers were also having a financial meltdown. Frank McCourt, the owner of the Dodgers, doesn't have the sort of cozy relationship with Bud Selig that Fred Wilpon enjoys.

The $200 million infusion from David Einhorn would have stabilized the Mets franchise. One wonders if the existence of this non-consummated deal allowed the Mets to borrow cash to get them over the rough spots (and one wonders if that cash could have come from MLB). The story I linked to say that Mets ownership has "provided additional capital to cover all 2011 losses." Really? Where did this cash magically come from? The Mets ownership clearly did not have the money back when they first entered into the deal with Einhorn.

With Einhorn's cash giving the Mets cover - the commissioner was free to force the hand of the Dodgers by basically having MLB take over the team. Now an offer for the Dodgers for $1.2 billion is leaked. And at the same time the Mets get money from nowhere and decide to unilaterally change the terms of the deal with Einhorn to a point where they know they won't be acceptable. The whole thing reeks.

I could be wrong about this but I still think the situation stinks of tangled webs being weaved out of the commissioners office.

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