Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Boy Who Would Be Kingman

With New York Metropolitans patriarch Fred Wilpon bringing down a media firestorm upon his team with his (harsh but admirably candid and exasperated) comments to New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin, the team has found another story to, temporarily, take over the back pages of the tabloids: According to everyone, the cash-strapped Wilpons have sold a minority stake in the team for $200 million.

I'm not sure if this is the beginning of the end of the Wilpon's stewardship of the franchise or if it's the move that keeps them afloat until the Madoff mess can be settled. Regardless, for the first time in a longtime someone else owns a substantial piece of the Mets (the deal does not include SNY). That person is David Einhorn.

Back when the financial world was collapsing around in 2008, he famously called out the Lehman Brothers for being on death's door (when they were still claiming to be healthy as a Bear Sterns horse. He was right. In any case, it seems he's got a tendency to speak his mind in high-profile situations about other high-profile folks or entities. In other words, he probably loved the New Yorker story.

Just as important as his business acumen to many of the paying customers is that Einhorn was a Mets fan when he was a kid. There has been a widely circulated shot of him dressed up as sometime Met slugger Dave Kingman.

A hedge fund manager, Einhorn made his fortune short selling. I keep my money in a jar beneath my bed so I'm not entirely sure what that means. But I do have suspicion that he may be banking on the Wilpons failing and being able to take over the team himself at a depressed price. Again, he should fit in fine around here.