Last April Steven Cohen — a bald man with glasses and thus, with the exception of having eight billion dollars to his name, is like me in most respects — was reported to be interested in buying into the Mets. Then that all went away as he got involved in the bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But guess what? He still wants that minority stake in the Mets, and according to the Los Angeles Times, he is on the verge of getting that stake:
Steven Cohen, the billionaire investor trying to buy the Dodgers, is on the verge of becoming a minority owner in his hometown New York Mets. The deal would not preclude Cohen from pursuing the Dodgers, according to two people familiar with the transaction but not authorized to discuss it.
Not surprisingly, a hedge fund guy is hedging his bets. If he gets the Dodgers, he owns the Dodgers. If he doesn’t, he has his foot in the door and is through the approval process with Major League Baseball in the event that the Mets are sold outright.
In that case — assuming the team isn’t in bankruptcy — the blessing of Major League Baseball will be way more important than almost anything. And having given Bud Selig’s best buddy Fred Wilpon $20 million to tide him over will certainly put Cohen in Selig’s good graces.
But if he gets the Dodgers, he will have to sell that Mets stake. Which seems like it’d be difficult. But I guess we can file that under Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Problems.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.