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If It's Hardball The Mets Want To Play, It Is Hardball They Shall Get

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At the end of May, it was announced that David Einhorn would pay $200 million for a 33 percent stake in the Mets. The deal appeared to be a win/win for both parties, Einhorn being a lifelong Mets (/Brewers) fan and the ball club's finances getting to the point where they were considering passing around a collection plate during games. Seven weeks later a contract is yet to be signed, the sticking point seeming to be what percentage the Greenlight Capital founder will be able to increase his stake to, when, and for how much. While the negotiations remain open, people familiar with the matter stress that "Einhorn considers the deal on track" and for their part, The Mets said in a statement "We are in exclusive negotiations with David Einhorn and continue to have positive and productive discussions regarding David's ongoing interest in an investment in the Mets." Which is why it was interestingto hear that the management has been running around town with not one but three more potential suitors and then leaking it to the press in some sad sack attempt to get Einhorn to put a ring on it A-sap.

According to the Journal, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have been "talking" with, among others, Ray Bartoszek, a former Glencore trader, as recently as yesterday morning. Were the Mets actually considering giving the stake to Bartoszek et al over Einhorn, they would've just done it. Instead, they're just using him to try to show DE they've got "options." Obviously, these people have no idea who they're dealing with, as Einhorn 1) is a man of principle who's not going to simply back down from what he believes is right because you're slutting it up all over town in the desperate and entirely transparent hope of looking desirable and 2) can spot a bluff a mile away. You're going to get a reaction from him, alright, just not the one you were angling for. In fact, we suggest one of three responses. Einhorn:

1) Starts taking meetings with the Brewers
2) Demands 85% of the team in 3 years
3) Waits patiently for you to give him exactly what he wants, all the while ignoring your amateur hour antics entirely, i.e. THE NUCLEAR OPTION.

Let us lay some serious truth on your asses: 7 year-old David Einhorn did not dress up as Dave Kingman for Halloween so 35 years later he could be taken for a fool. He's been planning on owning this team since before he could ride a bike. He's 15 moves ahead of you Wilpons and can predict everything you're trying to do, laughing at your trash. If you think he's sitting at his desk thinking "oh, no, a commodities trader, better double my bid," you are sorely mistaken. The sooner you realize that, the better.

The Mets Play Hardball With David Einhorn [WSJ]