Over the weekend, the LA Times reported that a group headed by Steve Cohen was among those that advanced to the second round of bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mark Cuban, "veteran baseball executive" Dennis Gilbert, and former Dodgers players Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser are out; at the top of Cohen's elimination list remain Magic Johnson and Joe Torre. Obviously, we have no idea whether or not the SAC Capital manager will emerge victorious. Either way, though, something about all this has been troubling us: namely how acquiring a baseball team figures into SC's long-term plans.
Think about it: when he made a play for the Mets last spring, the logical explanation was that, as a lifelong New York Metropolitans fan, the big guy was simply fulfilling a boyhood dream of inserting a down-and-out clause in players' contracts (if the team is down by more than 15 games at the All Star break, everyone gets fired) and maybe riding a Zamboni, victoriously, through the Ticker-tape parade. When the Wilpons decided that they actually kind of liked being broke, we figured that was the end of all that. Then Cohen went ahead and threw his name in the hat for the Dodgers, suggesting he just really wants to own a Major League Baseball team, regardless of which one it is. And why would that be? We don't want to say it, let alone think it, but is this all part of some sort of retirement plan, wherein Cohen buys a baseball team, shuts SAC down, burns his house to the ground, shoots off an email à la Andrew Ladhe ("I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions...Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway...I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life."), and then hightails it to Los Angeles (or failing that, Cleveland or Detroit)?
If we're entirely off-base here, fine. If SteveNot Stevie is in this just for kicks, as a hobby, a little diversion, a thing to tinker around with on weekends, great. But if this has anything to do with him abandoning Wall Street, Stamford, and everything he knows, we won't stand for it and memo to the Dodgers et al: you approve his bid contingent on keeping his day job or you don't approve it all. Start drafting your "Dear Mr. Cohen: Thank you for your application to buy [insert team here]. Unfortunately at this time..." letters now.
Having said that, if Steve's starting to feel like he needs more fulfillment in his life beyond his job, if he needs a better work/play balance, if he wants to develop passions, we're happy to scale him back to three days a week. With his free time, he can choose among the following pre-approved diversions:
* Become a course marshal at Bethpage
* Coach, and be the star of, the SAC Capital rec basketball team
* Pick up a few shifts at Yankee Candle
* Build a full-scale papier-mâché David, made out all the bullshit and failed lawsuits brought by Canadian insurers and ex-wives over the years
* Work his way through all of Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking, and blog about his progress
* While he draw the line at owning an MLB team that will take up too much of his attention, a 5% stake in the Brooklyn Cyclones would be acceptable
* Frustrated after years of using a proprietary strategy of filling out his March Madness brackets based on analysis derived by spending tens of hundreds of hours reviewing footage to determine which real-life mascots could physically beat up other mascots that year,** all to merely win the various pools he was participating in, Steve ought to create "The SAC Mascot Fight Club" Association as a rival to the NCAA and March Madness. In SACMFC, mascots from all 342 Division I basketball programs fight in the parking lots during their teams' regular season games for the right to be one of the lucky 64 (65 if you count the "Fight-In Game") that make it to the Big Tournament.***
Ron Burkle might still have a role in future of Dodgers [LA Times]
Magic Johnson Group Makes Cut for Dodgers, L.A. Times Says [Bloomberg]
Earlier: Steve Cohen Bids For Mets Stake
Related (...?): Andrew Ladhe Goes Too Far
**That is, the actual people doing the gig, not "A wolverine could beat up a husky."
***As for the logistics of what happens when a mascot's team happens to be playing a tournament game the same day as a parking lot fight, that will all be covered in the upcoming manifesto, "From Madness to Sadness: How Mascot Fights Brought Down the NCAA."