With his excellent seats at Citi Field, Michael Bloomberg says he won’t upgrade to the owner’s box.
The billionaire mayor was asked Thursday if he was interested in purchasing the 20%-25% stake the Mets’ current owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, are selling off to raise cash for potentially crippling litigation involving their ties to Bernie Madoff’s collapsed Ponzi scheme.
“I don’t think I should own a baseball team,” answered Bloomberg, smiling.
So is this how it’s going to be now? We’re just going to start speculating that every single rich person with even vague ties to baseball or New York might purchase the Mets? Because that’s going to get tedious.
First of all, it seems likely that anyone with $250 million lying around to invest in a baseball team didn’t come into that money without being pretty careful about his or her investments, so outside of a few outlying eccentrics I imagine most billionaires aren’t going to come out and be all, “HELL YEAH I WANT THE METS! TRADE DAVID WRONG!”
Second, there are a ton of extremely rich people who aren’t celebrity rich people, meaning that there are prospective buyers beyond Bloomberg and Mark Cuban and James Dolan and Derek Jeter and whoever else. It might not make for an interesting story if some hedge-fund manager from Chappaqua that no one outside the financial world has ever heard of emerges as a candidate to buy all or part of the team, but I can’t imagine it makes much of a difference to the Wilpons or, for that matter, to the Mets in the long run.
Speaking of: The 20th richest man in America, per Forbes, is a New York hedge-fund manager named John Paulson (Ed. note: His name is John Paulson). Forbes says Paulson is worth $12.4 billion, and yet I had never heard of him until right now. What’s up with that, Mr. Paulson? What’s the point of making $12.4 billion if your name’s not going to ring out through the streets?
Anyway, I’ve got an easy solution for you, John Paulson: Give me a billion dollars. That’s less than 1/12 of your riches. I keep a sports and sandwich blog of moderate repute, and if you made me rich, I’d probably dedicate half my posts to writing about how awesome you are. Think of the publicity! Sandwich of the Week: Lobster and Caviar on saffron-infused brioche with diamond aioli. And bacon. All thanks to Mr. John Paulson, billionaire philanthropist and patron of the sandwich-oriented arts.
Long story short, guessing that the rich people you’ve heard of will buy the Mets is probably a fool’s errand, because there are likely way more rich people you haven’t heard of. And it’s certainly going to take a while before anything concrete gets done, so it’s probably fruitless to spend the interim picking billionaires out of hats and assuming they might be interested in investing in a baseball team supposedly carrying considerable debt.