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The Mets-David Einhorn deal is dead

Sep 1, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

File photo of David Einhorn speaking at 6th Annual New York Value Investing Congress in New York City

We don’t have the details or the back story yet, but Richard Sandomir of the New York Times just tweeted that the deal in which David Einhorn was to purchase a minority share in the Mets is dead.

This could cut a couple of different ways, really, but one distinct possibility is that Fred Wilpon saw other potential investors emerge in the weeks since Einhorn’s exclusive negotiating window closed and has found more favorable terms.  Because the terms to Einhorn seemed pretty poor for Wilpon, given that they could have potentially resulted in him giving up a large chunk of the team for nothing or a controlling interest in the team for less than it was worth.  It’s also possible that Einhorn just decided that he had better things to do with his money.

We’ll pass along more details as they become available, of course.

UPDATE: Danny Knobler reports that Einhorn backed out when Wilpon tried to change the deal on him in the last second.  There are obviously two sides to every story, of course, so I presume we’ll get dueling official statements later today.

UPDATE:  Here is Einhorn’s statement, just released:

“I am disappointed to announce that I will not be purchasing an ownership interest in the New York Mets baseball team at this time. It is clear that it will not be possible for me to consummate the transaction on the terms that the Sterling-Mets organization and I originally agreed to several months ago. The extensive nature of changes that were proposed to me at the last minute has made a successful transaction impossible.

“I want to thank the entire Mets organization and Major League Baseball for their efforts. This experience will always be a happy memory for me because of the Mets’ fans. A good number of you have reached out to offer me encouragement. I will always be touched by the warmth that you showed me.”

Your move, Wilpons.

  1. cur68 - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Aww, hell. There go all my Ace Ventura cracks. Stupid Fred Wilpon!

  2. sdelmonte - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Ah crap.

    Glad I got to see Reyes live last night. Because he will be elsewhere next year.

    Unless there really is someone else lined up instead of Einhorn. But with the Wilpons, it’s safe to assume the worst.

  3. Old Gator - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I can’t help but feel that Einhorn got lucky. Now he has only to wait for Jean-Luc to neuter the Wilpons and buy the team at a yard sale.

  4. Jonny 5 - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM

  5. Old Gator - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      Gator, are you really a Dead fan??? I have a cool version of “hard to handle” from back when pig pen was singing with the band…. It’s on VHS. Yes, I still have VHS tapes at home.

      • Old Gator - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        Am I a Deadhead?

        Is Godzilla radioactive?

        I saw the Dead in San Francisco when they were still called the Warlocks. Heard an early version of “I Know You Rider” with Pig singing the verse “I’d drink muddy water/sleep in a hollow log” that they dropped from the song later on. How’s that for being an old fart young at heart?

        Okay, ready for this? There’s an annual conference of scholars, critics and various fan bases in Albuquerque in February, the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association – easily the most fun an academic can have with his corduroy sport jacket on – and the Greatful Dead Caucus usually sponsors between twelve and fifteen ninety minute sessions at it. They’re second only to (I think) the Joss Whedon-Buffy bunch (!). Anyway, the sessions feature prominent musicologists, folklore scholars, other well-known musicians and what have you and the presentations are terrific. For years they’ve published an annual journal based on the papers that are delivered at these sessions, Dead Letters, which has metamorphosed into Greatful Dead Studies this past year somehow.

        The conference is on Feb. 8-11, 2012 this coming year at the Hyatt Regency. The Deadheads usually stay at the Hotel Blue, just down – love this too – Route 66 from the Hyatt. There’s a kind of informal “open mike” session every night in the lobby of the Blue after the last conference section. Here’s a link:

        Jerry lives!

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM

        If you couldn’t tell, I’d die without music, and I am a huge fan of all that is “good”. But the Dead are a national treasure imo, well above being merely “good”. This music helped to shape a generation actually. And while I’m not sure exactly what the Dead have to do with Literature relating to culture (on an annual basis), I’m sure that topic detailing how this band did help to shape an entire generation of Americans would be a pretty eye opening read. Maybe help to relieve the band of some of it’s reputation within some crowds as “hippies” or “druggies”.

        My favorite song by them has left me to wonder if Steven King also was a fan of Hunter’s work… Terrapin station has some semblance to the Dark tower series. A protector of the beam being a terrapin. The train (Blaine the Mono) being a way to the Tower. The year….. “In the New York of 1977 ( the year of the song being produced), Jake Chambers world, a single red rose rises from the rubble…. (and a red rose too?)Hey, I can only guess… Maybe it worked it’s way into the subconscious? Maybe I draw too many conclusions?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        Why do you guys turn every single post into a chat about The Greatful Dead? Maybe Craig should change this site to 😀

      • Old Gator - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Chris, I’d say touche but there’s a little rubber thing at the tip of your foil, heh heh heh. Let’s do what Maat did to the spirits of the dead in the Egyptian underworld and weight the total number of Grateful Dead conversations here against a feather, and then the total number of Feelies conversations (including all references to horsemeat and Velveeta) against a feather. Whaddya wanna bet they use the Feelies feather to finish off the dangling Coyote? Hah?

        Johnny – “Terrapin Station” is loosely based on a 17th century Scottish folk song called “The Lady of Carlisle.” If you want to hear an alternate, somewhat more faithful-to-its-sources version of the same tune, check out this gorgeous version by the great British folk-blues group Pentangle: Robert Hunter took this very, very old folk song and gave it the poststructuralist narratological treatment, emphasizing the ambivalent relationship of an author to his/her/(its) text.

        Of course, you’d know this already if you regularly attended the Pop Culture Association conferences in Albuquerque….

  6. Kevin S. - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    I’m sure chrisny3 will be in here shortly to admit he was wrong about the ease with which the Mets would find a suitable minority partner who found their terms amenable.

    • Alex K - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      Or to trash Einhorn as unreasonable. Really, either wouldn’t shock me.

  7. purnellmeagrejr - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    ” I will always be touched by the warmth that you showed me.”
    Like my mother always said, “If you can’t say something hackneyed and insincere, don’t say anything at all.”

    • Dan in Katonah - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      Hackneyed, maybe, but not insincere. Fans were genuinely excited to have a glimmer of hope and I know their feelings were well-received. Very disappointing this thing fell apart.

  8. fatelvis77 - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Inside info from one in position to know informs me that the Wilpons believe they are in a much more advantageous position vis a vis the Madoff trustee, Picard, and that Picard has much more attractive targets than the Wilpons. The Mets do have the resources to pay Reyes on the order of $100m for 5 years and to make a deal with Wright as well. The rest of next years’ starters, Davis, Murphy, Thole, Tejada, Turner, Evans, Duda, Pagan, are all very inexpensive and are expected to be bigger contributers next year. The problems are Bay and Santana. It is too bad about Einhorn as he seemed like a very solid guy, but his deal was negotiated at a time of desperation that has now passed.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      “The Mets do have the resources to pay Reyes on the order of $100m for 5 years ”

      That’s great…now who is going to play Shortstop for them next year, after Reyes gets Crawford money?

    • paperlions - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      Are we sure that the Mets have the resources to pay any of their players next year? At some point, at least $300MM will be due to pay off the Madoff fiasco. Attendance is way down, fans want them to sell, no excitement around the team, they are losing money every year, had to borrow money from MLB this year….where are these “resources” coming from?

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 1, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    “The Mets do have the resources to pay Reyes on the order of $100m for 5 years ”

    That’s great…now who is going to play Shortstop for them next year, after Reyes gets Crawford money?

  10. fatelvis77 - Sep 1, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    A. The Wilpons are not going to have to pay Picard anything close to $300m, which is chump change given what Picard may get from Madoff’s bankers. Picard has$100b in lawsuits out there and only $17b in losses for non-net winners. The Wilpons are considered net winners, but even the net winners stand to get some money back if Picard collects more than $17b, and he’s already collected $10b+.

    B. Reyes is 28 and already has been on the DL several times with hamstring and other issues. No sane GM or owner is going to pay him $20m a year after his 34th birthday. He won’t be as fast and he will be even more of a health risk. Obviously he was having a career year before his two DL stints.

    C. How’s that Carl Crawford signin’ workin” out for ya? Ya lookin’ forwardto payin’ him $20m per for the next 6 years?

    • paperlions - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

      A is patently incorrect. The judge in that case has already ruled that Picard estimate of $300MM in profits made by the Wilpons is the correct number and not the much lower number that the Wilpons submitted. That $300MM is already gone (indeed, they never should have had it to begin with), while that may be chump change within the context of asset value held, it is far more than the Wilpon’s have on hand or they wouldn’t have borrowed money from MLB last year and they wouldn’t be looking to sell part of the team to generate liquid assets. The only business they have right now that makes money is the cable network.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:18 PM

        I disagree with you about the cable network being the only profitable business they have: this is a great time to be real estate development and property management.

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