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New York Mets Owner Fred Wilpon in Talks to Sell 80% of Team, Frustrated Fans Rejoice: ‘THANK THE BASEBALL GODS’

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Fans of the New York Mets (this author included) are celebrating this Wednesday evening amid news that longtime owner Fred Wilpon is in talks to sell the team to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen.

Following a report by Bloomberg which stated that Cohen could purchase as much as 80 percent of the team, the Mets issued a statement confirming the talks.

“The Sterling Partners and Steve Cohen are negotiating an agreement in which Steve Cohen would increase his investment in the New York Mets,” the team said. “As part of that agreement, Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in his role of Chief Operating Officer for the 5 year period as well.”

Cohen is a controversial figure. The inspiration for the Showtime series Billions, Cohen’s fund, Point57 Asset Management, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2013 and, according to Bloomberg, paid a record fine.

Still, the fact that he is not Fred Wilpon is thrilling frustrated fans of the Mets. Under Wilpon’s stewardship, the club has been highly reluctant to spend money on big-ticket free agents β€” which has rankled with the fan base, particularly given the willingness of the crosstown Yankees to open up their checkbook. Wilpon was forced to pay a large settlement in the Bernie Madoff case, and this was thought to put a further strain on the team’s finances.

Ya gotta believe, Mets fans! Here’s a sampling of the celebration underway on social media:

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo