In 1963, Steve Cohen first went to the Polo Grounds with his father to watch the Mets. On Tuesday, the billionaire gave his vision for the future of the franchise — and set a very high bar.
“If I don’t win a World Series in the next three-to-five years — I’d like to make it sooner — but if I don’t do that, I would consider that slightly disappointing,” Cohen said Tuesday during his introductory press conference.
Cohen said the Mets are “a major market team” that “should have a budget commensurate with that.”
“I’m essentially doing this for the fans,” Cohen said. “When I really thought about this, I can make millions of people happy. What an incredible opportunity that is. That’s how I’m thinking about this. I’m not trying to make money here….it’s really about building something great, building something for the fans, winning and I just find this an amazing opportunity and I’m so excited for it.”
Even though Cohen enters MLB as the sport’s richest owner, the hedge-fund magnate understands his checkbook can’t produce the team’s first title since 1986 and said they wouldn’t spend like “drunken sailors.”
“You build champions, you don’t buy them,” Cohen said. “I want an exceptional team. I want a team that’s built to be great every year. I don’t want to just get into the playoffs, I want to win a championship.
“We want to create a blueprint for winning.”
Cohen said he shares the “same philosophy” as returning team president Sandy Alderson, and will likely take a backseat in baseball operations decisions.
“I’ve got a lot to learn and I can’t think of a better person to learn from,” Cohen said. “I’m gonna let the professionals…let them run baseball. I’m sure they’ll make recommendations to me. It’ll be a collaborative effort, but ultimately they’re the experts.
“I’m going to be an owner that builds a team with continued success.”
And that doesn’t involve trying to outdo only the Yankees.
“I’m not competing against the Yankees. This is the Mets,” Cohen said. “We’re gonna create our own excitement. We’re competing against 29 other clubs in MLB.”
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