Mets fans just learned a bitter lesson that they shouldn’t get their hopes up about an ownership change unless the contracts are signed.

Two months ago, the Mets issued a press release stating that the team was in negotiations with hedge fund financier Steve Cohen to sell him a majority equity stake. Things remained quiet about any transfer but many fans, as well as media types, started making it sound as if it were a done deal and the Mets would soon be bidding for free agents who’d be seeking stratospheric contracts.

The one thing that stood out from the get-go was the report that Fred Wilpon would remain the Mets CEO while his son Jeff would stay on as its chief operating officer for the first five years that Cohen owned the team. Given that weird stipulation it wasn’t surprising therefore that the deal ultimately fell through.

My suggestion for the next majority owner is to be prepared to bring your own management team in immediately, including a locksmith.

Nancy Lieberman, who grew up in Far Rockaway and is arguably the greatest female basketball player ever, was honored at the 40th annual Thurman Munson Dinner, which has raised over $16 million to help fund AHRC, a nonprofit that assists those with cognitive disabilities. Like so many in the basketball community, Lieberman was very distraught about the helicopter tragedy that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. What wasn’t well-known was that Bryant had hired Lieberman to work with Gianna on her hoops skills.

Last Thursday, the Knicks traded their best player, Marcus Morris, to the Clippers for former Forest Hills High School and St. John’s University star Moe Harkless and a pair of high draft choices in return. Say what you will about the Knicks but they’ve always had an affinity for Queens guys as evidenced by Mark Jackson, Ernie Grunfeld, Kyle O’Quinn, Anthony Mason and Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest).

Brooklyn Nets YES Network play-by-play broadcaster and Forest Hills High School alum Ian Eagle makes watching games fun because he observes the little things that have nothing to do with the score. When the Nets played the Warriors at Barclays Center last week, Eagle noticed that Warriors star Stephen Curry, who was in street clothes because of a season-ending injury, was entertaining himself by doing his impression of Nets uber-fan 82-year-old Bruce Reznick, better known by his alter ego, Mr. Whammy. Reznick’s shtick is to stand near the basket making hexing gesticulations when an opposing player is attempting free throws.

The extended version of Sports Beat only at qchron.com.

It has been a long season for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, but they may have found their best goaltender since Martin Brodeur in rookie Mackenzie Blackwood. Last Thursday I witnessed Blackwood turn away 46 shots as the Devils shut out the Philadelphia Flyers at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, which is one of the best venues to watch a hockey contest.

Visiting the spring training Florida homes of the Mets and the Yankees is an annual late-winter tradition for many area baseball fans. The Yankees have the edge over the Mets in this area (what else is new?) as they make their spring base in bustling Tampa, while the Mets have been setting up shop in far slower-paced Port St. Lucie since 1987.

The Innisbrook Golf Resort located in Palm Harbor (about a 45-minute drive from Tampa’s Steinbrenner Field), is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It has four golf courses and is the home of the PGA Tour Valspar Championship next month. It’s a good place to brush up on your game before golf season begins on Long Island.

Life and style

Technology was front and center at Legalweek New York’s annual trade show. LexisNexis has long been the gold standard of law and business-related databases. A representative from the company was showing me how the athletic departments from public universities can easily discover what their fellow schools of higher learning are paying their coaches.

Data breaches and estimating the monetary damages they cause were a big topic this year at Legalweek New York.

Corel, the maker of WordPerfect, a word processing program I consider vastly superior to Microsoft Word, was trying to gain a bigger share of the law-firm market by exhibiting its X9 version at Legalweek New York.

Country singer Jessie Decker has created a clothing line called Kittenish, and she’ll be hosting a brunch at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino the Sunday of Presidents’ Weekend. Her husband, former New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, is listed as a co-host. I have a feeling he’ll gladly discuss the NFL with anyone who attends.

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