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Hedge Funds, Baseball, Aliens: How Ackman Trumped Einhorn ... Again

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Last week, I teased had a really good story coming up involving hedge funds, baseball and aliens. I hope this one doesn't disappoint.

By now, everyone knows Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn, he of the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPref idea, and the guy that desperately wanted to own a piece of the New York Mets when the National League franchise was in serious financial trouble, stemming from the Wilpon's losses in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

At the Ira Sohn conference in 2011, Einhorn even gave a "Let's go Mets!" cry at the end of his presentation, and referenced former slugger Ken Griffey Jr. during his speech, showcasing his passion for the game of baseball. I picked up on the "Let's go Mets" immediately, but didn't know exactly what Einhorn was referencing until a few days later when the announcement came.

Einhorn had agreed to buy a $200 million non-controlling minority stake in the baseball franchise, providing the Wilpons with some much needed relief and cushion. Ultimately, the deal did not come to fruition and both sides parted ways with Einhorn left out in the cold.

It's also a well-known story that Einhorn used to be great friends with another hedge fund honcho, Pershing Square's Bill Ackman. Ackman once called Einhorn his "marketing adviser," after lauding his investment returns on air in a 2010 CNBC appearance together.

Since that time, the relationship between the two has been strained. Ackman and Einhorn are no longer as close as they once were, with baseball playing a major role in the falling out process. Ackman told The New York Times in 2011 about Einhorn's interest in buying the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004. ( Vanity Fair has an excellent piece on the issues between Ackman, Einhorn, and other hedge fund heavyweights, and is well worth the read.)

Einhorn declined to comment for this story, and Ackman could not be immediately reached.

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