Mets Need To Stand Up And Set The Record Straight On Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes and Brodie VanWagenen - partners in crime? (Newsday)

The Mets should not be pussyfooting around this thing with Yoenis Cespedes. Come right out and say it – the guy was one big pain in the ass.

The Mets do not seem to know when to draw the line with their players. Matt Harvey had his turn with the team fussing over this and that, and where did it get either of them? Once, Noah Syndergaard whined about having a precautionary MRI before making a start, and where did it get him?

Now, the story goes that Yoenis Cespedes was a disgruntled employee, who was not happy with the amount of playing time Luis Rojas was giving him.

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Rojas, the Mets rookie manager, still walking on eggs, purportedly had a phone conversation with Cespedes on Saturday night, the day before their diva went AWOL.

The subject was discussed,  and apparently, Rojas thought better about telling Cespedes the truth – “You’re batting .161, and you are striking out fifty percent of your official at-bats – and oh, by the way, our team is buried in last place in case you haven’t noticed”.

Mets GM Brodie VanWagen fielded a phone call from Cespedes as well, reassuring their player there was no conspiracy to keep him out of the lineup.

The Mets Know The Real Reason Behind The “Opt-Out”

Playing time was only camouflage to the real reason for Cespedes’ hissy-fit. Remember, during the offseason, the Mets had a moment of sanity, and they demanded that Yoenis Cespedes restructure his contract in lieu of his inability to stay on the field for three seasons straight?

Sure, you do, and so did Yoenis Cespedes. See, it wasn’t that he wanted more playing time so he could help the team. No, he was lashing out about the incentives in his new contract that were washing away in an already shortened season.

Incentives in baseball are as old as “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch. Any manager will tell you they put an extra level of pressure on them, and they’d rather GM’s find another way to satisfy the player and the team.

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But those same managers will also tell you they are determined to accomplish one thing when they make out their lineup each night, and that’s to field the team most capable of putting a “W” on the board.

Who can believe, for instance, that Dominic Smith isn’t “upset” about the playing time he is receiving this year? Or, J.D. Davis, (right) who is hitting at a .310 clip and has scored four and driven home six more (runs)?

Not a peep out of these players. Because they “get” what Yoenis Cespedes never has, bouncing through four teams with no clue as to what baseball means at this highest level.

New York Mets – Ever The Enablers

Okay, the Mets were complicit in their enabling of Yoenis Cespedes, and they should have put their foot down miles before now. And lord knows, their history proves how counterproductive enabling can be.

What, for instance, might have happened to the career of Dwight Gooden, Lenny Dykstra, and Darryl Strawberry, and Keith Hernandez if then-manager Davey Johnson (who must have known) had told his players – “Get that shit (cocaine) outta here”?

Case in point, Brodie Van Wagenen did not need to make this statement. And he should be ashamed of himself for doing so.

“Yo is a great player that I think everybody enjoyed watching (him)play when he was at his best,” Van Wagenen said. “There was optimism for his return. I know how hard he worked in his rehab to get back to this point, and I know this is a disappointing end to at least his four-year agreement from the Mets, but I know it wasn’t from lack of work ethic on his part to try and get back.” Ken Davidoff, New York Post

What is Pete Alonso, Jacob deGrom, or Jeff McNeill supposed to think when they read something like that when each, all with families, is showing up every day amid a pandemic – with nothing to say but, “Hey guys, it’s time to get going – now!”

Mets: Your Lesson Today -Some Get It, And Some Don’t

The average playing career for a major league ballplayer is less than six years. You don’t get do-overs. It’s either done right – or not.

Even Hall Of Famer’s rue on what could have been after retirement. Mickey Mantle, to the day he passed, knew he was never all he could have been, minus the alcohol binges with Whitey Ford and Billy Martin. (view the compelling Bob Costas video here.

But the difference between Yoenis Cespedes and Mickey Mantle is stark. Mantle never robbed the Yankees of anything – if anything, it was the reverse.

Yoenis Cespedes: Hey, look at me (
Yoenis Cespedes: Hey, look at me (

Yet here we have Cespedes, who probably even today will hide behind his tale about a wild boar on his ranch that caused him to miss all of last year.

Perhaps, what’s worse is the Mets choosing to hide behind the same excuses.

The Mets are at a crossroads as a franchise, as well as the 2020 season. Their players need to be reaffirmed that the team comes first, and if any of you in this clubhouse believe anything else – please leave your Lamborghini in the garage.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.