Mets: Your left fielder has wandered off the reservation again

Yoenis Cespedes, Mets enigmatic outfielder (Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Hopefully, the Mets were both surprised and alarmed when they became aware of a video posted on Instagram of their rehabbing left fielder…

The Mets have an admitted history of questionable medical treatment and supervision of their injured players. And even more significant, we often see a detachment or disinterest in following the health regimen of non-injured players.

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets (Photo:
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets (Photo:

Unbeknownst to the Mets, instances such as this one in 2017 show the team’s detachment from their players.

Noah Syndergaard added 17 pounds of muscle this offseason,” blared the Men’s Fitness headline in February. “Now, he’s stronger than ever.”

Who, in the Mets front office or dugout, authorized Syndergaard to get stronger than ever? And what member(s) of the Met’s medical team said it was a good idea for their star pitcher to bulk up?

Throughout 2015 and 2016, Matt Harvey also raised the “Who’s the boss? question continuously throughout his rehab from successive injuries. Harvey insisting he would rehab in New York with the team – while Mets brass said no – go to Florida. Guess who won that battle.

Today, we have the case of Yoenis Cespedes, who hasn’t had an at-bat for the Mets in a year and a half, wandering off the reservation and seemingly in control of his own rehab.

In a  video widely distributed by Endy Chavez, a former teammate of Cespedes, we see Cespedes taking batting practice (view video here).

Interestingly, the video has since been “taken down.”

Mets or Cespedes: Who’s the boss?

So what’s the big deal? Two points, the first of which has to do with the Mets appearing to not be in charge of the rehab designed to get Cespedes back on the field.

And the second question goes to the free-wheeling Cespedes for either not being aware of his contractual obligations to the Mets – or just simply ignoring them.

When a player signs a major league contract, he pretty much surrenders his body to the club. An inside look at a typical contract provided by Business Insider (Section 7b), outlines the player’s responsibility to the club “to obey the Club’s training rules.”

Brodie Van Wagenen, 2020 Decider (Photo: SNY)
Brodie Van Wagenen, 2020 Decider (Photo: SNY)

In theory, if Cespedes went outside the boundaries of those rules by taking unauthorized batting practice and in theory risking further injury, he would be subject to termination by the Mets.

The problem here, though, is the Mets (probably) do not have a conveyed specified program of rehab and training for Yoenis Cespedes.

And if the team has told Cespedes what he can and cannot do that apply to his ongoing rehab, then why have the Mets not jumped at the chance to send a message not only to Cespedes but to all players in their organization?

Mets Port St. Lucie - Spring Training (Photo: newsday)
Yoenis Cespedes, Mets enigmatic outfielder (Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

So, let me see if I can help here with the content of a text Brodie Van Wagenen should send to Cespedes, with a copy to his agent:

“You are under contract to the New York Mets Baseball Club. We remain hopeful you can fully recover from your injuries, and we are counting on your contributions to the team in 2020.

With regards to your ongoing rehab, you are now directed to report to the Mets training facilities in Port St. Lucie daily, Monday through Friday. Workouts under the direction of team medical personnel will be from 8:00 am – 11:00 am and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

I am also directing you to submit (in writing) a weekly report detailing progress and/or problems with your rehab. Feel free to direct any inquiries to Omar Minaya, Special Assistant to the General Manager.”

Distractions, distractions, distractions

Look – it’s entirely possible that Yoenis Cespedes innocently took it upon himself to engage in baseball activities without the knowledge of the Mets.

But if that’s the case, it’s precisely the problem that exists with Cespedes – which is – he needs to begin thinking about the team first. He is not as he seems to think, self-employed.

Ironically, the Mets stand to be a better team with Yoenis Cespedes in their lineup. But the lingering question, as it’s been throughout his career, remains at what cost…

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Author: stevecontursi

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