Steve Cohen “gets it” The Mets, above all else, are in the entertainment business. Baseball fans, rejoice. The fun is back at Citi Field.
Steve Cohen is in this to win it. We already sense that. But for this self-made man who has more money than he knows what to do with, the Mets are his proving ground for a new chapter in his life, and success depends on more than wins on a baseball diamond.
Steve Cohen wants to bring joy to millions of people in New York City. “ I’m not in this to be mediocre. I want something great” is how he put it during his introductory news conference two weeks ago.
However, Mets fans are used to hearing the words that spring forth freely as a plea to hold on to the dream. We’ve got your back said so many times by the Wilpons, bankrupt not only financially but with ideas as well.
So, how invigorating it was to hear Steve Cohen, almost as an afterthought, propose that the Mets hold a Bobby Bonilla Day during the 2021 regular season.
Of course, the genius of the idea rests on one of the Mets’ more embarrassing moments in their colorful history that comes about with stories celebrated on July 1 every year.
Bobby Bonilla hasn’t played in a professional baseball game since 2001, yet on July 1 of this year, the New York Mets paid him $1.19 million. And they will every July 1 until 2035, as part of a deferred contract that the Mets negotiated with Bonilla after the 1999 season.
In his emerging wisdom, Steve Cohen sees it as an opportunity, though, a day of fun at the ole ballpark on a Sunday afternoon.
Steve Cohen: A Script For Bobby Bonilla Day
Imagine Bonilla taking a golf cart ride around Citi Field before disembarking at third base to walk with his wife and family to an assembly of guests where the Mets General Manager at the time, Steve Phillips, sits at a desk with a placard and a pen.
Bobby Valentine, the Mets manager in 1999, is seated to greet Bonilla along with teammates Mike Piazza, John Franco, Al Leiter, and a host of others, all eyes centered on Phillips as he’s writing the check to Bonilla for this year’s installment.
Steve Cohen walks from the dugout unannounced and proceeds to sign and hand the check to a beaming Bonilla as Mets fans lap up the absurdity and fun of it all.
Steve Cohen: If Nothing Else A Sunny Spirit Prevails
Let’s not kid ourselves. There’s more going on here than just baseball in our lives. COVID has stolen normalcy from our lives. Like most major sports, our National Pastime is hanging on by a thread, and we are the stitches binding the pattern together.
We don’t ask for much, and Steve Cohen is no bigger than any of us in controlling the monster we face.
Steve Cohen can and is determined, though, to bring to us a diversion from the daily droll of our lives during this pandemic.
Steve Cohen is not to the extreme as Bill Veeck was during his days as the owner of the Chicago White Sox when, for example, he thought it was a good idea to send a midget up to the plate, or on another occasion to nearly incite a riot when fans were encouraged to burn their “Disco Records” behind second base.
But baseball is entertainment in its purest form for most fans. Forgive them for they have sinned in not checking the latest standings or the leaders in the home run race – or God forbid – what the spin rate was on that last slider Jacob deGrom threw to strikeout Freddie Freeman.
Don’t let this one slide, and be sure to put Bobby Bonilla Day on the schedule. While the schedulers are at it, how about the Mets Marketing Department gets off their butts to develop more themes for fun days at Citi Field…
After all, why should Steve Cohen have to do all the work?