It is surprising to some and astonishing to long-suffering Mets fans that their ownership has signed Yoenis Cespedis for $25 million a year on a 3-year contract. Up to now, this just isn’t how the Mets did business. In spite of the fact that New Yorkers think nothing of paying $29.95 for a pastrami and corned beef sandwich, the Mets have always spent as though they were a small market operation like the Marlins and left their fans shaking their heads until they have to rearrange their comb-overs.
But this move had to be done for the sake of those very fans. It took the Mets months to do it. They waited to see who else might want Cespedes and at what cost, and finally late last night the deal went down. The horrifying vision of the Nationals getting both Cespedes and Daniel Murphy-who is already trying to locate housing in the nation’s capital was just too much for the owners to bear. Had Cespedes chosen an American League team like the Angels perhaps, the Wilpon family could have spun it. But the Nationals or the Yankees? Never. They would have been a laughing stock, as the Mets were between 2009 and 2014.
The bats continued to be a laughing stock well into this season. They were no-hit by some one named Chris Heston. Chris Heston is to pitching no-hitters what William Henry Harrison is to being President of the United States. Then came Cespedes, Michael Conforto and Juan Uribe. And the Mets took off. Had the Mets not resigned Cespedes, Conforto and Uribe would not have been the same hitters they were with his protection. To further improve the team the Mets have signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and traded for second baseman Neil Walker. As good as last year’s pitchers were, they and the fans held their breath when a grounder came to Daniel Murphy at second and Wilmer Flores at shortstop. Cabrera and Walker should help with that problem.
In another move covered in this space, Antonio Bastardo was signed to buttress the weak bull pen that so undid the Mets in the last World Series. With him in places and Jerry Blevins returning from injury, the Mets saw fit to unload two pitchers named Torres-Carlos and Alex-both of whom caused even the best pitchers to keep mylanta in their lockers. Quiet deals were also made with Lucas Duda and Jenri Mejia (still suspended by the way.) Come March and spring training, we’ll see what the reality of this year’s Mets team looks like compared to what appears on paper. Remember, on paper the Nationals should have won the last two World Series-and last year they weren’t close to the playoffs.
Owing to technical difficulties we were unable to publish the birthdays for Saturday, so they will begin Sunday’s list. In their place, here is a report from correspondent Jesus Millan.
“I saw something which I hadn’t notice or even passed by before. Miraculously, Steve Garvey is not in the HOF. (Hall of Fame) He was on the Expansion Era Ballot, so I don’t know what happened. He has the Numbers to get in. He was a 10-time All Star, 1974 NL MVP (as Dodgers won the league pennant,) 1981 World Series Champion with the Dodgers, 2-time NLCS MVP, 4-time Gold Glove winner, 2-time All-Star Game MVP, Clemente award Winner and Holder of the National League Record for Consecutive Games Played (1,207.) Basically he was the NL Cal Ripken Jr. I’m planning to mention him for Next Year’s Debate.”
The above statement is solely Mr. Millan’s opinion and does not reflect the opinion of the column’s editor. However Mr. Millan is entitled to equal time on a slow sports day. (just kidding) Please stay tuned for his reports on the upcoming Caribbean World Series.0