This past month One Directioners celebrated ten years of crushing on their favorite British boy band. As a Mets fan, I might not have shaved my legs to impress Yoenis Céspedes like some of the One D fans did, but damn it I loved what this man did to turn around a struggling team at the trade deadline in 2015.
Most Mets fans viewed this man as a modern day Jesus, getting us as close to a World Series ring since our last appearance in 2000. Injuries coupled with a global pandemic make it seem as though it’s been a decade since seeing Céspedes on the diamond. But man, seeing Yoenis hit that first home run this season, took me back to the first Mets game I went to as a kid 14 years ago. It was a sense of hope. Yoenis Céspedes was the patron saint of home runs and it was extremely frustrating to see that he will not be playing this year.
When Yoenis Céspedes did not report to the ballpark for the Mets’ 1 p.m. game against the Atlanta Braves this morning and the Mets officials couldn’t get a hold of him, all of our hearts dropped. Had another freak accident happened to our knight in canary yellow? Was it something worse?
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen held a press conference following the game this afternoon speaking to Céspedes’ decision to opt out of the season. When Van Wagenen sent security to Céspedes’s room, all his bags had been packed up and he was not in the room. Van Wagenen confirmed that Céspedes had made the decision to opt-out of the remainder of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Van Wagenen said in the press conference that he nor any other Mets officials had discussed an opt-out with Céspedes prior to the middle of the game when they got a hold of Céspedes.
To literally add further injury, the injury bug hit the Mets hard. Jake Marisnick on the 10-day injured list due to a left hamstring strain. That leaves Robinson Cano as their only solid at-bat and Cano isn’t very solid at the plate. Don’t get me started on all the question marks surrounding new acquisition Billy Hamilton. Can Hamilton steal a base? Can he catch a ball? I would sure hope so but he cannot hit a damn home run! We need runs!
Céspedes was one of the Mets most productive hitters currently with two home runs and four RBIs. The 2020 season was the last year of the four year contract Céspedes signed in 2016. When asked in the press conference, Van Wagenen noted that Céspedes will not be receiving the rest of his salary for the remainder of the season.
Van Wagenen also mentioned that despite the opt-out, it will not deter the Mets from remaining in talks with Céspedes at the end of the season about a future contract and Céspedes will be placed on the restricted list. Van Wagenen stated he and the Mets respected Céspedes’ decision to opt-out of the season for health reasons and are looking to move forward with the season. I understand Céspedes not wanting to play because of Covid but it was very unprofessional to opt-out of the season the way he did. I would love to see him in a Mets jersey again but maybe the Mets curse claimed another player.
BANNER: Yoenis Céspedes of the New York Mets on Aug. 18, 2015 PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Allison//Flickr