“Not today, not tomorrow, not at all this year.”
Welcome to the 2020 baseball season of Yoenis Cespedes. Yes, those were his comments, Monday, when he emerged on the field down in Port St. Lucie. He saw the media and those were his first comments in over a year.
Nothing new, and of course nothing gained. This is the world of Yoenis Cespedes. This is common ground for the Mets high profiled player that will play out the final year of a contract that was restructured.
So there was nothing interesting or new to report. Yoenis Cespedes, was himself and there should be no shock. However, he owes Mets fans more about today, tomorrow, and the months ahead.
He said, “I don’t want to,” when asked for some comments. And from all indications, unless Cespedes, needs to acclimate again, we will never get a response about the new contract and incidents with wild boars at his nearby ranch that resulted in a fractured ankle
Before that, multiple surgeries to remove calcification from two heels. And all of this was unexpected. We needed more explanations and that hardly came.
From the beginning, when he arrived in New York, the July 31, 2015 trade deadline, this has all been about Yoenis Cespedes. He hardly gave the right words, then, in a productive second half of the season that helped the Mets to the World Series.
And he was a loss for words, after re-signing with the Mets, a lucrative three-year $75 million contract a year later with an opt out.
And then more a loss of words, recurring injuries, that kept him off the field. His last game with the Mets, July 20, 2018, before the restructured contract from $26.million to $ 6 million with incentives.
We still want to know his outlook for 2020. How will Yoenis Cespedes work his way back into a Mets lineup that could use his bat. Left field, first base? Off the bench?
Position and where in the lineup will be determined, a task for rookie manager Luis Rojas. Attitude and avoiding the media, a task. The frustration for yours truly and those who cover the Mets on a daily basis leaves room for more questions.
But nothing new, except this is the big market team. New York, and with a big market player that will eventually have to come out of hibernation and answer the questions.
Most of all, Mets fans do deserve to get the answers. This was the high profiled free agent they wanted. The Wipons, they can;t be blamed. They pursued and signed the player, a free agent sort of a bust along the lines of Mo Vaughn and other bad contracts that arrived in Flushing.
So, don’t blame Fred and Jeff Wilpon here. They made the move, but it backfired. But, Yoeneis Cespedes has to speak. Eventually he will.
What is more important, and hoped, is a healthy Yoenis Cespedes on the field. In the lineup, if productive, the Mets will be that much better and in the hunt for a division title or wild card spot.
Luis Rojas, in the meantime, will do the talking for Yoenis Cespedes. The manager has a first hand look at the mood and updates where his high profiled player stands.
“It’s a big day for him,” said Rojas. “He joined the guys and that’s where our focus is going to be with him. He’s being able to progress into playing at some point. We don’t have a timetable. That’s our focus right now.”
But, Yoenis Cespedes will never help his cause, more so with the media, if he refuses to face the media. More importantly, the responsibility to answer comes with being that big time player in New York.
Over the years, Alex Rodriguez, amidst the controversy, would duck the media numerous times in a clubhouse across town in the Bronx with the Yankees.
We adjusted then, Eventually, A-Rod would face the music, and In so many ways that was worse with a steroid controversy, At the time, a complicated contract, highest in the game, made it more difficult to get the answers.
However, through it all, Yoenis Cespedes, is no Alex Rodriguez. One World Series with the Mets, that was Cesepdes. Production on the field that came from A-Rod and a 2009 World Series for the Yankees.
But the mood and character of the players, very similar, in a city of New York that expects a high profiled player to live up to the contract and face the music, either good or bad.
Tuesday is another day, Yoenis Cespedes will be on the field down In Port St. Lucie.
Not today, not tomorrow, not all year, is not what we want to hear.
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