The early days of the Met season have taken a bizarre twist in recent games as the club has now lost 5 games in a row which in a short 60 game season can be very debilitating. But a game is not all they lost Sunday in Atlanta as Yeonis Cespedes decided to opt out of the season due to Corona Virus concerns.
This move was a shock to everyone around the team because it came out of nowhere as the Met slugger simply did not show up at the ballpark and could not be reached. At that point, the Mets properly became concerned about him and hotel security found out his bags were packed and later his agent informed the Mets he was opting out of the 2020 season.
Let me be perfectly clear here–The COVID Virus affects all of us in a myriad of ways which I could personally attest to as I lost my father in April to this disease. And none of us know if anyone in the family of Cespedes has been afflicted which would of course affect his decision making. So, I totally support the decision but have issues on how it was handled by Cespedes.
He came to the Mets back in 2015 at the trading deadline in a bizarre fashion which put the Mets into the World Series and it seems his Met career will end in a bizarre fashion as well. He clearly should have come to the ballpark in Atlanta and shared his decision with his bosses, his managers and yes also his fellow teammates. They all deserved that from him so the question remains why did he decide to do it in the way that he did?
Was he upset that he was out of the lineup today for the second time in less than a week knowing his incentive-laden restructured contract could be affected by a platoon role if that was being considered by Met Manager Luis Rojas? It is possible I suppose but a player who is in a walk year needs to take the chances he gets to create value for himself this coming off-season. And according to Met Manager Luis Rojas, the only conversations he had with Cespedes merely involved him get more playing time in left field so the Met DH spot in the batting order could be more portable in nature.
In that scenario, the better option for Cespedes and his representatives would have been to create numbers that prove he is still a dangerous power bat. And walking now not only ends his Met career but could end his time in Major League Baseball.
Of course, this could be a moot point if Cespedes is battling with family CoVID issues which I honestly can’t rule out because this disease has no boundaries–it can affect any of us at any given moment.
The legacy of Yoenis Cespedes will always be a mixed bag while he was in a Met uniform. There were times when the Mets moved up the standings because of his presence in the lineup but there were also times where his actions made us all think he cared much more about the name on the back of the uniform than he did about the Met logo that appears on the front of his uniform.
The mystery behind his rehab and the fact the Mets were forced to restructure his deal because he failed to follow proper protocol in that rehab is a blemish on his time in Flushing but overall when healthy he was a very productive and popular New York Met.
And if this is the last piece of his story here in NY it will unfortunately be what fans remember the most about him. Which is sad because he put this team on his back in 2015 and got them to the World Series and did it again in 2016 carrying them into the playoffs.