No, New York Post, the Mets do not have a Yoenis Cespedes problem. They also don't currently have a problem with injuries, and they don't have a problem with shark fishing and the White House.
Instead, their problem -- if they have one -- is trying to change the team's culture, leadership and results on field in front of a local media that is inherently competitive (with one another) and skeptical of everything the Mets do...
For instance, earlier this spring, following a fun argument with Brandon Nimmo about who is a better fisherman, new Mets manager Mickey Callaway arranged a trip to go shark fishing off the coast of Florida. The trip was booked by BlacktipH, which, with nearly a million subscribers on YouTube, is the most popular online saltwater fishing show in the world. The show's host, Joshua Jorgensen, has become friendly with Nimmo, who is a passionate fisherman, as is Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud and several other Mets.
President Donald Trump's son, Don. Jr, as well as other spectators, noticed the envoy, which was not difficult given it included several video cameras, a popular YouTube host, bright lights, and a roughly 20 professional baseball players... not to mention multiple black tip sharks being reeled ashore and released.
Trump's son, who is a proud Mets fan and resides not far from the location of the shoot, was spotted in a photograph over Harvey's shoulder. Instead of answering questions about what clearly ended up being an amazing bonding experience fishing from the beach for sharks, Callaway spent the next morning answering questions about stories linking his team to Trump...
Thankfully, after three weeks of post-production, Jorgensen released the full 13-minute show about his time with Callaway, Sandy Alderson and the Mets, which is fun and extremely entertaining...
Trump Jr. is never mentioned, probably because he was a blip on the radar of this overall, five-hour experience, which included the team catching and releasing seven sharks. However, if you search Google for information about the trip, only one type of story pops up.
Along the same lines, in his report for the Post, Sherman dreamt up a convenient parallel between Mell Hall, 'baseball,' and the early 90's Yankees with today's game, Cespedes and the Mets, while simultaneously framing Yo's on-field behavior in the context of right and wrong. Frankly, I tend to roll my eyes and always avoid emotional commentary about traditions and the right and wrong way to play baseball because the originating statements are often cloaked in ignorance, racism, or fear of change.
I don't think this was Sherman's intent, but -- judging by how Mets fans are responding to his work on Twitter -- I'm clearly alone in this assumption. Instead, much like how people tried to box the Shark-Trump story or freak out and reach conclusions about every ache and pain, I believe Sherman's story is steeped in skepticism and conditioning...
It doesn't help that a large percentage of fans are similarly skeptical -- especially fans that spend multiple hours each day arguing amongst themselves and with reporters on Twitter. In this specific bubble, which most people in media foolishly interpret as reality, it is a natural reflex to question every little issue that is run up the flag pole.
The thing is, not every bruise results in surgery and not every backwards hat is equal to laziness. I realize given the organization's up-and-down results during the last 35 years that everyone involved might lunge to the worst possible outcome during all situations. I get it, believe me. After writing close to 20 million words about this team during the last decade or so, it would be very easy for me to doubt all potential positives and assume the worst about everything blue and orange. But, what fun is that?
The fact is, the bulk of this team's integral talent is under 30 years old. At the same time, though I'll be the first to admit I am not confident in most of the recent moves made (and not made) by Sandy Alderson, he did bring in a new manager and coaching staff, all of whom have a positive attitude, unique ideas, and are building relationships with players in a way that never happened with the previous group.
The point is, while I'm all for truth and skepticism, if this is not the rare moment in time to sit back, take a deep breath and watch how things play out for a bit, when is that moment? The truth is that this is it, this is the time we live for as baseball fans, which is the brief opportunity to be hopeful and (even if slightly misguided) imagine that things can and will work out for the best.
My fear is that some fans and reporters have no interest in thinking this way. Instead of wanting to watch and/or cover an untold story that will naturally play itself out with or without our involvement, these people would rather imagine the story that serves their to-do list or frame of mind.
For me, I prefer MLB and the Mets be a distraction from the chaos and negativity and drama that exists within my day-to-day life. Unfortunately, in most cases, it doesn't work out that way. And during many springs, as hard as I try to be positive, I can tell by looking at the roster and coaching staff and landscape of the league that baseball is going to give more stress than smiles.
This year, however, it is not one of those springs.
The Mets have a talented team with mostly young players, a good group of veterans, and a young, new and compelling coaching staff trying to do different things that get different results. If you can't see that, I'm afraid you may never see it... or, at the very least, don't want to see it.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!