Mets veterans Jose Reyes, Yoenis Céspedes, and Asdrubal Cabrera led a hitters-only meeting prior to Wednesday night's win against the D-backs at Citi Field, Cespedes told Newsday.
The goal, Cespedes said, was to remind their teammates that every game, every at-bat counts, even if they're unlikely to make the postseason.
"We understand what the team's situation is, and how it's not necessarily our year," Cespedes said. "But these games are very important, because we're here to play, to try to win, and the fans spend their money to see us."
Feb. 2017: Cespedes waits to hit batting practice at Tradition Field (Credit: Cerrone, MetsBlog)
The Mets have lost eight of their last 10 games, are 15 games below .500, and on pace to lose their most games since 2003. In the wake of trading Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Addison Reed, Sandy Alderson's remaining Mets have become the second-youngest team in the majors, behind the Phillies, according to ESPN.com.
"We understand that we didn't play good baseball, pretty much for the whole season," Reyes said of his message to teammates. "We can't change that now, but we can finish the season strong."
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): This is encouraging, especially coming from Cespedes, who was telling people last winter that he intended to be more of a leader after signing a four-year deal to remain with the Mets. I saw it from him in spring training, when he was more vocal and visible.
However, it's been such a messy season, during which he spent a lot of time injured, losing, in a slump and saying goodbye to teammates, that it was hard to get a read on his off-field actions. This report by Newsday, though, reaffirms my hope (and his goal) of being a David Ortiz-type presence for New York, the Mets, and their fans.
In regards to his message to teammates, unfortunately, it is something that professional baseball players need to be reminded of -- especially young guys who are not used to playing this many games in a season. Like most things in life, it's not about how you start, but how you finish.