New York: Yoenis Céspedes and his bizarre career with the Mets is over after he decided to opt-out of the 2020 baseball season.. The explanation was because of COVID-19. Sunday, in Atlanta, was an exclamation point of the Yoenis Céspedes tenure and the Mets.
First and foremost, Céspedes is okay. There was an initial concern at first when Céspedes did not report to Trust Ballpark in Atlanta and prior to the Mets third of four games against the Braves. Mets and MLB security were dispatched to the team hotel.
Céspedes and his belongings were not in the room. He was not in the lineup of Manager Luis Rojas. That could have added to his decision of leaving his team and the contract.
And, Céspedes may have accumulated a number of bats in the first eight of nine games he started to gain some money from a reduced and final year of a contract with the Mets.
Now, Yoenis Céspedes is gone and goodbye, and as far as the home runs he hit in a Mets uniform. But, his time with Mets won’t be missed because fans saw minimal production from Céspedes, Except in that 2015 championship year and trip to the World Series, there this was not the player they expected.
Bad optics also, once said by former GM Sandy Alderson in 2016, Céspedes was on the injured list and seen on the golf course as his team played without him.
However, It was a bizarre turn of events. And no different than the five year tenure of Céspedes and the Mets that included heel, ankle, calf and hamstring injuries that kept him off the field.
Plagued with injuries, including a run-in with a boar at his Port St. Lucie ranch last year, Céspedes missed all of 2019 that contributed to another setback and misfortunes with the Mets. Prior to that it was recurring injuries that contributed to the setbacks.
But, Céspedes reported healthy to spring training in February. He was on the comeback trail with a reduced salary of a multi-million dollar contract and prior to COVID, putting an abrupt halt to the 2020 season.
Healthy and ready to go, Céspedes reported to Summer camp at Citi Field when baseball resumed operations in July. In good spirits. and all indications he was projected to be an everyday player in the lineup, as the DH or in left field, Céspedes was going to spark the Mets and needed.
Then, ten days ago, the Mets got the opening Day win at Citi Field. Yoenis Céspedes got the go-ahead home run that won a game against the Braves.
It all went downhill fast. Like his career with the Mets, Céspedes could do nothing after that home run ball. Gone, and quick, was talk of this comeback and back to form. Quickly asked, what is wrong with Yoenis Céspedes?
Were we all expecting too much after that home run ball?
He produced a .161 batting average, two home runs, with 15 strikeouts in 34 plate appearances in nine games.
Latino Sports contacted a few Mets directly after the team lost their fourth straight, 4-0 to the Braves, The Mets are quickly on thin ice, 3-7, and last in the NL East. Significant with a 60-game season now considered one-third complete.
Players contacted said, Céspedes was in good spirits when he left the clubhouse Saturday night and returned to the hotel. Players are observing strict medical COVID protocols on the road and basically in isolation.
They would not offer opinion about the situation or how Céspedes handled this opt- out situation.
Regardless, Céspedes, and his tenure with the Mets is over. And, if indeed as reported, Céspedes decided to opt- out because of COVID, he had every right to do so under the agreement the owners and players had with MLB due to the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID is becoming more of an issue with MLB. Players are at a risk no matter how strict the medical protocols are.
And in all defense, the Mets, and as a group, were not aware that Céspedes was gone due to the opt-out. They released a statement in the first inning that Céspedes was AWOL, expressing concern for his well being. They dispatched security to the hotel
General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Sunday afternoon, and after the Mets loss, “We learned during the game today, late in the game, that he’s decided to opt out of the remainder of the season for COVID-related reasons.”
Again, there was no indication that Yoenis Céspedes did not report to the ballpark because of COVID and concerns.
And no comment from Céspedes. Was this COVID related? Or an opt- out and being able to fulfill the potential that was expected? A very bizarre situation for the Mets.
Also, a very bizarre ending for a career. Thing is, we may never know the reason why Yoenis Céspedes decided to pull a quick one on the Mets.
Neither will his teammates. It was that type of tenure for a controversial and high profiled player in New York. A player the Mets and their fans wanted.
They got their wish with a bizarre ending.
Comment: Ring786@aol.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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