Ever since the MLB owners approved Steve Cohen’s $2.4 billion purchase of the Mets, the buzz on the baseball team reached new heights to the point everyone in town forgot the Yankees exist.
It’s been all Mets on sports radio, Twitter, and newspapers. You can’t go by a day without hearing about Cohen and what the Mets can and will do this offseason. The Mets owning back page of the New York tabloids would have made George Steinbrenner of yore jealous.
Alyssa Rose, known as the daughter of the excellent Mets play-by-play radio guy Howie Rose, said it best on Twitter about it feels like New York received a brand new baseball team. Cohen injected new life into what was a dead franchise these last few years.
Hope replaces dread. Belief supplants wishful thinking. Dread transforms into anticipation.
There’s a reason to watch the Mets now and beyond. It starts with Cohen. He will make sure the team will behave like a big-market team by spending on players. He will be invested in the team. He cares just from reading stories about him along with his tweets and thoughts about the Mets.
Players appreciate it a great deal when an owner invests in the team and know who plays for them. It wasn’t an accident when Marcus Stroman was happy enough to take that $18.9 million qualifying offer to stay with the Mets for one year or Noah Syndergaard working out to prepare to pitch in June or Dominic Smith taking notes of Cohen’s presser. It motivates these guys to play hard for their boss who pays them their salaries
They couldn’t say the same about Fred Wilpon. They may like him as a person, but it’s hard to play hard or be into work when an owner detaches from the team as Wilpon did after the Madoff scandal. He had no money to work with since he used it to pay debts that he owed. He should be debt-free eventually after he accepted Cohen’s purchase.
Fans can go to the games again knowing the Wilpons can’t pocket their money ever again. They can enjoy watching the Mets again. They can care. They don’t have to worry about an owner committing negligence ever again.
Cohen seems like the real deal. He talked about being a fan of the Mets as a kid growing up in Great Neck, and he mentioned how he lives with the wins and losses by the team. This does not sound like a guy who bought the team just to make money. He wants to make this Mets franchise an iconic one. He knows how teams are built by saying the team is going to build championships, not buy them.
When a new owner in town is all in, the fans want to be all in.
The Mets will be the center of attention from agents, players, and even general managers this offseason. Agents will use the team to create their bidding for their players. Players know they can extract the amount of money from the team. The general managers could use the team as trade partners to get prospects or even their current players as the Mets attempt to be better. Everyone knows the Mets will spend, so they will be the apple of everyone’s eye this offseason.
Seeing disgraced Mets COO Jeff Wilpon gone creates a new beginning for the Mets. He destroyed everything Alderson did when he regained control of the franchise after the current Mets president resigned several years ago. He decided to hire an agent to be the general manager because it would empower him to make moves. General managers such as Chaim Bloom and Doug Melvin wanted no part of Wilpon’s nonsense, and understandably so since he wouldn’t know baseball from a wiffle ball.
The Wilpons expressed their disdain towards their fans. They would blame them for all the negativity that permeated the team. They would blame them for losing money. It’s telling they did not even thank them or talk about leaving the franchise as owners. They left quietly as losers.
The Mets will finally behave like a major league franchise. No more being run like a mom-and-pop store. No more hiring friends and family to operate the baseball team. No more ignoring the fans.
It feels like a whole new world again for this franchise.
It makes Mets fans wonder how long until the season starts.
This should be a great thing after years of contempt towards the Wilpons.