Peter Hyatt - Cespedes: Grand Slam In Return


(the opinions expressed here are by the author of the article)

Take 23 seconds to watch this grand slam

There are several things that should stand out to you.

1.  This man is very strong 
2.  He posed watching
3.  The ball barely cleared the fence
4.  His tator trot was slow; even for him.  

If the ball had bounced off the wall, he may have had a very long single or worse, upon the embarrassment of posing, self ordained "El Hombre" would risk injury suddenly turning on the speed to make it to second.  

I've reported before that Mets' brass has been frustrated dealing with Cespedes and there was much internal debate about whether or not to sign him to the $110 million dollar contract they gave him because he is a troublesome employee.  Had Jay Bruce not gone so cold in late 2016, they would have not signed Cespedes, but Bruce, to the huge contract.  

Cespedes, with all his talented power,  went through  4 major league teams in just 2 seasons.  In Oakland, there were complaints as there were in Detroit, though Boston's complaints were the most well known. 

All complaints were about Cespedes's head; not his bat, glove nor arm.  All identified "Cespeditis" as an infectious disease that made him an overall net negative for their clubs in the team sport of baseball.  

His head is the problem, as his ego is such that in a world of egos, it stands out above them all, as a direct affront to both management and something far more detrimental in the bottom line of baseball success: 


Yoenis Cespedes' bat, when hot, provides a spark to the team.  

It is somewhat disingenuous to say that the Mets' offense was better without him, even though they produced more runs, in the 6 weeks he missed due to hamstring strain.  It does not tell the entire story of how defeatism can infect a team, including pitching and defense.  Cespedes is a spark.  This is not in debate. 

The Mets may to rue the day they signed Yoenis Cespedes and his most recent statements made clear that which has been previously reported. 

Cespedes would not cooperate with his employer regarding his injury status and rehabilitation. 
Cespedes would not sit with the team and cheer them on. 
Cespedes did make some concessions with the big contract, including golf and his spring training narcissistic flamboyance. He also agreed to stop speaking through an interpret and through his "people" (though the latter seems to be making a comeback).  

Cespeditis is back and the grand slam hit may make things worse for the Mets. 

Some blame him for the attitude of Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard who have no respect for Mets authority. 

This, too, is disingenuous and unfair; the Mets did not hold young players accountable and they knew, even when they traded for him, that Cespedes will not hustle if he does not choose to.  

The anger and frustration of management spilled over into two public displays:

1.  Sandy Alderson went public with his claim that no substantial injury could be found, and sent Cespedes for the back MRI;

2.  Terry Collins was silenced about Cespedes' time table for rehab and return.  

Cespedes refused to follow directives about playing x amount of innings/games in the minors. 

By hitting a grand slam, he justified his own arrogant defiance of Mets management. 

Cespeditis is the disease that impacts a team when a player demands the spotlight and is so anti-team in spirit, that young players see the fat pay check and the star going undisciplined, and copy him. 

Players will no longer sacrifice their bodies when their star player doesn't have to slide. 

Matt Harvey did a no show over yet another intoxicated outing due to his gf ditching him as bff on some juvenile laden social media outlet.  

He had no fear of his employer being distressed, as Noah showed the same defiance, including chewing out the elderly Jay Horowitz. 

David Wright could not get through to Cespedes to put aside the mantle of "El Hombre" for "The Team" and Collins can do nothing. 

Now we learn even more:

Collins cannot even make out his line up without first checking with Cespedes. 

Question:  How long will this last?

Answer:  As long as Cespedes hits home runs.  When he goes cold, the anger will hit the surface. 

Cespedes told media that he will play when he says he will play and regarding the day off that Collins planned, oh no, this too, is up to Cespedes.  

It is the proverbial middle finger to authority. 

Met fans cheer the grand slam and announcers said nothing about his posing nor that the ball barely cleared the fence.  

Please note that Keith Hernandez was not present for the game, as he just had knee surgery.  

It is not likely that he would have been silent. 

Fans will howl against the notion that Cespedes can prove to be a net negative and impact other players negatively as long as he hits home runs. 

But when he goes cold, and when management sees players copy his arrogant, dismissive ways, expect trouble to brew. 

Expect that as Cespedes, with his now bloated body, to experience more injuries.  He did not responsibly work out this off season.  He fed his ego, as did Syndergaard, to build certain muscle, at the expense of flexibility and balance. 

Cespedes' statements are shocking, even though they were praised by the NY Post. 

The Post asked him if he was OK with sitting Game 2 and maybe Sunday’s series finale. He answer is to confirm early reports of defiance.  
“For the moment, yes, starting next week we’ll see if I feel 100 percent. At that point, I’m not taking days off,’’ Cespedes said firmly through an interpreter.
Cespedes will continue to call the shots. He made that crystal clear.
“I know they have a plan for me but nobody knows my body better than I do,’’ he said before the game in which he hit the grand slam. 
So if they want to give me days off it kind of has to be based off of how I feel and how I feel my body is reacting.’’
So, he is going to make the final call. He nodded yes.
The wins moved the Mets to 27-33.
“I think there is still time and we still got a chance. I feel good, but the problem is, in my mind right now, I don’t know that I can run 100 percent at this point yet.’’
The Post went on to praise his defiance and defend his non-hustle as if the home run cannot be jeopardized by other activities. 
You'll note that this is the National League where there is no Designated Hitter.  
This was in direct response to the Mets' claim to the contrary and it is why they wanted more games in Single A rehab. 

This authority over his employer will last as long as he hits home runs.  Cespedes is known for taking his slumping bat to the outfield with him.  

Cespedes has great talent, but he whether this is an overall net positive, or if the Cespeditis impact upon others is an overall net negative, remains to be seen. 

Should Michael Conforto, or Jay Bruce,  be "the man" who hits 30 home runs, Cespedes may just take another long siesta on the DL.

Question:  Will Terry Collins need to meet with Cespedes' people before making the line up before each game? 

Answer:   Likely.  There may be a compromise here where Terry is granted an audience with El Hombre, as Cespedes shows his magnanimous condescension towards the humbling approaching 68 year old manager. 

 Question:  How much humiliation will Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins endure before they say "no mas" and remind Cespedes that he is an employee of the New York Mets?

Answer:   It depends upon how long Cespedes is hot hitting.  

Baseball fans have very short memories and funky near-sightedness. 

As Astrubel's defense has been costly, a good play quickly erases the hole already dug.  

This is why we see Reyes batting less than his weight, freely running bases.  

This is the concern;  concessions made to players always undermines team discipline and chemistry.  

Think Cespedes does not already influence managerial decisions?  

The Daily News addressed this, somewhat, in its article about Amed Rosario saying that Collins fears benching Astrubel due to "club house chemistry."

Astrubel is very close to Cespedes.  

The fear of making his own line up is going to wear on him.  

Humiliation is a very powerful motive.  In crime, it is often behind murders.  In marriage, it is often behind divorces.  In business it is often behind filing fraudulent claims. 

No one likes being humiliated and Cespedes went public and was bold with his assertion of being the man.  

This will only play out well as long as he hits.  

Stay tuned. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Hope you're wrong, Peter.

Gary Seagren said...

4 more years! Sounds like a presidental campaign but I hope it ends better for our sake.

Alexander Han said...

Peter, I think we all recognise some of the elements of your criticism. However, the overall alarmist, catastrophic conclusion and tone just seems to me completely misguided. Yoenis is not perfect, but among the Met's many liabilities, Yoenis is without a doubt one of their assets.

Another version of the same facts could read:

- the Mets have one of baseball's most exciting, explosive hitters. which is a fantastic thing.
- and he has a special connection with the Mets and New York. something that feels fated to many fans
- sadly we only got Yo (well) into his thirties, so he is injury prone. if only the mets were more aggressive with high-potential opportunities like Cubans, they could easily have got him younger... I happen to agree the Mets take the WRONG risks, they will splash out on a "proven" player with more mileage on the teller, instead of paying bonuses to younger, unproven international prospects, which I reckon is a better risk-reward in the long run.
- added to that, the Mets are terrible at managing their players, and their players' health, and workouts. absolutely terrible, and it reflects very badly on the wilpons organisation that they can't get this right.
- so Yo showboats sometimes. most fans forgive him, because he's so special.

So Yo has his flaws. But the Mets have so many much bigger problems - most of which are discussed on this forum at length. The reason the commentators don't gripe about his not sprinting out of the box, is BECAUSE HE JUST HIT A FRICKIN GRAND SLAM IN HIS FIRST GAME BACK!!! Peter, that's not a time to gripe for god's sake.

And finally, I don't understand what's so sinister about Sandy sending him for an MRI on his back. If someone has a recurring hamstring problem, it's always worth checking for a lower back problem. Like, um, a certain Mets third baseman did a few years ago. Just good medical practice I think.

Peter Hyatt said...

Alexander, I'll address two of your points, as there is no dire warning here; only what may happen.

First, you wrote, "So Yo has his flaws. But the Mets have so many much bigger problems - most of which are discussed on this forum at length. The reason the commentators don't gripe about his not sprinting out of the box, is BECAUSE HE JUST HIT A FRICKIN GRAND SLAM IN HIS FIRST GAME BACK!!! Peter, that's not a time to gripe for god's sake. "

Hence, the short sightedness of the baseball fan referenced in the article.

Last night, Cespedes said he took himself out of the game, but Terry Collins countered it to media and said, "We" (not "I") took him out of the game." This time it is his heel. That Terry Collins felt it necessary to counter what Cespedes just said creates human tension in any setting, including business. Baseball is a business; a big business.

Regarding Tuesday's game, Cespedes also said he would decide if he was in the line up; while Collins countered that the Mets would decide if he was in the line up.

This sparkling talent: 3 teams bailed on him. Were they all just too blind to see all the marvels of Cespedes? Did not Boston see the benefit of having a 30 home run hitter at their home park?? They could not get rid of him fast enough and it was all about his attitude; interaction with staff more than with fellow players.

You wrote:

"And finally, I don't understand what's so sinister about Sandy sending him for an MRI on his back. If someone has a recurring hamstring problem, it's always worth checking for a lower back problem. Like, um, a certain Mets third baseman did a few years ago. Just good medical practice I think."

Here, I ask that you only listen to the words chosen by Sandy Alderson. He is a high ranking business leader and trained lawyer. He not only said that they could not find an injury, he even went as far as to say, "not even swelling."

These were carefully chosen words designed to reach Cespedes. He could have said, "We sent him to MRI his back as a precaution. After what we found with David, it makes sense" and left it alone. After some internal debate, instead he made a statement. I only ask that you listen to him.

Did you hear Keith Hernandez last night question the wisdom of "500lb leg presses"? Although he got the number wrong, he got the theme correct.

Cespdes' body is bloated and imbalanced and you don't think the Mets know it? You don't think they were frustrated that a 110 million dollar investment was NOT cooperating with rehab after going off on his own heavy weight program? Noah Syndergaard has been in awe of Cespedes and he went, as an elite athlete, put on 17 pounds of muscle in one off season?? The imbalance of such may be why he is not pitching today.

Cespedes is a great talent but thus far, no team has been able to reign him in to mine this talent.

Peter Hyatt said...


I hope I am wrong or...

I hope Cespedes awakens to the reality of team dynamics and cooperates with Mets brass. He is still young (31 or 32) and although it usually takes a "wake up call", one never knows in life.

He clearly impacts the team.

On the positive, the home run is a spark that inspires all aspects of the game; defense and pitching included. Cespedes could slim down, remain strong and be quite productive for the remainder of the contract.

Look at DeGrom. He is known as a fierce competitor. He studied endless hours of video to find that slight open-arm thing in his movement. Ron Darling did a good job pointing it out and comments by DeGrom afterwards show Darling was right.



The Post said Harvey learned his lesson but I hear otherwise. I had written a lengthy optimistic article about him learning his lessons, slimming down and cutting back on party life just prior to his suspension. Swing and a miss spectacularly!

I'd love to see Rosario called up. Shortsighteness says Cabrerra just hit 2 homers and I should wait to say this until after he blows another game. That's not 162 game wisdom, however. Without too much detail, Cespedes is influencing the delay of Rosario, as well as the jettison of Jose .186 Reyes. The three amigos .
4 game winning streak here has come in quality games; not lucky late home runs after poorly played games. We have the offense and if our pitching comes around, like the gutsy DeGrom, we could make a run for it.

NOW is the time to drop Reyes and wisely use Cabrerra while Amed gets his shot.


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