Peter Hyatt - Behind the Amed Rosario Delay


An insider gave a tidbit to the Bergen Record in which it was disclosed that one of the reasons that German Amed Rosario was not promoted was due to the clubhouse cancer in which blame was placed upon disgruntled Astrubel Cabrerra. 

It is accurate, but it is not the whole story. 

Sandy Alderson is trying to get something of value for the egotistical and difficult narcissist Cabrerra just as he has played the hot hitting Jose Reyes for trade value.  

There is more. 

Insiders do not use the "C" word and although they put blame upon Astrubel, some may be grumbling that this is Alderson's fault more than anything else, for the final decision to resign Yoenis Cespedes and being forced to yield to Cespedes' demands that has infected other players; those already known to be vulnerable. 

Take it step by step.

In desperation, Alderson let go of one of his valued young arms July 31, 2015 to get the heavy baggage but powerful slugger, Yoenis Cespedes, with a "win now" view behind his already heavily stocked young pitching staff.

The internal debate was not about giving up a young arm but about Cespedes' reputation for being, as one put it, "a diva on steroids of whom 3 teams have already given up on."

This was in reference to Oakland, Detroit, and Boston; teams with some leadership that Alderson respected. 

However, in August and September 2015, Cespedes not only tore into pitchers, but was well embraced by New York fans and the large population of hispanics.  

Please never forget that this is a business that exists to make money via selling seats and commercials.  

Cespedes did some things that drove Mets management nuts.  

He refused to speak English, even though he is fluent.  

He refused to speak directly to management; only going through "his people."

He would not be told what to do, when to do it, nor how to do it, which left Mets brass debating if they should hug him or throw him out.  

Yet he carried the 2015 Mets to the post season but once there, "Cespeditis" disease showed itself once again.  

A missed ball was blamed on a rookie. 

He would play golf when, where and for how long he wanted and no one would tell him otherwise. 

In the clubhouse, he was the anti-Daniel Murphy; a consummate team first guy with a great bat but not such a great glove. 

With public pressure, the Mets agreed to a favorable contract for Cespedes for 2016 in which, should he excel (see initiative) he would be free to negotiate a new contract with them or test free agency. 

Cespedes showed up in Spring 2016 like a self indulgent clown desperate for attention and Mets brass silently steamed as they watched young Noah Syndergaard and a few other young players, stare with admiration at the fancy car and self-indulgent multi millionaire slugger.  

"Thor" then showed up as the Nordic hero on the bareback horse to come and slay the foes of the NL East. 

Cespedes refused to cooperate with the team and those with pre-existing conditions, like Matt Harvey and Astrubel Cabrerra, gleefully joined in to the anarchy.  

If Cespedes does not have to follow rules, neither do they. 

If Cespedes makes his own rules, so would they. 

What does this have to do with Amed Rosario?

A bit more patience...we are getting there.  

The 2016 season was a funk and the Mets backed into the potential post season via a hot streak to the Wild Card but no further. 

The debate to re-sign Cespedes was even hotter, except they had to deal with the New York media demanding his re-signing.  They had to weigh his powerful bat (Yoenis) versus his negative impact upon other players (Cespeditis: egotistical, arrogance, lack of hustle, refusal to follow rules, me first, etc).  The media pressure was intense.  

It was reported that Cespedes made some concessions on behavior for the $110 million dollar contract.  He would talk to management and he would tone down his flamboyance and for $110 million dollars, he would promise to be a good employee.  (there may have been an agreement to allow his people to claim that Cespedes "loved" the Mets so much that he took a home-team discount, passing up more money from other teams).  

Cespedes picked up where he left off:  he is "his own Hombre" which now included an ego-driven off season workout to build up leg muscles like never before.  ESPN showed the counter-productive leg pressing of 900lbs.  

This came at the expenses of athleticism or "balance" as hypertrophied hamstrings and leg muscles made him look bloated.  

It is reported that this workout was specifically done without the knowledge of his employer.  

Others, too, did their own thing.  Harvey did lose weight, but was still counter productive with his love of alcohol and late night quest to be on Page Six.  The impossibly immature 27 year old threw a hissy fit this year because his bff broke up with him on social media (not because she was sleeping around; he knew the older woman's reputation for conquests of athletes) 

Noah put on "17 pounds of muscle" (something all but impossible for an elite athlete to do, naturally, in an off season), creating muscular imbalance leading to his injury, and subsequent refusal to follow team rules like an employee is expected to. 

Astrubel did not like being treated with different expectations than Cespedes.  His inflated ego led him to betray the Mets, go to media and showed the ridiculous demand that his employer should have told him of their prospective plans in the minors. 

Think of what that did for his trade value. 

This is the point of Cespeditis:  the demands increase, the lack of hustle increases, and young players take note of how to bully an employer.  

Then there is Jose Reyes. 

An extremely talented, but also extremely selfish and narcissistic attention seeker, Reyes is one of the "three amigos" in which Cespedes lets it be known he is happy with. 

Reyes is also clever. Hot tempered, he cannot bear any perceived disrespect of self, and created a bit of distance between himself and Astrubel.  He genuinely wants to stay with the Mets as he is not well respected throughout the league and there is no demand from him.  Remember how much Colorado is paying him to not play for them.  

He has avoided the Rosario controversy that Astrubel has thrown fire upon. 

Astrubel did not create the Rosario controversy; Mets management did by not holding Cespedes accountable and building a leaderless environment in the club house that is greatly divided. 

On one side you have the team first group with Granderson, Bruce, Conforto and company.  When injured, they travel with their team to root them on, even as they compete. 

On the other side, you have the Cespeditis patients; all me first, flamboyant and immodest.  

Then you have the kids watching, not only at home on TV, but in the clubhouse and in the minors. 

What kind of team will the Mets be?

Sandy Alderson did make some attempts to reign in Cespedes, with the biggest one where he called for a new MRI because team doctors could not find anything wrong with him.  It drove the Mets crazy that Cespedes not only sat out for 6 weeks but that he refused Mets "directives" (not "orders") for rehab.  He told them, via his people, "Ces knows his own body."

Today, Terry Collins is consistently having to wait to hand in his line up card as he waits for Cespedes' de facto authority on it.  Collins' own words betray this when he attempts to persuade that he is in control of the line up.  This is unnecessary to state unless...

it is necessary. 

Here, it is. 

Mets fumed that Cespedes refused more at bats in A ball.  The fragile-ego of El Hombre could not bear it if he were to strike out against A ball pitching.  So rather than get the appropriate swings, he did only off camera work.  His presence would have sold tickets in Florida, but Mets had already surrendered authority over to him.  It burns them beneath the surface.  They know what one insider reported before the season:  when he slumps, he will come up lame as he, himself, cannot bear a slump.   Had he not gotten a few hits recently (did you see him tear down the line for an infield single?), his desperate need for psychological self preservation would have caused him to claim injury.  Recall the two games before the break where he refused to meet with media; leaving the heavy lifting up to Jay Bruce? 

Who are the 2018 Mets going to be?

A well disciplined team who works as a single unit for a single purpose of winning?


A collection of flamboyant individuals all out for their own posterity, with lengthy ESPN inspired poses, bat flips and laden with jewelry and hair spray?

It will come down to leadership. 

Employers have a right to expect obedience from employees, but employers who give millions of dollars to star employees have an even greater expectation from employees. 

The Mets gave Astrubel millions for his league worst defense, yet Astrubel lacked the self awareness to go before media to indict the Mets for not sharing inside plans?  They had the scouting reports on Astrubel which includes a minor psych "eval" like blurb.  They knew what he was like, but Sandy Alderson loves reclamation projects.  

That is Astrubel Cabrerra.  Cespedes did not create him, nor Matt Harvey.  Recall Harvey, in his rookie year, talking about how much alcohol he would imbibe and how many actresses he would bed.  

But for pre existing conditions there is no need to tempt. 

Then there are the kids. 

You learned here the real reason Alderson signed Tim Tebow.  It was not only to sell tickets, but Tebow's impact upon young kids is this:

they stayed home, abstained from night life, and played serious, hard baseball.  

The Mets wish to protect 21 year old Amed Rosario from the poison that they, themselves, created.  

Reyes is not a good mentor.  

Reyes would have the kid naturally follow his example, including trying to steal bases when it does not benefit the team, just as Reyes would teach him the importance of preserving individual stats.  

Remember that one?

The culture of the game has greatly changed. 

The culture that denigrates masculine self sacrifice is evident throughout as the "me generation" gave birth to the "selfie", self absorbed, and even emasuclated culture where sportsmanship, modesty and respect for one another has been severely downgraded. 

The Mets do not wish to influence both Rosario and Dominic Smith with this infectious disease affectionately called "Cespeditis" in whispers.  

If only Tebow had AAA skills!  

As soon as the Mets unload the egos, we should see Rosario, if not a bit sooner.  

As for Cespedes, he has had two games in 2017 where he acted as if the team was paramount.  In both games, he hustled, slid and produced, even though without the long ball. 

It is a sad insight into what could have been had he been able to accept failure and grow from it.  

The debate about his age aside, his imbalanced bloated body is ripe for injury and this is a contract that the Mets may attempt to eventually buy out of.  

It will likely be post Alderson, however, and will be squarely blamed on him as "Alderson's Folly" of one extreme to another. 

If it is not his "money ball" waiver wire addiction, it is his slavery to offensive statistics.  

yeah, he got Murph shipped out due to the very thing he downplayed just last week because statistics quantifying defense are still in their infant stage when compared to offense.  

For now, Rosario must fight discouragement and continue to hit and not change his style to get more walks to please Alderson. 

This was one of Wally Backman's biggest complaints:

Sluggers need to swing the bat.  

With Rosario being a possible All Star with 5 tools, I understand the Mets desire to protect him from the rotting clubhouse where the Spanish speaking youngster may cling to the wrong elements.  It is only natural that he will see stars in his eyes over Cespedes just as it is only natural that players will tell him, "oh, you don't have to worry about that.  We all do it.  Yo, man, look at him.  He does what he wants, so don't worry about it..."

This young man may be a big star in New York and not only is there the huge inevitable financial commitment, but our tradition tells us what can happen when Hall of Fame talent meets with the lack of discipline, as we wring our hands over Doc and Straw.  

They've got to find a solution.  


Adam Smith said...

Great piece, and addresses a number of big under the radar issues with this club. This FO has made bad decision after bad decision. No one in the league will take Cespedes' contract off of their hands. You can argue that they "had to" sign Cespedes, but they put themselves in that position. They've been in place for what? Six years? And not only is the big club poorly constructed, but their minor league teams have a combined record of somewhere way under .500. They'll get nothing for Cabrera. Reyes has no trade value even with his contract being basically free. They have no idea what they're going to do next year at 2B, 3B, C, and CF (not to mention the BP and starting P depth. And behind Smith and Rosario, there isn't a kid in the system who looks as if they'll be able to contribute meaningfully in '18, or maybe even '19. It's time for new leadership. Unfortunately, the idiots at the very top aren't going anywhere. Sigh.

Thomas Brennan said...

But Tim Tebow DOES have AAA skills! (20 High A games .308/.392/.523, just 12 Ks in 74 plate appearances, but who's counting)

After last night's loss, the likelihood of a sell of players HAS to be getting imminent. I guess all the other teams know each player's warts and abilities. Caveat emptor, if that is the right Latin cliché)

Adam Smith said...

With Granderson, Walker and Bruce likely leaving, and an infield that may very well include Rosario, Smith, and TJ Rivera (I have s strong feeling he'll be your '18 opening day 2B), along with an OF of Conforto and Cespedes on the corners, this team is very definitely in need of a leadership-type vet at either or both 3B and C, and perhaps another as a top of rotation starter. Unfortunately, those are all positions of need around MLB.

Robb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reese Kaplan said...

The team needs an infusion of new high OBP players and move away from the failed all-or-nothing home run hitters. Of course, they also need someone who can manage these younger players and motivate all of them.

Zozo said...

Great piece Peter.

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