Peter Hyatt - How Yoenis Cespedes Can Win Back Fans


Monday night, with the tying run at the plate, the righty ran the count to 3-0

"I don't know if I have ever seen anyone swing at 3-0 when down by 3" Ron Darling said, anticipating that Cespedes would not swing at 3-0 with two on and down by 3 in the 9th.  

All three announcers were shocked when Cespedes ground into a game ending double play ball, with the Flushing Faithful raining down boos upon Cespedes.  This is something El Hombre could not abide.  He quickly showered and left Citi Field.  

Gary Cohen exclaimed, "How about that!  Swinging at a 3-0 pitch when down by 3!"

"My goodness!"  Keith Hernandez added.  

"Wow!  I don't second guess, but 3-0 you do not swing at an outside pitch!

For the 3rd time this month, Cespedes refused to take questions from the media, leaving the heavy and most unpleasant responsibility to others.  

They hate it.  

They hate it that it has to be done, but they hate it more that he keeps leaving it for others while he collects the biggest paycheck. 

They hate it.  

New York media did not take kindly to it.  The first time they were very polite with "Cespedes declines..." but the second time, it was a bit more testy.  

New York media responded this time with unflattering reports on Cespedes and even Terry Collins weighed in with "There's nothing wrong with him physically" leaving the "mentally" unnecessary to address.  New York media well knows what a head case he is, but he gets a pass with each home run he hits, and then some.  

Yet, it is has been quite a while since his last blast.  

Yoenis Cespedes, El Hombre, got booed in his own stadium by home fans.  

What can Cespedes do to turn around the booing from Mets fans?

Sportsfans are notoriously forgiving when there is productivity.  It is the nature of the beast.  However, Cespedes should consider that given his contract, and the great expectations that come with it, and the fact that he is aging, has 3 more years here, and his legs are giving him trouble, applying a bit of intelligent response would go a long way. 

1.  Stop ducking media, own up to your team responsibilities.  Ducking out looks cowardly and your teammates that do have to face media, resent you.  

In the last 3 duckings, you went hitless each time.  But when you had a few hits, you reveled in the attention. 

You don't think this is lost on fans or the press, do you?

2.  Hustle 

The other day, you ran out an infield hit, hustled on the base paths, slid, and used your cannon of an arm in the outfield.  Yes, you were glad to meet with media this day, but more importantly, you showed us that you can hustle when you want to.  Stop with the excuses.  You hustle and claim to be healthy, but the next day, just as healthy, you do not hustle, do not hit and want excuses?
Do not leave it up to the Mets PR people to lie for you with some ridiculous "family are here" story.  

They resent it and it will narrow down your choice of guesses when it comes to "anonymous" leaks from the clubhouse.  They get paid a lot less than you do and they do not like to have to give silly sounding lies to cover for your selfishness. 

3.  Stop with the Spanish already.  

They all know you do not need an interpreter.  Everyone understands that you do not want to be hit unjustly by media, but so far, you have not even begun to know how rotten, vicious  and unfair media can be, especially in New York.  Keep ducking them and you will, however, get a lesson or two. 

 Instead, just speak your mind and answer questions.  Don't say you need an interpreter who just happens to not be available...over and over, and then go chat it up with your car service in English.  

Players who give maximum effort on the field; the ones who sacrifice, get dirty uniforms and make that special extra effort, are cheered, even when production is down. 

When you tore up the lawn in left field the other night, did you not hear the cheers?  You missed the ball but fans respected the effort in trying.  This is New York.  The fans are more sophisticated and passionate about their team than in other cities.  

4.  Support your teammates. 

come up lame?

Ok, but even on the DL, show up for games and sit in the dugout.  You are the big star.  You make $110 million dollars; money that young kids dream of making.  They want to emulate you.  They wish they had media circled around them in the locker room.  They know what it translates into later on.  Give them something to emulate.  Just show up, show some interest, and encourage them.  

You congratulated Michael Conforto on a great catch the other night. You know, the night you did not hit a home run but hustled your butt off.  

 He was very surprised but he was also grinning from ear to ear.  He is a kid still, mature, yes, but he is still young in this league. 

  This was good that you did it, but players should not be surprised by your support.  You want to be El Hombre?  Lead by example and support.  

You refused to do this in Boston and they hated you. You refused to play in the silly reindeer games and be just one of the guys.  They resented you for it.   Learn from mistakes. 

 Lighten up in the clubhouse.  Its not all about you; it is about team.  

You've got one helluva bat.  Share tips with the struggling.  Inspire them with example.  Let D'Arnaud know you've been there and he can get through it.  Tell TJ how he can find a way into the line up.  

5.  Tone it Down

You're a big tough guy.  Lose 70% of the jewelry and 90% of the hockey equipment.  Tone down the neon signs from head to toe.  All the crap you wear can't be good for sprinting.  You are playing in front of NYC crowds and fans are watching you on television by the millions, hit home runs.  You don't need to draw any more attention to yourself than you already get. 

We love humility here.  It is a sign of strength.  We love rough, tumble disheveled Rocky knocking down  polished and pretty Apollo Creed.   We're a forgiving bunch.  Give what you got and fans will love you.  Immodesty, dismissiveness and indifference will bring disdain.  

Let Reyes do his silly posing and his "cat claws."  Let big mouthed locker room poison Astrubel bat flip his way to another team. 

You're here for the duration.  Even if they wanted to move you, they'd have to eat a lot of crow and a lot of contract.  If Alderson is still here, you may know well:  Alderson don't eat no crow.  


Yoenis Cespdes can win back some of what he has lost in the Mets clubhouse.  This can lead quickly to fan perception.  

Friendship in the clubhouse has to go beyond just Reyes and Cabrera. These two may be gone shortly and there won't be too many warm fuzzies left for him if he does not make an effort.  

The pitchers will be the first to welcome him as they love what a home run can do to turn a team around, and the younger players will love the star taking time out to encourage others.  When pitchers get bailed out by the HR or the diving catch, they don't care who the source is, they just love it.  

This will carry over to the fans. 

Even injured, we love our heroes giving it their all.  Rusty Staub played when he could barely hold a bat and only threw underhand, not to be arrogant, but due to injury and the list of heroes who played injured is endless.  

Cespedes can do it.  

He can support his team mates and be a good foot solder who just happens to hold high rank due to his contract. 

He showed us he knows how to hustle.  

The boos can turn to cheers with a single home run, true enough.  

But with 3 years ahead of him, age and injuries, it may take more than just home runs to endear himself. 

Cespedes can do it. 


Reese Kaplan said...

The problem is wake-up calls don't happen when your paycheck doesn't bounce. Complacency becomes very easy to embrace. Perhaps if, as you say, Reyes and Cabrera are sent packing, then he may have to rethink his approach.

LongTimeFan1 said...

All well said, Peter. All these things about Cespedes that have been issues since he got here that must be resolved.

But let's talk about the elephant in the room. Or more precisely, the elephant that Cespedes has become and is the reason he no longer swings with authority. He's become too fat, too bulked up. Someone must inform him he's signed to play baseball, not football.

Shame on the Mets coddling him, for being enablers. For failing to address this issue which now must be addressed in public to embarrass this man back to reality and what he must do to get back to the physique he had in 2015 and 2016. The one that produced bat speed and freedom of movement. Maybe Cespedes thinks bulking up especially in lower body is helpful given his injuries - but it's having the opposite effect.

Cespedes is way too much about self - and never enough about team and the fans. His horrible attitude must change, and change now.

Adam Smith said...

Over the next couple of years, those six-week tears are going to be shorter in duration and longer between. $110 million over four years is a big commitment for a guy who already seems to care about little but himself. But this shouldn't be a surprise to an org that already had him in their clubhouse for more than a year when they made that decision. I hope that Cespedes decides to grow up some and earn that money, but I wouldn't bet $110 on it, much less $110 million.

Viper said...

Cespedes got his money.
Welcome to Jason Bay 2.0
Knowing what I know now, I would rather have Bruce.

Thomas Brennan said...

Cespedes needs to watch Cuba Gooding Jr in the movie Jerry McGuire - it could be very instructional

Mack Ade said...

No mas Cespedes

Viper said...

"Cespedes needs to watch Cuba Gooding Jr in the movie Jerry McGuire - it could be very instructional"

He did. He said "You complete me" while watching his bank account.

Thomas Brennan said...

Viper, that is funny!

For what it is worth, Cespedes is the plural of Cesped. Translation below - # 2a is especially pertinent - except that in his case, it often is not true:

masculine noun
1. (gardening)

a. lawn

Voy a cortar el césped mañana. I will mow the lawn tomorrow.

b. grass

El perro arruinó el césped del patio trasero. The dog has destroyed the backyard grass.

2. (sports)

a. field (United States)

El beisbolista atrapó la pelota antes de que tocara el césped. The baseball player caught the ball before it hit the field.

Hobie said...

Hmmm. What ever happened to the "Obey the Commandments & pray for Gil Hodges." sentiment? Gil's horrific 1953 slump was on the heals of an 0 for 21 WS in 1952.

Dressen wanted some anger from Gil. Offered him $50 to get thrown out of a game. I wonder what Peter would have said, "you're too white?" Probably not.

Gary Seagren said...

Jason Bay cared and played hard Cespedes is more Albert Bell 2.0 I'm afraid and that's scary.

Reese Kaplan said...

I would have thought he's more Manny Ramirez.

Peter Hyatt said...

Cespedes got two hits
He dyed his hair blue
He dogged one catchable fly, but almost over ran another

Howie Rose got on him on the double saying "he has no one to blame but himself" if injured, for not hustling while posing, and then having to turn it on.

He is not beloved in the club house.

Curtis Granderson, 36, is beloved.

Both of these differences are for a reason.

J-bay comparison is apples and oranges. JBay did not carry the team the way Cespedes did Summer 2015.

Coming up lame, Cespedes showed his "bravery" and just needed some water; he, from Cuba, had trouble with the humidity.

Re: Listen to what Terry Collins said about Cespedes lack of hustle on the fly ball with the quotes in today's Post and Daily News.

If need be, there are courses in deception detection I can refer you to.

You also see the beat writer for MLB keeping favor with ownership with the ridiculous promos and PR of Cespedes as the hero of last night's game as well as his blue hair.

Yes, he needs even more attention than he is currently getting. This is further insight into the frail psyche that brass deals with in exchange for home runs.

Boston, Oakland and Detroit are all having a good chuckle, but are likely saying, "yeah, give it two years and see what comes their way. They were warned..."

The ridiculous nature of ducking interviews and attention seeking behavior --if it continues, expect a buy out late 2018.

Do you really want to see Amed Rosario and Dom Smith in this dysfunctional clubhouse?

Three cheers for Noah and Dark Knight! Both have no regrets over their behavior! Flushing Models: dark knights shirts in abundance...

in the clearance rack.


Viper said...

My comparison to Jason Bay is not about hustle but about a contract for a player who never produced as expected. I honestly think that Cespedes won't hustle or give it his all going forward.

Peter Hyatt said...

Viper said...
My comparison to Jason Bay is not about hustle but about a contract for a player who never produced as expected. I honestly think that Cespedes won't hustle or give it his all going forward.
July 20, 2017 at 4:46 PM

Gotcha. I understand. Good point, Viper.


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