Mancuso: Cespedes Diva Act Is Sinking Mets

Forget about losing bragging rights as the best baseball team in New York. And as much as the Yankees decided to sell this week and revamp, the Mets decided to buy and are not that any better. Simply put, after losing to the Yankees in the Bronx Wednesday night, the Mets are going in the same direction as the Yankees.

Blame who you want, but the Mets are not showing signs of returning to the postseason. But much of the blame can be placed on the high profile player, Yoenis Cespedes, their top run producer, and with a bad quad decided to play a round of golf earlier in the day.

Management, for the most part did not care that Cespedes was on a golf course. Yeah, he was shown on a social media site sitting in a golf cart at an established course in the New York vicinity. And the next five games, Cespedes would be in the lineup as the DH in American League ballparks.

But the high profiled player of the Mets, with the capacity to change the complexion of the lineup and a game, decided to play golf as he nurses a bad quad. The result, Cespedes is now on the 15-day disabled list and he should have been there weeks ago.

However, this is the Mets answer to their season of 2016 and returning to the World Series and that was having Cespedes in the lineup, and with hopes acquiring Jay Bruce would provide the needed punch that has them on the bottom in the National League in runs scored and hitting.

The reality is, with or without Cespedes, and with a pitching staff that can’t duplicate the accomplishments of last season, and with 57 games to go, there does not seem to be a wake up call with this offense. And it does not appear to be an offense like last year that rose from the dead after the trading deadline .

A dejected GM Sandy Alderson rushed into the visiting Mets clubhouse at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night. He was not available to comment when Cespedes was again nursing the quad, and the media was not getting the answer that Cespedes was put on the disabled list.

That does not matter, though it should, and only because this Mets team has no signs of waking up from the dead after going 2-for 12 with runners in scoring position which continued to make them the worse team in baseball when it comes to getting runners to cross the plate.

Even the newcomer Jay Bruce, the NL leader in RBI, is in that funk. Bruce has his first opportunity batting after Cespedes and went 0-for-4, a walk and a strikeout. The night before, after the Mets got one from the Yankees, manager Terry Collins eluded to Cespedes and Bruce being an exciting duo.

But now, Cespedes is disabled and that opportunity of an exciting duo in the lineup is predicated on how long he will recover. But, the Mets treat Cespedes like a “Diva” and reprimanding their star for being on a golf course instead of nursing a bad quad did not happen.

Wilmer Flores grounded out into three double plays, including one in the first inning that would have opened up a big inning for the Mets. But that didn’t happen, because Flores is not the answer at shortstop or at third for the injured Asdrubal Cabrera and the shut down David Wright.

Simply put, this is not the same Mets team that had that run last season of being last to first in runs scored and production after the acquisition of Cespedes that helped them get to the World Series.
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Yes, Daniel Murphy went on this unexpected home run tear that was a big difference, and he was not brought back. Instead, Cespedes was the important cog and now he is disabled, though the blame on a bad quad getting worse was not attributed to a round of golf.

The Yankees, the team that is supposed to be the one with drama, as the Subway Series always offers, and with the sitting down again of Alex Rodriguez have a chance to have the bragging rights if they win the finale Thursday night in the Bronx. Instead it is the Mets and their continued inability to score runs and finish the job.

As Collins said, “We’ll go out and get a real good pitching performance and the next night we’ll give up four or five. One night we’ll hit four homers and the next night we leave the bases loaded.”

Yes, his team is not that good. Right now the Yankees look like the better team with all the revamping they did this past week. And without Yoenis Cespedes and a healthy quad, the Mets will not be playing baseball in October and will all be on the golf course.

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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich has covered countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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