The first time New York Mets fans saw Yoenis Cespedes up close it was during the 2013 Home Run Derby. A lot has changed in those five years.
Five years ago, Cespedes won the 2013 Home Run Derby. On the national stage, Cespedes took his hacks while representing the Oakland Athletics. It was his first trip to Citi Field. The impression he left was a grand one, walking away as the home run champion of the evening.
Cespedes clobbered 32 total home runs in the victory, which just happens to be only five less than the 37 games he has played in 2018. Who would have thunk?
In his win, Cespedes defeated the National League captain, David Wright, and six others. Included was future Met Michael Cuddyer. It was a memorable Home Run Derby for sure as it ended with a tight race between Cespedes and Bryce Harper in the final round. Mets fans were certainly happy to see Harper fall in their home ballpark.
It’s amazing how much things can change in five years. Cespedes didn’t receive many jeers back then at Citi Field even though most people in attendance probably didn’t care much about his performance. In fact, the average fan probably had no idea who he was.
In 2018, it’s a far different story. Cespedes plays for the Mets now. Well, maybe plays isn’t the best word choice. He’s paid by them. As far as the IRS is concerned, they’re his employer.
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Yes, this is another one of those Cespedes criticism pieces. How can I not? We’re nearing an All-Star Game where the Mets will send Jacob deGrom solo. Perhaps that’s for the best. It will do deGrom some good to get away from the organization for a few days.
A lot has changed since Cespedes won the 2013 Home Run Derby. That year, he wasn’t even an All-Star yet he still willingly participated. MLB has a problem attracting players to the home run hitting exhibition. To see him show-up without an All-Star selection would never happen today.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Mets could have the 2013 Cespedes back? Though not nearly as productive, his head was in the game. An A student cannot pass if he misses the school bus every day.
Lately, Cespedes has been sleeping in and missing class. On the bright side, he has watched plenty of The Price is Right.
The first memories of Cespedes at Citi Field were promising ones. The last, well, who knows when those will even come?
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Baseball is a different game than it was in 2013. Cespedes’ attitude seems to have changed with it as well.