Mets fans are more than ready to embrace rooting for MLB’s villains
By Tim Boyle
The arrival of Steve Cohen puts a target on the New York Mets and switches them into one of baseball’s biggest heels. Fans wouldn’t want it any other way.
When I picture the New York Mets, I don’t see a pair of black trunks on them. Throughout the organization’s history, they haven’t really been the heel in any season. The organization won a pair of championships with rosters of likable players—in one way or another.
The 1969 squad was a lovable team of underdogs. In 1986, they were veterans and party animals. What’s not to love about either?
The arrival of Steve Cohen as the team’s owner could change the perception of this franchise. A few free agent moves could further set up this club to become baseball’s newest Evil Empire. Bring it on!
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This winter’s free agent market already has a couple of guys we could deem “bad boys” in the sport. Two of the top targets for the club fit this description. I sincerely think the Mets end up with at least one.
Pitcher Trevor Bauer has as many fans as he does detractors. He’s outspoken, aggressive, and a terrifically-talented pitcher. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way with his sometimes arrogant demeanor.
Bauer would be the perfect high-level free agent for the Mets to bring to town in their quest to build a roster of bad guys; not that this is the intention whatsoever.
Another “bad boy” in baseball, let’s not forget George Springer and his role with the 2017 Houston Astros. He’s also a free agent this winter and someone the Mets could use patrolling center field.
Although Springer’s personality hasn’t come into question, his gamesmanship has. He was one of the leaders of the championship cheaters from 2017. Why not add him to the mix of troublemakers in Flushing?
Bauer and Springer aren’t nearly as bad as some other people in the game’s history. They aren’t Ty Cobb, Cap Anson, or someone else we’d rather not see move in next door.
To make things perfectly clear, I’m using the word “bad” the same way we do “hate” when discussing sports. The hatred I have for the New York Yankees is a lot different from the hatred I feel toward truly evil people. Anywhere Bauer or Springer plays, they are going to get some negative attention. It’s a part of the game. I don’t think too many Mets fans will have a problem rooting for either if they were to end up in New York.
A part of me enjoys having players to root for that aren’t so squeaky clean. A little attitude on the mound or in the batter’s box never hurt anyone.
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I’m excited to see how the rest of the baseball world perceives the Mets this winter. I expect Cohen to take some serious “come get us” action.