New York Mets new owner Steve Cohen laid out expectations and provided a starving fanbase hope after Tuesday’s introductory press conference.
Steve Cohen’s introductory press conference as the new owner of the New York Mets on Tuesday could be summed up best in two words: trust and respect. Those two words are terms that have not been in many Mets fans vocabulary for the better half of the last decade when looking at the organization overall, but Cohen’s introductory speech, as well as his answers to the many questions he had fielded from the media, left Mets fans feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Cohen boldly stated to the media and Mets fans alike, “I don’t want to just get into the playoffs. I want to win a championship.” Cohen also reiterated numerous times, although in different ways, how he plans to build the Mets into a team that is in contention every season with a philosophy of constructing a strong minor league system, as well as spending like a big market team but responsibly. “I don’t want to be good one year and bad three years. I want to be good every year,” the Mets new owner exclaimed.
Cohen had also referenced during his introductory press conference that he would like to build the Mets organization in a model similar to the World Series Champions the Los Angeles Dodgers. There is no better blueprint in baseball currently on how to operate a big market franchise, as the Dodgers have built one of the better farm systems in baseball and built a homegrown core with many of those players who have been brought up through their Minor League ranks. The Dodgers have also used their financial flexibility to acquire high price players over the last couple of seasons who can shore up a need such as outfielders Mookie Betts or A.J. Pollock.
This Mets current ballclub is not too far off from competing for a division title, and that is something Cohen had acknowledged while setting clear expectations for himself as well as the organization in the process. Cohen understands the pulse of the Mets fanbase and recognizes the hunger for a World Series in Queens as he fearlessly announced to the media, “If I don’t win a World Series in the next three to five years, I would consider that slightly disappointing”.
Cohen touched on multiple off-the-field subjects including financial support for Citi Field workers, his wife Alex taking over the Mets Foundation, and allowing players to freely express themselves under the circumstance that, “between the lines, they give 100 percent.” It was a refreshing reminder that Cohen is not only trying to build a winning product on the field, but he wants the Mets organization to be winners off the field as well.
The Mets could not have asked for a better owner to take over the organization. Money aside, Cohen is saying all of the right things to change an organization’s previous futile culture while also building the franchise into a consistent winner the correct way.
It’s not easy to gain trust and respect from fans of any organization right off the bat, especially in this city. However, Cohen who has been a die-hard fan his entire life had spoke directly to the Mets fan base and related in ways to the fans that the Wilpons simply never did. Cohen’s presentation of his model of the way the Mets will be operated from the ground up also resonated with fans as well as members of the baseball community.
Taking everything into account from Tuesday afternoon’s inauguration of Steve Cohen as the Mets’ new owner, trust and respect are the two words that all fans will look to continue to use repeatedly throughout the upcoming years when describing Cohen’s reign in Queens.
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Welcome home, Steve!