New York Mets owner Steve Cohen wants to win a championship in the next 3-5 years. These lofty hopes shouldn’t drive potential general managers away.
There’s a bit of “controversy” in New York Mets circles now about new owner Steve Cohen being open about wanting the team to win a championship in the next three to five years. I put the quotes around the word controversy since it seems to be somewhat manufactured by a New York media that’s flailing for stories.
For those who are not in the know, this centers around two things. Andy Martino tweeting about baseball insiders being wary of Cohen’s remarks at his press conference and Joel Sherman practically declaring the new ownership as a bust because he hadn’t installed a new General Manager yet.
This is all pure silliness and I’ll explain why.
The Mets Are Cohen’s Team, Darn It
First of all, Cohen just bought the team. He spent a lot of money and he has every right to set the expectations around his purchase. Early signs also point to his being willing to spend smartly on what the team needs… and he certainly deserves to want to see results on what he spends his money on. This new owner is more than aware that he’s now in a big market and wants to act like it.
Let’s face it – whatever general manager is picked is going to have a blank checkbook to use. These are not the Wilpons. That money should be tied to results. Yes, there are a lot of external factors that can make or break a season – like injuries – but Cohen also wants to build up a strong farm system to have plenty of depth to weather those things.
There Is Stability Even Without A GM Now
Here’s the thing that pokes a huge hole in Shermans’ theory. The Mets have someone who is already capable of making baseball decisions – Sandy Alderson. John Ricco also has general manager experience. The appointment of Alderson as team president was a move to demonstrate to the other baseball owners that Cohen had a cohesive plan and helped them approve his purchase of the team.
Thus, it’s not like the franchise has a gaping hole in the front office. It is far from being a rudderless ship as Sherman insinuates. Yes, there may be some roadblocks, since teams like to hoard their front office talent, but there is still ample reason to believe that Cohen and Alderson will bring in someone well-suited for the role. There should be a moratorium on complaining until at least after the All-Star Break.
The Sports Void
Right now, New York faces a really strange sports situation due to COVID-19. Neither the NBA nor the NHL has started. The only thing keeping the Giants in the headlines is that they play in a terrible division and the Jets are probably going to try to get a No. 1 draft slot to get Trevor Lawrence in their quest to actually find a franchise quarterback.
That means that the New York media has some really slim pickings when it comes time to fill out their everyday sports coverage. So they may try to manufacture something to try to get people to look at them. Cohen’s remarks and the general manager search would barely be a blip in normal times. Not so now. But people should take this with a large grain of salt and wait to see what happens over the course of the next few months.
Cohen is no stranger to pressure. The hedge fund market is not for the faint of heart. He’s already demonstrated his strength by directly replying to Martino on Twitter. Unlike the previous ownership, this is a man who is not afraid to tackle things head-on. He will do things his way and he will not let public perception shift his focus. He also grew up in New York, so he’s very familiar with the sports media.
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New York is a major market with a lot of passionate fans. They should be rewarded for their fandom by having the team that they root for to be competitive a vast majority of the time. Cohen wants to do that and he should be applauded, not vilified for this.