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New York Mets: A special Festivus Airing of the Grievances

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 05: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is introduced before throwing the ceremonial first pitch of a game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on July 05, 2019 in New York City. The Phillies defeated the Mets 7-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 05: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is introduced before throwing the ceremonial first pitch of a game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on July 05, 2019 in New York City. The Phillies defeated the Mets 7-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Even with Steve Cohen leading the charge with a brighter future for the New York Mets, we have some grievances to air in honor of Festivus. After all, it is still 2020.

The New York Mets close out the 2020 calendar in an unfamiliar position. A franchise that was once marked with frustration and dysfunction recently received a new culture in the form of their shiny new owner Steve Cohen.  As we learned during the Wilpon tenure “cheapness is not a sense.” We wholeheartedly agree!

The Cohen era was the ultimate holiday gift for faithful fans of the orange and blue. In just a few short weeks the team has taken on a new excitement, new potential, and an array of new possibilities. Turns out, having the wealthiest ownership in baseball makes a sizable difference. After all  “People don’t turn down money! It’s what separates us from the animals.

However, before we officially reach the holiday season we must first experience an annual event made popular by noted Mets fan and comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld. This cult holiday, portrayed in Seinfeld’s hit sitcom, is a time of year for people air our their grievances. In the infamous words of Frank Costanza: “At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!

Ladies and Gentleman… We give you, a special Mets’ themed Fesitvus for the rest of us!

The Lack of a Universal DH

The biggest grievance for the Mets was the apparent abolishment of the universal DH that debuted during the shortened 2020 season. This new rule change, which allowed National League teams to replace the pitching spot in the lineup with a professional hitter, was a major benefit to the organization last season. Many expected this development to become permanent. However, that notion proved to be “fake, fake, fake, fake!

Talented players like Dom Smith, who has a phenomenal bat combined with sub-par defensive abilities, thrived with the benefit of the DH. The team was also able to use far more creativity with players like JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Yoenis Cespedes, and Pete Alonso. Perhaps no team in the National League was pulling harder for the rule to be retained in 2021 and beyond.

The switch back to the traditional model will force Smith into a corner outfield position. It also appears to leave fan favorite, Brandon Nimmo, without an everyday role as a starter. These challenges are not insurmountable. However, they will make life more difficult for the Mets’ managers and front office.

We’re still mad at Rob Manfred and MLB for abolishing this rule. And the airing of grievances is the perfect time to let them know.

Robinson Cano is still Lingering

As odd as it may sound, the Mets received another sizable holiday gift in the form of the recent developments with Robinson Cano. The veteran second baseman enjoyed a miniature bounce-back campaign in 2020. However, he is still in the midst of a 10-year, $240 million contract. This albatross of a deal has him slated to make $24 million per season through the conclusion of 2024.

While the news of his recent drug-related suspension freed up his 2021 salary for the franchise to use elsewhere, he still lingers as a future stumbling block. Unless the team is able to find a creative way to move or void the remainder of the deal, it will be an annual source of frustration for New York.

Add in the fact that prospect Jarred Kelenic, who the Mets gave up in the trade that brought Cano to Flushing, is primed to make his major-league debut as early as next season, and the situation becomes even more frustrating.

Nothing could sum up this tension better than the catchphrase of Seinfeld himself: “that’s a shame…

We’re still paying Bobby Bonilla

This is a constant source of grievance for Mets fans. And it will continue to be until the year 2035. Once a year the franchise has to re-experience the embarrassment of publicly dispersing a $1.19 million check to former Met Bobby Bonilla. For the record, the former outfielder hasn’t suited up in a New York uniform since 1999.

This deal always leaves me speechless. “I am without speech.” However, “There’s more to life than making shallow, fairly obvious observations,” so we’ll move on.

Conclusion

To be clear, there are fewer grievances this offseason that I have ever experienced during my time as a fan of the Mets. For the first time in recent memory, I completely trust the franchise’s ownership and direction.

Next. What could the Mets get for Brandon Nimmo?

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The handful of affronted notes aside, it is a great time to be a fan of the Amazin’ Mets. Here’s hoping we can “Yada, yada, yada” ourselves straight to a World Series title over the next few seasons.

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