An MMO Fan Shot by By Matt Stephens
I’d like to think that by this point my 2014 post on Yoenis Cespedes has become somewhat famous as far as the site is concerned. For those that don’t know, I’ll explain briefly: In October of 2014, Joe D. posted a fan shot in which I plead for the Mets to trade for Yoenis Cespedes by dealing from our arsenal of young pitching weapons. I made bold claims that the stadium would be full once again, that he would single-handedly power the lineup, and more. They were claims that seemed too big and extravagant to come to fruition. Of course, as is the case with most of the phantom trade proposals made on blogs, it was just a hope. It was a shot in the dark, a dream that I would get to watch my favorite player in the game play for the team I loved.
Cespedes has been a guy I’ve followed since his introduction to Major League Baseball by Billy Beane. I watched with awe as he slammed the ball over the fence, or as he flung the ball towards home with ease. He was simply an incredible player. At the 2013 Home Run Derby, I had a fantastic seat, just 10 rows behind home plate. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and it provided my first live view of the home runs that Yoenis Cespedes was capable of hitting. Round after round, pitch after pitch flew over the fence, some reaching that second level, one even going to the third if I recall. It was at that point where I truly became star-struck. Yoenis Cespedes was one of the great power hitters in the game and he could hit at Citi Field. He belonged here, with us Mets fans, in our city. It was destiny.
The off-season passed with few moves of note. Cuddyer and Mayberry were Sandy Alderson’s outfielders of choice, and to me, it was typical Sandy. Going with the low-risk move to try and fill the hole with the most cost-effective player. I moaned along with the rest of you when we surrendered a pick but was also glad that we took action of some sort. Then we had the Winter Meetings, where Yoenis Cespedes was given to the Detroit Tigers for Rick Porcello, a move that came seemingly out of nowhere. At that point it seemed like that was the end of the line. He’d become a free agent after the season and would go to the highest bidder, and that would be that. I would forever be rooting from afar. Thank goodness that was not the case.
Of course as the season went on, I found myself more and more frustrated over the Mets’ futile offense. We bickered constantly on the site about how to repair it, with me of course toting my pro-Cespedes line, day in and day out, but many agreed that one bat would no longer be enough. The trades for Uribe and Johnson came, and the focus was shifted towards my dream, towards the big bat. Reporters continued to write that it was unlikely that Cespedes would be traded, let alone to the Mets. As we crept closer and closer to the deadline, I allowed myself to believe, for just a little bit, that my inevitable hope would become reality. On that fateful Friday afternoon, I was on a train, and sat obliviously as Alderson fulfilled my wish.
When of course it was confirmed by every source, by the team, and by Cespedes himself that he was a New York Met, I was ecstatic, I was beaming, I knew that the season had been turned around in an instant, even though we were 52-50 at that point. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, I could hardly contain myself waiting to see my favorite player in the threads of my favorite team. Of course, he lived up to and even succeeded my wildest hopes with his wild run of homers and enormous hits. I enjoyed it just as you all did, but there was a little something extra there for me, a small sense of ‘I knew it’, ‘I promised them he was the one’, with every hit he had. The Mets clinched and confirmed what I’d said along. He was the type of player that could change a team and a season, and getting to watch it unfold with my player leading the charge was better than anything I could have possibly imagined.
Now with the Mets in the middle of the playoffs, this seems like a somewhat odd time for this article, but I assure you, the time was chosen with care. I attended Game 3 and watched in awe as this heroic figure absolutely demolished a ball, drilling it over 430 feet into the second deck to all but guarantee a Mets win. As he circled the bases, the Mets shot blue and orange fireworks into the air, and beneath the crowd noise, the theme from “The Natural” could be heard. It was an absolutely unforgettable scene, and one I will cherish, no matter how this Mets season ends. I of course dream that the story ends with a Mets World Series ring and a big contract for Cespedes, but each is just another dream. In this season of magic though, no dream seems too big.
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This Fan Shot was written by MMO community member Matt Stephens. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.