Yankees fans have heard all the talk from Mets fans about Steve Cohen, but it’s not panning out.
Despite the prevailing narrative, the first month of the Mets’ Steve Cohen era has felt reminiscent of the franchise’s entire history.
A bunch of sound and fury and “Yankees Suck!” signifying nothing.
Though the Mets seem likely to add big-ticket free agent George Springer, their “let’s make a deal!” unnecessary hustle bought them James McCann behind home plate instead of JT Realmuto, a too-swift trade-off that insiders like Ken Rosenthal believe may have been a miscalculation by both parties.
And in a Sandy Alderson interview regarding Nolan Arenado this weekend, the team’s decision-maker dropped a comment that seemed to indicate the team was leaning away from a Trevor Bauer pursuit at this point, too.
If we’ve already moved on from “The Mets are going to sign every free agent!” to “The Mets are going to ideally sign one top free agent and make concessions elsewhere to afford him,” then what’s the difference in this era, other than a fraudster running the team rather than a fraud victim?
As Alderson said:
"“If you’re talking about defensively, our third-base situation is probably a little bit up in the air. Is it as glaring a need as like a third or fourth starter? I don’t think so.”"
Sorry, the need for a third or fourth starter? The last Mets team we all watched could certainly use a No. 2, and no one in the previous administration was counting on a Noah Syndergaard comeback to pick up the slack. Shopping for back-of-the-rotation help is what brought Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello to Flushing last year, sopping up innings for a team that proved to be far from a contender.
Bauer is a perfect fit here — at least, a perfect fit for what we thought was going to materialize in the borough.
You don’t have to “Milkshake Duck” Cohen because he hasn’t done anything positive yet that must be dissected. The absence of a negative first step isn’t inherently a positive.
The baggage is still going to be there for the rest of us, while Mets fans fawn over trifling non-causes like his affinity for the team’s black jerseys.
Cohen’s most lauded trait when he took over was that his ruthlessness from the criminal corner-cutting world of business would carry over to his new endeavor, and that his pool of riches would simply overwhelm the rest of baseball’s operators.
And in his first month, he’s become the front-runner for a single top free agent, and acted quickly on a relative bargain option at another position because he was getting impatient, something that Mets boosters assured us was in the past once he took control.
“Not being the Wilpons” is only going to last Cohen for so long, with no leeway from the rest of MLB’s fans who’ve heard Mets fans boasting during a silent month and are now going to demand results — not to mention the baggage he brings that the media can only ignore for so long.
If he’s going to dip his toe in the high-dollar pool exactly once before trying to snidely pivot from Trevor Bauer to “No. 4 starters,” then perhaps we don’t have an atypical owner on our hands at all.
Maybe the only “atypical” thing about Cohen’s ownership is how much disqualifying dirty laundry he brought with him in the first place.