Only the Yankees would be subjected to Juan Soto-Mets nonsense during spring debut

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

This doesn't even happen to small-market teams.

Teams with eternally low budgets -- the kind of team the Boston Red Sox apparently aspire to be -- who incubate superstars, then let them fly in free agency, represent one of baseball's biggest ongoing issues. But as said superstars enter their final seasons, traditionally, the media's focus remains on the here and now. Free agency's looming, but only if those in control of the narrative want it to be.

Apparently, according to the game's rabble rousers, the New York Yankees deserve more scrutiny than the dregs of the league. Remember when the narrative was that the Yankees would be the annual thieves in this department, always ending up with Oakland and Kansas City's spoils? Not so much anymore. This season, Juan Soto can say whatever he'd like. The media isn't going to let Yankee fans enjoy it one iota; they've decided a full 162-game campaign couldn't matter less, because Soto might chase the money to the Mets next offseason.

Never mind that Steve Cohen and Hal Steinbrenner have an oddly pleasant relationship, and Cohen has yet to outbid the field by $150-200 million for any free agent, considering the lack of financial savvy that would display. Never mind that the Mets' primary free agency focus will be pitching. Never mind Soto's family's fandom, or how excited he was to immediately make over his online presence with pinstripes Never mind that Soto sounds over the moon in love with Aaron Judge and Yankee fans already. Never mind that Judge recently called 2024 Soto's "first year here."

Nope. According to locals like Randy Miller, we might as well sim to the end of this yet-to-unfold campaign. Soto could be a Met. Why bother living in the here and now?

Yankees Rumors: Juan Soto could go to Mets, but who cares and why now?

Again, I ask: Was the coverage in Cleveland leading up to a Francisco Lindor trade an endless drumbeat of, "Who cares about the game? He's going somewhere else someday." What about in Boston before Mookie Betts was dealt to LA? Or did those reporters allow their respective rabid fanbases to enjoy the moment?

Worrying about Soto's next stop should be embedded deep in every Yankee fan's brain caverns, way behind the here and now. It should be the panacea of haters nationwide, Mets fans so preoccupied with the Yankees' downfall So why is the gibberish coming from inside the house? Why is the same reporter who let little birdies tell him Aaron Judge was going to be a Giant trying to tear the banners down before the first pitch has even been thrown?

Reporters like Miller are responsible for an awful lot of brain-bleeding negativity these days, and because of his contrarian desires, a day in which Soto first appeared in pinstripes, drilled a three-run homer, and said all the right things instead became a celebratory 24 hours for Mets trolls.

Save the me-first, Mets-centric nonsense for the Sal Licatas of the world. Focus on what Soto actually says and does. As Brian Cashman said, he's here for a year. As Judge said, he's here for his first year. Might as well make it a good one, even though that would crush the souls of every rumor-mongerer who thinks contract negotiations and budgets are more exciting than walk-offs and rings.