Yoenis Cespedes has a Festivus, and the rest of us should just enjoy it – Sporting News

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The next ride Yoenis Cespedes drives to Mets camp should be a clown car, because he’s brought the circus to Port St. Lucie.

This is not on the Mets’ star outfielder. He has, to this point, done nothing even bordering on wrong. Fresh off signing a three-year, $75 million contract, Cespedes has driven to spring training in a pickup truck, a three-wheeled Polaris, a fire-spewing Lamborghini and a flashy red Alfa Romeo. On Wednesday, he gave the keys to the Lambo to a Mets staffer to go buy a waffle maker at Target.

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It’s all good fun that doesn’t hurt anyone at all — and the staffer who made the Target run has an experience to remember forever. This is exactly the kind of thing that people talk about when they say they want more characters in baseball, that it would be great to see more players show personality. Here’s a guy who came from Cuba, struck it rich, and is having the time of his life enjoying some sweet rides — to this point with no reports of any traffic infractions. How many of us have dreamed of that?

The circus comes from the outside, where people who are not the Mets see this as cause for concern. John Harper’s column for the New York Daily News on Thursday featured hypothetical teammates hypothetically getting annoyed with Cespedes for his expensive tastes if, in a hypothetical situation, he doesn’t perform.

“As long as Cespedes is mashing the ball on a regular basis, then he can arrive at Citi Field by helicopter on game days if he likes and teammates will think the guy defines cool,” Harper wrote. “If he’s not, well, then anything perceived as outside-the-norm, whether it’s playing golf before games, skipping batting practice to hit indoors — as he seems to prefer — or rolling up in his own version of the Batmobile will begin to grate on the other, more conservative millionaires in the clubhouse.”

Age does not necessarily equate to conservatism, but it’s worth noting here that the only Mets older than Cespedes are Jerry Blevins, Bartolo Colon, Alejandro De Aza, Curtis Granderson and David Wright. It’s a mostly young team, and one with some big personalities, like man-on-the-town Matt Harvey and self-styled comic book hero Noah Syndergaard.

Really, though, who’s going to get mad at Cespedes for preferring to take batting practice in an indoor cage? If that’s where he feels most comfortable doing his work, and that is his routine, so be it. The Mets know Cespedes is a professional who wants to win, and letting the man be comfortable in his own skin is the best way to get the best work out of him — whether that’s Cespedes or a quiet man like Lucas Duda. It’s this philosophy that has made Joe Maddon such a successful manager throughout his career, and it’s what Terry Collins learned after gaining a reputation as a martinet in previous managerial stops.

As for the golf — as for all of it, really — Collins, you know, Cespedes’ boss, is fine with what’s happening.

“These guys know who he is, and they know how he works,” Collins said in Harper’s column, tearing the hypothesis to shreds. “He’s been here every morning at 7:30 running in the outfield, getting himself in shape. It’s like when everybody makes a big deal out of him playing golf every day. Let me tell you something. He gets up at seven in the morning to play golf, so he ain’t going out at night, hanging in the bars. The guy’s going to bed, because he’s playing golf the next day. That’s fine by me.”

What Collins wants, as reported by Mike Puma of the New York Post on Thursday, is for Cespedes to wear his cap straight on the field.

But, in Marc Carig’s article in Newsday, and with no disrespect to Puma because there’s only so much you can fit in a tweet, the cap thing was given more context, as only part of the equation.

“I just want him to be himself,” Collins said.

Collins having a desire to see the uniform worn properly is just being himself. Just like Cespedes driving flashy cars. So long as they understand each other, which they certainly seem to, the Mets have nothing to worry about, even as the calliope music blares around them.

Yoenis Cespedes has a Festivus, and the rest of us should just enjoy it – Sporting News