Theo to the Mets?
It’s just “speculation.”
Good morning, all! I hope your week is off to a good start.
A funny thing happened on the way to the New York Mets' dominance of baseball for decades now that billionaire Steve Cohen owns the club. They couldn't even hold on to first place through July in the first year of his ownership. And that is with Cohen forking over millions to sign or trade for players. Yes, they have been beset by injuries, but as the great Bill Parcells once said, "injuries are a part of the game."
The Mets stunning fall from first to also-rans - again - is leading to numerous “speculation.” Among those jumping on the bandwagon is USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightingale, who writes:
"The speculation is growing louder and louder that New York Mets owner Steve Cohen will reach out to Theo Epstein, the former architect of the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs’ World Series teams, and discuss the possibility of making him in charge of the Mets’ entire front office."
He also suggests that ex-big league manager Bruce Bochy - a former Met, by the way - might be interested in managing the club. Bochy, who guided the San Francisco Giants to three World Series and also won a pennant as San Diego Padres' manager, has expressed an interest in returning to the dugout.
Where this "speculation" is coming from, Nightingale doesn't say, but hey, the headline got me to click on the story and isn't that what the media has become, a headline repository designed to generate clicks? In other words, we don't even know if Cohen and Epstein have ever met, have ever texted, have each other's phone number, or if Cohen and Epstein would even recognize each other if they crossed paths at an art gallery. It doesn't matter. Nightingale writes there is "speculation" and that's enough to get those coveted clicks.
Anyway, I don't know how Sandy Alderson, the current person calling the shots for the Mets, might feel about all this "speculation," but the peripatetic Epstein just might be interested, especially if Cohen gives him a slice of ownership. Since stepping down from the Cubs with one year left on his 10-year contract, Epstein has been working as a consultant for Major League Baseball.
Epstein calling the shots in New York would renew the rivalry with crosstown rival Brian Cashman, GM of the New York Yankees. Make no mistake, Cohen knows his franchise is in the National League but that his main rival for attention is the Yankees. The high profile owner cannot be too happy that during his club's collapse, the Yankees have catapulted back into contention with a 13-game winning streak. In other words, the Yankees are getting all the positive publicity, while the Mets have been relegated to their usual laughingstock-status. It's not helping matters that Javy Baez, a soon-to-be-free agent acquired from the Cubs, has assisted in making the Mets an embarrassment.
In case you missed it, Baez, whose arrival coincided with the Mets' collapse, is about as popular in Queens as a toothache, after his machinations urging teammates to utilize thumbs down gestures following base hits, as a protest to the fans booing the Mets' poor performance. Both Cohen and Alderson are steamed over this action and are expected to address the issue with players soon, like maybe today.
Can Epstein, a dominant figure in his own right, work for a forceful owner like Cohen? If he wants to get back in the game, especially on a high profile stage, he may have no choice. An Epstein-Cohen tandem might create its own fireworks or provide the Mets with the stature they so crave.
In the meantime, look for more "speculation" about Epstein to the Mets. This time such speculation might even include sources. As for the Mets resigning Baez, there's about as much chance of that happening as the Mets going on a playoff run. That's "speculation" that doesn't require sources.
Cantlay vs. DeChambeau
There's a new rivalry in golf, and network executives and the golf lords couldn't be happier. Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay battled through six playoff holes on Sunday, before Cantlay won the BMW Classic, part of the PGA's FedEx playoff system. What added spice to the battle was DeChambeau calling out Cantlay for moving on the green, while he was preparing for his approach shot on the 14th hole in regulation. The quirky DeChambeau is not talking to the media these days, unless it is directly associated with the PGA - meaning he won't be a guest on one of my podcasts anytime soon - so we don't know why he called out Cantlay. But Cantlay stated it was no big deal and the reason he moved was tournament officials were telling them to speed up play.
DeChambeau, who can be chatty, suddenly shut off any conversation with the less-than-talkative Cantlay, after the incident. When Cantlay won the tournament, the handshake between the two made Putin and Biden look like bosom buddies. The networks, desperate for an angle other than Tiger Woods, couldn't be happier. Look for a future DeChambeau-Cantlay pairing to generate big ratings.
Well, that's it for today. As always, thank you for subscribing to the newsletter and have a tremendous week.