For the New York Mets, things weren’t supposed to work out like this this season. The Mets began the season with a massive payroll, with a lot of big names expected to make the team a contender for the NL East — and beyond. Currently, the Mets are fourth in the five-team division; they’ve also parted ways with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and five other players. As InsideHook’s Evan Bleier wrote earlier this week, trading away Verlander “essentially ended New York’s season two months early.”
And while observers of the team have pointed to encouraging signs for the Mets in the long term, it’s not difficult to see why many Mets fans are unamused by this turn of events. Cue the team’s owner, Steve Cohen, who wrote a letter to Mets season ticket holders urging patience.
As ESPN reports, that also includes a sense that fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too much for next season, either — in part because of the record-setting amount of money the Mets spent on players for this year’s team. “We will be competitive in ’24 but I think 25-26 is when our young talent makes an impact. Lots of pitching in free agency in ’24. More payroll flexibility in ’25. Got a lot of dead money in ’24,” he wrote.
“You are rightfully disappointed and so are we,” Cohen added.
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It’s never a good sign when a team’s owner goes into full damage-control mode. Cohen’s not the only sports executive to make such a maneuver in recent months — across the Atlantic, Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy also penned a letter to the club’s supporters after a disappointing (or rage-inducing, depending on your perspective) stretch of games.
Cohen reaching out to season ticket holders is an understandable decision, given how the Mets have underperformed relative to expectations. And there’s something to be said for his candor when it comes to managing expectations for next season. Mets fans have had a lot of patience in recent years — and we’re about to see just how much more of it they have left to give.