Yoenis Cespedes should keep his hat backwards

A recent article by Joel Sherman of the New York Post criticized the New York Mets organization for the way they let Yoenis Cespedes act around camp, and the way that the team handles media relations in general. As you can see, Sherman is not very fond of the fact that not only is Cespedes free and easy around camp, but also that he is hard to get to from a media standpoint.

Having been in the locker room after Seton Hall basketball games and being told I only have access to a select few players, I understand Sherman’s frustration. However, its mutually understood that it is a privilege to be in a locker room after a game, and you are lucky to have access to the players you get to speak to.

What I can’t understand is Sherman’s disgust at thee free-bird mentality that Cespedes displays. Sure, there have been times when Cespedes has shown a lack of focus or effort during games, and of course his dehydration antics have struck a chord of annoyance that only he would know how to strike. You simply can’t criticize this man and expect him to be someone who he is not, however. The whole backwards hat argument started of course with Ken Griffey Jr., who was one of the most gifted players in the history if the sport.

Griffey was often criticized for wearing his hat in an unconventional way. Griffey of course was an unconventional player. Cespedes of course, is not even in the same league as Griffey in terms of greatness. He does however, wear his hat backwards. Maybe it is because I am younger, but I don’t see a problem with this. If you look at the way Cespedes has clubbed the ball this spring, you can tell that the way that his hat faces has no impact on the way he swings a bat.

As for Cespedes acting loosely around camp, it just seems that he is acting normally. It may even be good for a player like Cespedes, who has seemed to suffer tightness in every muscle in his body, to be a little more loose around camp. Maybe the yoga that he has been doing has helped to encourage such behavior.

The bottom line is that Cespedes doesn’t seem to be distracting the rest of the team by laying down in the grass and wearing his hat backwards. Jay Bruce even said to Sherman that “I have learned not everyone does things the same way.”

It seems that Bruce learned from his stint with a personality-filled Indians squad that different playing styles can come together to be successful. If Bruce brings this lesson back to Flushing, the combination of him and Cespedes could be deadly.

Maybe this would be a different column if it were the regular season and he was struggling, but it’s currently spring training and he is crushing the ball to other galaxies. Its possible that Sherman was looking for something to write a story about, as it does get challenging to do so this time of year. Keep wearing your hat backwards, Cespedes.

16 comments for “Yoenis Cespedes should keep his hat backwards

  1. Mike Walczak
    March 9, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Every player is unique in his own way. That adds to the fun of the game. He has probably worn his hat backwards all of his life. So, who cares.

  2. LongTimeFan1
    March 9, 2018 at 9:15 am

    There are plenty valid complaints about Cespdes over the years, but Sherman’s hunting drama in his recent article, trying to make something out of nothing to attract attention, ripping a player who strives to be NL MVP, gets his work in, and also tries to have fun and challenge his teammates in spring training while doing so.

    So Shame on Sherman. Cespedes has worked hard all offseason trying to get and stay healthy in 2018, has even given up golf and max weight lifting taking his responsibilities to the Mets and Mets fans very seriously. Yet Sherman’s motive is clear – to elevate himself by pointing the finger, make trouble, put Cespedes in negative spotlight for a national audience – rather than letting him get ready for the season without unwarranted attention.. .

    • March 9, 2018 at 9:48 am


      Sherman is so frustrating. I’ve read columns of his that I really like and then he’s also quite capable of drivel like this. You never know what to expect when you see his byline. At least someone like Chass or Lupica, it’s easy to move on to the next story once you see they wrote it.

  3. Chris F
    March 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Its a Spring Training non article. Its not about his hat being backwards. Yes, Sherman wasted time and energy with a waffling, neither good nor bad, right or wrong exercise in futility kind of story. I dont think it has any value, and clearly has distracted from the glaring issue that 1B is a black hole.

    Catching balls behind his back, not doing what the drill is, underhanding balls back when its supposed to be a throwing drill all smack of the lazy play we have seen Ces do, even in the Word Series. I think there is a bit of sending the wrong message to junior players.

    • Dalton Allison
      March 10, 2018 at 12:15 am

      It depends on what the message is that you’re trying to send to junior players. Are you trying to send a message of how a game should strictly be played, or that there is a certain type of behavior that a model baseball player is supposed to exhibit?

  4. Name
    March 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I’m not sure if the players would agree with me, but Spring Training seems too long based on my observation.

    In the regular season, if a position player gets hurt and goes on a rehab stint, the norm is usually 5-7 rehab games and you’re back to the majors. If it’s a major injury you might seem them play 10-14 games, 2 weeks max but that’s pretty uncommon. Let’s give them another week to shake off the offseason rust – so worst case a position player needs 3 weeks to get ready. Yet they are forced to arrive in mid-Feb, 6 weeks before the season starts.

    Relief pitchers i would imagine need a similar timeline. But pointing to a worst case scenario let’s take a look how long it too Familia to get back last year after injury. On July 13th it was reported that he started his throwing program, probably very light throwing, not even pitching. On July 25th, there was report he was going to throw from the mound “soon”. His first official rehab game was on August 16th and he rejoined the majors back on August 23rd. 4 rehab games and showing the ability to throw back-to-back games is all that’s needed from a reliever. If we assume that most RP come into camp shape like what was reported on the 25th rather than starting from zero on the 13th, that’s only 4 weeks that’s needed.

    Now starting pitchers clearly need longer to get ready. Let’s add another 2 weeks to what a RP needs and you get a max 6 weeks required, more likely only 5 weeks needed. But pitchers are required to report 7 weeks prior to the start of real games.

    So to recap
    Hitters – need 2-3 weeks, required 6 weeks
    RP- need 3-4 weeks, required 7 weeks
    SP – need 5-6 weeks, required 7 weeks.

    Clearly Spring Training is meant for SP (Position players who so desire don’t even need to start playing until next week under my theory) as they need most of the allotted time, but maybe there’s a way to shorten it for other players?
    One thought is to allow minor leaguers come in early to face the SP. And then push back the required date for RP/Position players. Because there are less players in camp initially, give the minor leaguers a higher (and livable) stipend for those first few weeks. Most of those guys probably have 2nd jobs in the offseason anyways and would welcome the opportunity to make some extra money playing.

    • Dalton Allison
      March 10, 2018 at 12:17 am

      I agree in that it is too long. We see a risk of injury running way too high. There is hardly ever a competition for a roster spot in camp anymore. However, it does give us an opportunity for us to see a battle like the one between Lagares and Nimmo for a spot in the lineup.

  5. Eraff
    March 9, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    “The Sporting News” is already done by the time you read Print.

    You need in-depth analysis or Dirty Laundry to get a Print Readership…so, there you go. Newspapers will get worse, Sport Sections included.

  6. Pete In Iowa
    March 9, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Griffey v. Cespedes is interesting.
    I don’t recall Griffey turning doubles into singles or triples into doubles by jogging or posing after hitting the ball. Additionally, I can’t ever recall Griffey turning a single into a double or a double into a triple by jogging after balls — or turning an out into an inside-the-parker by being completely unprepared — in the outfield.
    As far as Sherman goes, he is the guy who wants games to be changed to seven innings and have games end in ties rather than playing extra innings. Need I say more?

    • Eraff
      March 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      Pete, we should keep Reality in Mind about these players….maybe focus a bit more on what they are and what they do versus all that they’re not.

      There are no playoffs in 2015 or 2016 without Yo…and He can do and be That again going forward….. I’ll focus on that rather than “imaginary perfect players and people”.

    • Nick
      March 10, 2018 at 12:02 am

      Cespedes is a career 115 games over 500 he has already accomplished more than Griffey

  7. March 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Tom Seaver wore his hat backwards, too. In the words of Lindsey Nelson, “that was the flag signal” that he was relaxed.

    • Jim OMalley
      March 9, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Charlie! Love the Seaver observation!

  8. Madman
    March 9, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Sherman is morphing into his colleague Phil Mushnik.

  9. TJ
    March 9, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Very few players (and workers in overall) are perfect. From a distance via the media, and with the added layer of language barrier, it is very difficult to come to any conclusions as to whether someone is a malcontent vs. unique vs. fun/laid back. It seems that Yo is a little of the unique with a combination of some stubbornness/immaturity. Fifty years ago, this could have been a big issue. Nowadays, the content of Sherman’s article is extremely light if the intent is to call out Cespedes for his “conduct”. Hey, he may rub his teammates the wrong way from time to time, but that can happen to anybody. I also can’t blame any player for limiting media access, and I think it is smart for those that aren’t native English speakers to be even more limited, I know I would. At the end of the day, the press has a job, and it should be respected, but as noted above by Eraff, with modern day technology, covering a team has been more like digging up dirt than reporting.

  10. Chris F
    March 12, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    As I mentioned above, I think a little of the “too cool for school” attitude does have an impact. A guy like Ces can get through things because hes a veteran, and the highest paid OF in baseball. But does that have an effect on junior players not fully playing as if their haor is on fire? Maybe, maybe not, but clearly the new boss aint happy, and just for how long will we connect fundamentally bad baseball and the Mets?

    From Anthony DiComo (MLB)

    Bad fundies

    Displeased with the Mets’ spring fundamentals, Callaway called a team meeting Sunday to discuss a situation he said “hasn’t been ideal.”

    “We have some work to do on our fundamentals,” Callaway said. “We’ve got to throw the ball where we want to throw it. We’ve got to do things a little bit better than what we’ve been doing.”

    Although the new manager said he is still gaining a feel for his players and what they are capable of, he does not like what he’s seen on defense and the basepaths.

    “You have to throw the ball where it’s supposed to go,” Callaway said. “You have to run out balls. That’s going to start happening. There are fundamentals that you have to do to play the game right. We can’t throw to the wrong bag and throw balls away. We have to play the game the right way if we’re going to win. We have to do it better than everybody else.”

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