New York Mets: Dwight Gooden rips Yoenis Cespedes

New York Mets, Yeonis Cespedes
Jul 20, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes (52) adjusts his sunglasses during warms up before a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets legend Dwight Gooden pointed his finger against Yoenis Cespedes for the way he handled his decision to opt out of the 2020 season, and said that he doesn’t think it was COVID-19-related.

On Sunday, Aug. 2, Cespedes didn’t show up to the ballpark in the Mets’ game that day, and it was later reported that he wasn’t playing in the season anymore. That day, the team issued a statement saying that the outfielder didn’t tell the team about his intentions.

According to Gooden, the situation could have been handled in a smoother way. He said to the New York Post’s Amazin’ But True Mets podcast that Cespedes “may get blackballed [in baseball] next year and I’m OK with that.”

Leaving the Mets in an uncomfortable position

“Number one, you put yourself in that position by the stuff you’re doing off the field. Now you miss two, three years when they said throughout baseball don’t give this guy a contract and the Mets did it anyway, and that’s the way you show them. You owe those guys. You owe your teammates, bro. That was a weak move. … I can’t agree with him on this move at all. That definitely wasn’t about COVID. I hope I’m wrong. … Now with your reputation, with everything that’s going on you, might get a team that will invite him to spring training. I don’t know. I’m not wishing bad on anybody, but that was just bad.”

The 34-year-old Cespedes hit two home runs, including one in Opening Day, but ultimately hit .161 in eight games before leaving for good.

First baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith has been filling in for Cespedes and has done very well at the plate.
Cespedes signed a free agent deal in November 2016, for four years and $110 millions, but he missed, according to, more than 70 percent of the games after putting ink to paper on the pact.

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