Cohen will be disappointed if Mets don't win World Series in '3-5 years'
Steve Cohen made his first major public appearance as the New York Mets' owner when he held court at a press conference Tuesday.
He touched on a number of hot-button topics, but it all came back to his desire to field a competitive team. While he sees it as a long-term process, Cohen also wants to win as soon as possible.
"If I don’t win a World Series in the next three to five years - I’d like to make it sooner - I would consider that slightly disappointing," he said.
Here are some of the press conference's highlights. Cohen's quotes have been condensed for space and clarity.
"I'm not going to talk about a budget today. I do believe this is a major-market team and should have a budget commensurate with that.
"I can promise you we're going to act like a major market team. Are we going to act like drunken sailors in the marketplace? No. We want to be thoughtful. You can spend a lot of money today and tie up your team for the next five years.
“You build champions, you don’t buy them.”
On owning the Mets
"I plan to make the investments we need to succeed.
"I'm not trying to make money here. Here, it's about building something great, building something for the fans, winning.
“I’m going to be an owner who builds a team that has continued success. We want to build a blueprint for winning.
"I'm all in. Let's go Mets."
On manager Luis Rojas
Cohen passed questions to Sandy Alderson about Rojas' future as manager. Alderson said Rojas is "very likely" to stay on as skipper in 2021, but the club's future president of baseball operations will have a say regarding who manages.
"What we're looking for is the most accomplished baseball person we can find," Alderson said of the search for the president of baseball ops.
On current roster
“I think we have a really good core of players already. We have a really good base," said Cohen.
“We need to fill catching and need more pitching.
"We have the best pitcher in baseball and that helps a lot. We have a lot of good young players to build around. But results speak for themselves."
On the club's future
"I'm trying to build a sustainable franchise. I don't want to be good one year and bad three years. I want to be good every year.
"We want to hold onto our farm system. Draft well, develop our players, and hold onto them.
"I don't just want to get into the playoffs. I want to win a championship.
“I’m going to be an owner that builds a team that has continued success.”
"That's one of the areas we want to upgrade. I use data and analytics at my business at Point72, and the Mets do that today, but we want to build on that.
"We combine analytics with the human component. I'm not going to second guess what the Rays did. They got to the World Series. It was a heck of a team ... they stuck to their game plan. I would argue it was hard to deviate from the game plan that got them to the World Series."
On what team he'd like to emulate
"I like what the Dodgers are doing. They have a really strong farm system."
On his role with the front office
“I played Little League once. That’s about it. I’m gonna let the professionals, Sandy, and the people we bring in, let them run baseball.
"I don't just sit back and accept mediocrity.
"I'm not a micromanager. I hold my people accountable, but I give them a lot of rope to run.
"We don't want to be run in an autocratic way."
On the relationship with fans
"These are smart fans. They know what they're talking about. And if they're emotional, that means they care. I think it's phenomenal.
"I'd rather have emotional fans that are passionate than fans that don't care."
On Mets culture
"I want professionalism. I want integrity. I want to hire the best and brightest. I want to develop a great farm system, develop our players. And let's not forget the fans. When they interact with me, (I want their experiences) to be extraordinary."
On the Yankees
"I'm not competing against the Yankees. This is the Mets. We're going to create our own excitement. I'm competing against 29 other clubs.
"The Yankees have a great history. They've won 27 championships, 28? That's impressive."
On his Mets fandom
A lifelong Mets fan, Cohen was tasked with naming some of the most memorable moments from his fandom. In addition to sitting in the upper deck at Shea Stadium with friends, he listed three specific moments. In true Mets fashion, not all were positive:
- Freeman mulling agent change after 'emotional time' in Atlanta
- Angels' Bradley fractured elbow falling out of dugout in brawl with M's
- Rockies rough up Kershaw during another win vs. Dodgers
- Tucker homers, Valdez goes 8 strong as Astros romp Mets
- Woodruff fans 10 in return from IL to help Brewers top Rays