Cohen calm amid Mets' slide: Blowing it up 'doesn't really solve anything'
New York Mets fans hoping for owner Steve Cohen to wield an iron hand and immediately fix his underperforming ball club shouldn't get their hopes up.
With his historically expensive club mired in a seven-game losing streak, Cohen continues to preach patience. The billionaire said Saturday he has no plans to tear down, or even meddle with, the team despite its struggles, adding that he believes that's the wrong way to right the ship.
"When things get really bad, I'm not going to blow up," Cohen told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. "I don't think that's the proper response. I don't think it solves anything other than it gives people a one-day story. But it doesn't really solve anything.
"There's plenty of blame to go around from a performance point of view. So blowing up, I'm not sure it solves anything. It would demonstrate, 'Oh, he really cares. He's one of us.' But the reality is it's not going to solve our problems. And I think in some ways it can be demotivating."
Cohen, who bought the Mets in 2020, became the talk of baseball when he went on a spending spree last winter, throwing unprecedented amounts of money in free agency. The club is poised to pay a luxury-tax bill of over $100 million after soaring past multiple tax thresholds by signing the likes of Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and homegrown stars Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz.
But the star-studded Mets have been a flop so far. Friday's loss dropped manager Buck Showalter's veteran club to four games below .500, and New York is closer to last place (four games up on Washington) than first (9.5 back of Atlanta). Its current seven-game skid is the franchise's longest since 2019. The Mets are also without Pete Alonso for three-to-four weeks after the slugger suffered a sprained wrist earlier this week.
As a new owner who seems to have no restraint when it comes to spending, Cohen has reminded many in New York of late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. But a key difference is Steinbrenner famously fired managers when his high-salaried teams flopped. Cohen, by contrast, appears committed to taking a "thoughtful" approach. The Mets owner said Saturday that he still supports Showalter and general manager Billy Eppler and firmly believes his club can get back on track.
"I don't run any business that way," Cohen said when asked if he'd fire someone to try to kick-start the team. "In my hedge fund, there are moments where we've drawn down really hard for whatever reasons - whether it's markets, whether it's something that we did wrong - it doesn't mean I completely change or let people go. I don't operate that way. These are challenges. This is management. This is the moment where you get to witness how your management deals with problems.
"It's a moment in time, and it doesn't look good," he added. "It looks pretty bad right now. But this is not a bad team."