PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBSNewYork) – The Mets circled Friday on their calendar right after the final out of the World Series — and so did their fans.
As you’d expect, there was plenty of excitement as the team’s first full-squad workout of the season took place. But as CBS2’s Otis Livingston reported, the energy actually got started when Yoenis Cespedes entered the complex.
Cespedes arrived in the 2016 Jeep Wrangler he had delivered to him at 1 a.m, the fifth different “wow” car he’s driven to camp this week. The Jeep was customized with a pumping sound system and baseball-themed seats and wheels, bringing the value of the vehicle to $85,000.
“With this guy, you can never underestimate it,” said Alex Vega, owner of The Auto Firm, which has customized several cars for the Cuban slugger.
Then it was on to business, as the Mets took the field for the first time together since dropping Game 5 of the World Series. They believe this is the start of the journey back to the Fall Classic.
“(What) we went through last year with losing the World Series, you don’t need any more motivation than that,” captain David Wright said. “You now understand how hard it is to get to that point. You understand the work that’s put in. I think that that starts here.”
And as they’ve done since pitchers and catchers reported last week, the fans turned out in droves.
“The expectations are World Series. Nothing else,” said Mike Sidlowski, of Manhattan.
“We’re going to beat the hell out of all of them,” added Robert Wehrenberg, of Port St. Lucie.
“Being a frustrated Mets fan, it was one of the best things ever,” John Coakley, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, said of the team’s World Series march last season.
Said manager Terry Collins: “They (the players) deserve the response they got today. You walked out there, and those people are cheering and yelling and clapping, and those guys needed that. They needed to see our fan base.”
Ace pitcher Matt Harvey said the fan turnout has not gone unnoticed, adding it makes the Mets want to win for them.
As for Cespedes’ car collection, his camp told CBS2 that he will have his best car yet Saturday, but wouldn’t give any details.