We knew there would be some changes in store when Steve Cohen succeeded Fred Wilpon as majority owner of the Mets. Last year the Mets unveiled a breathtaking, state-of-the-art clubhouse as part of a $57-million renovation of the team’s spring training facility in Florida. The new spring-training digs in Port St. Lucie came with one important stipulation—players on the minor-league side weren’t allowed anywhere near it.
This was meant to be a motivation tactic, inspiring players to work hard in hopes of someday living like kings in the majors, swimming in an ocean of blue carpet, surrounded by flat-screen televisions, cozy leather furniture and roomy lockers with plenty of storage space. Giving big-leaguers first dibs during spring training is one thing, but barring the team’s minor-league players from using the clubhouse when the Mets are in New York seems ludicrous and frankly insulting. Did the Wilpons think all the zit-faced minor-leaguers in St. Lucie would drag in mud and stain the furniture with their orange, Cheeto fingers?
Seeking to improve on the previous ownership regime, Cohen opened the Mets’ major-league clubhouse to players on the Low-A St. Lucie Mets, who host Jupiter in their home opener Friday night at Clover Park. Noah Syndergaard, who continues to rehab at the team’s spring training complex (he underwent Tommy John surgery last March) in preparation for his expected midseason return, snapped a photo of the new clubhouse configuration for his Instagram story.
Minor-leaguers still aren’t being paid enough for their services, but at least Mets farmhands have the Taj Mahal of clubhouses to look forward to when they come through St. Lucie.