PORT ST. LUCIE — The happiest man in baseball, as Brandon Nimmo has come to be known over the years, is ready to embrace the hate that he expects to come with being on Steve Cohen’s spend-whatever-it takes Mets.
“We definitely know we’re going to have that target on our back,” Nimmo said during an interview at his locker on Tuesday. “It comes with the territory, and I’m good with it.
“We want to be the best and people want to take down the best. I want to be the team that other teams want to take down. You’ve gotta take pride in that. You’ve gotta be up for the challenge and be willing to prepare so that you’re ready every day, because we’re going to get everyone’s A game.”
It might be premature to label these Mets as the new Evil Empire, considering they haven’t won anything yet, but with Cohen raising the payroll to record-setting levels, outspending even the Yankees by nearly $70 million, according to Spotrac, it’s hard not to make at least some comparison to the nickname that George Steinbrenner’s big spending inspired two decades ago.
Indeed, Nimmo laughed and said it reminded him of a time when he grew up in Wyoming rooting for someone to knock off the big, bad Yankees.
“I don’t know, we might be (the new Evil Empire),” he said. “With Steve making a lot of splashes in the offseason, there are a lot of similarities. We’re doing what the Yankees always used to do: We’re going for it.
“Growing up I rooted for the Rockies, but I had friends who were diehard Yankee fans. I’d say to them, ‘You’re just a Yankees fan because they’re buying their players.’ It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like them. But they were portrayed as the Evil Empire and I was like, ‘Someone go beat them.’
“We’re kind of that team now. I know Steve wants to build, he wants to make the minor league system one that produces great players, but for now he’s like, ‘This is we’ve gotta do it. We’ve gotta compete.’ And I’m really happy to be a part of that.”
He should be after Cohen committed to retaining Nimmo as a free agent by signing him to an eight-year, $162 million contract, as his value soared at least partly due to the scarcity of quality center…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at MLB Baseball News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games…