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After A’s, Mark Canha Adjusting to Life With Mets


Before a recent game, Mets outfielder Mark Canha gleefully acknowledged the drink in his locker.

He didn’t elaborate on the tea in his paper cup, nevertheless it was clear that he appreciated its availability within the Mets’ clubhouse. The identical went for the food.

“Every meal in here is unbelievably good,” Canha said. “Quality food, each meal. It’s just been amazing. I feel blessed to be here, truthfully. It’s been easy to play here.”

Canha, 33, found himself discussing the differences between life with the Oakland Athletics, his first team, and the Mets. He didn’t have many perks throughout the first seven years of his profession in Oakland, where Moneyball tactics have ceaselessly kept the A’s competitive despite a minimal financial investment within the team.

Now, after signing a two-year, $26.5 million cope with the Mets within the off-season, Canha plays for a team on the alternative end of baseball’s spending spectrum.

The Mets’ $264.4 million opening day payroll, financed by the owner Steven A. Cohen, trailed only the Los Angeles Dodgers’ $280.8 million, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts. The A’s, after trading multiple outstanding veterans, opened with a minuscule payroll of $47.7 million under the ownership of John Fisher. Only the Baltimore Orioles, at $43.6 million, had a smaller budget.

Money doesn’t at all times equate to wins, however the Mets had the very best record within the National League East through Tuesday after pumping a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of dollars into the roster. Canha’s former squad was in last place within the American League West.

“Calm down, all right? Don’t attempt to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls, it’s more democratic.”

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“It’s very difficult to contend once you don’t spend the cash,” Canha said. “What the A’s and the Rays have been capable of do is admirable, but normally the teams that spend, especially nowadays, are those which might be at the highest.”

Canha, who was hitting .287 with a .758 on-base plus slugging percentage, three home runs and 13 R.B.I. ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled game against the St. Louis Cardinals, is considered one of three current Mets who played for the A’s last season. Outfielder Starling Marte also signed as a free agent, while Chris Bassitt, an All-Star right-hander, became considered one of several Athletics to be traded in Oakland’s latest penny-pinching pursuit. Pitcher Sean Manaea and the infielders Matt Olson and Matt Chapman were also shipped out of town.

“I understood the direction I assumed they were going to go,” Bassitt said on the time of his trade. “So I wasn’t surprised.”

The A’s have moved on this direction before, but this particular period in franchise history has led to grievances that stretch beyond the departures of fan favorites. The A’s are last in average attendance at Oakland Coliseum, a product of not only discarded talent and a downtrodden stadium, but additionally increased ticket and parking prices, public distrust of the team’s management and lingering questions over what city the team will call home within the near future.

For a Bay Area native like Canha, it hurts to see his former team stuck in a state of uncertainty. He loved his time in Oakland, but he began to feel the “cloud of mystery” that covered the club toward the tip of his tenure.

“It’s just form of sad, and it jades the entire experience because my time with the A’s was so special, and I’ll at all times have that and I’ll at all times remember it fondly,” said Canha, who was born in San Jose. “I at all times wonder what the hell is occurring. What’s occurring behind the curtains with all these things? Because they are saying a number of things within the media. There’s a lot reporting on the stadium stuff and where the team’s going to be positioned and all these things, nevertheless it’s a lot noise that you simply don’t know what’s really occurring.”

Canha added that the Athletics’ popularity is well-known throughout baseball and that the team’s aversion to spending and its limited resources are usually not exactly attractive.

“It hurts them in that regard because players hear stories and so they’re like, ‘OK, I’m not going to Oakland unless I even have to, unless it’s my only alternative,’” Canha said. “I don’t think it’s a desirable destination for a number of players for that reason.”

Funding shouldn’t be a problem in Queens, not for roster upgrades or for refreshments within the players’ lounge.

“Whatever we would like, we’re getting. He desires to win,” Bassitt said about Cohen when he joined the team. “All of us need to win, so all of us have a standard goal from literally the very top to the underside.”

While Canha didn’t know the team was negotiating with Eduardo Escobar and Marte at the identical time the Mets were figuring out a cope with him, or that Max Scherzer would eventually be brought on board as well, he said that after meeting with Billy Eppler, the overall manager, and Sandy Alderson, the team president, he understood what to anticipate.

“They conveyed that they were planning to spend and be competitive,” Canha said.

Pointless to say, the A’s never did business that way.

Now, watching from afar, Canha cannot help but feel sorry for many who used to cheer him.

“I do know a number of fans are really disenchanted within the organization,” he said of the A’s. “It’s a situation that’s form of disappointing from my perspective, as someone who grew up within the Bay Area.”

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