Steve Cohen says Mets fans ‘have been through worse’ as he sees signs of a turnaround

LONDON — Steve Cohen spent the last week in the U.K. attending to business with his hedge fund. As the weekend arrived, the Mets owner celebrated the London Series by becoming a local in the pub scene and mingling with the fans.

And as badly as the season has unfolded for his underperforming team, Cohen said the Mets’ fan base has “been through worse” over the years.

“The fans, they love the Mets and they came all the way over here because they love the Mets and care about the Mets,” Cohen said Sunday before the Mets played the Phillies at London Stadium. “They are in good spirits. … The fans have been through worse and trying to break that history. They are great and certainly are going to be here for the team.”

Mets owner Steve Cohen (l.) talks to manager Carlos Mendoza (r.) on the field in London. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Mets owner Steve Cohen (r.) speaks to former outfielder/third baseman Bobby Bonilla (l.) on the field in London. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Cohen noted the fact the Mets began play nine games below .500, but also was cognizant of the wild-card race. On that count, the Mets were only four games behind for a playoff berth.

Last season the Mets dismantled after the All-Star break, unloading veteran stars, but talk of what might happen at the trade deadline this year will have to wait, according to Cohen.

“I am focused on winning games right now,” Cohen said. “We can worry about the trade deadline, that is seven weeks away, that is 45-50 games and a lot can happen so the focus right now is on the season and winning games and we’ll worry about [the trade deadline] when the time comes.”

But Cohen acknowledged the goal should be more than just sneaking into the postseason.

“You certainly want to have high standards,” he said. “If you got into the playoffs and you are four games under .500, it’s nice to make the playoffs and anything can happen, you know that. But still we would say, ‘Wow that was not optimal.’ Probably not the way you would envision it. But a lot of games left. I think the team is starting to show signs.”

Cohen praised his front office, led by president of baseball operations David Stearns for shrewd decision-making. Stearns was hired at the end of last season after building perennial playoff teams in Milwaukee.

A Mets fan during the seventh inning stretch on Saturday in London. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor throws out a batter during a loss to the Phillies in London on Saturday. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

The Mets’ recent addition of backup catcher Luis Torrens for $100,000 was cited by Cohen as an example of the shrewd moves orchestrated by Stearns.

“The decision-making that is going on with the Mets is a lot sharper than it has been in the past, much more concise,” Cohen said. “A prime example is we bring in Luis Torrens and … he really helps us win a game. And when you are fighting for a playoff spot, winning one game or winning two games really matters. I like what I see, but unfortunately it’s going to take time.”

The Mets’ attendance decline of 25 percent at Citi Field has been among MLB’s steepest and Cohen acknowledged that is in direct correlation to the manner in which the team has performed.

“It’s about winning,” Cohen said. “Winning solves a lot and frankly that’s what we are going to have to do. New York City is a competitive marketplace. There’s lots to do in New York, and to get fans to come out to the stadium you have got to give them a good product and something to get excited about. We have been spotty about that.”

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