A Look at the candidates who may fit the role of Manager
There has been quite a bit of speculation during the latter part of the 2019 season about the status of Mickey Callaway as Manager of the New York Mets. He was signed to a three-year contract and had one year left on that contract. On Thursday, the organization made it official – parting ways with Callaway.
Callaway had an up and down couple of years and, despite leading the Mets to a winning record this season, it seemed that change was definitely on the horizon. Mickey came over before new GM Brodie Van Wagenen was hired, so it makes sense that he’d be replaced with someone the GM picks himself. In the theatre world, this process could be equated with a “casting call” – where the creative team seek to fill a position with someone who will help bring the show success (hopefully long term). With all of that in mind, here’s a look at some of the candidates the Mets could consider:
The Experienced Veterans
Quite often when theatres are casting upcoming shows, they’ll try to find a performer with some sort of name recognition – someone with an established reputation who may help to sell tickets while also offering a resume filled with experience. There are definitely a few people who would fit the bill in this regard:
Word on the street of late is that he’s looking to jump back into the dugout somewhere, and New York would certainly make sense. He’s got a history in the Big Apple and would definitely be a splashy move for the organization. There may be some questions about Joe’s occasional “edge” with the media and inside the clubhouse, but his knowledge and experience would be a big plus.
Chicago recently parted ways with Maddon but he’s perhaps the most talked about name on the market. Much like Girardi, he’s got an impressive resume and would be welcome in New York. The popular opinion seems to be that he’ll head somewhere out west.
Showalter has 20 years of managerial experience – with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers and Orioles. Ultimately the Orioles 47-115 record in 2018 left him without a job this season. His baseball brain and managerial track record (last season aside) is pretty impressive and, if he’s interested at all, the Mets should at least have a chat with him.
Stars on the Horizon
Typically if a theatre or producing organization doesn’t have a big enough budget to land a name with “star power” they’ll try to find someone who they feel is just as talented but may come at a cheaper price. This is either because they don’t have the name recognition yet, or their resume isn’t quite as extensive/impressive. Several names have been tossed around that could qualify in this category as well:
“Super” Joe McEwing
As most Mets fans know – Joe McEwing was the ultimate “utility guy” during his five seasons with the Mets as a player in the early 2000s – comparable to a Marwin Gonzalez of today. McEwing was a reliable glove and could play almost anywhere on the diamond. He has been a manager in the minors and has always shown promise in that position, working his way up through the Chicago White Sox organization. Currently he serves as their bench coach.
This is another name that definitely resonates with New York – and Mets fans. He had a stellar playing career and wore the home jerseys for both the Yankees and Mets. Of course perhaps the most enduring memory for those who root for the Orange and Blue would likely be the 2006 NLCS against the Cardinals – where he struck out looking against Adam Wainwright to end the Mets season. He’s been working as a special adviser to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Speculation is that he’s not really interested in the Mets (or any other) managing job at the moment.
While Joe’s name certainly isn’t “household”, he does have a very good reputation. And that continues to grow while he’s been working with the Astros. He’s currently their bench coach. He’s served various other organizations in other coaching positions, and is considered one of the top managerial candidates out there.
The Undiscovered Stars
Once theatres exhaust possibilities with proven talents and name recognition, they will search for those “diamonds in the rough”. These are people who have plenty of talent, but are “unheralded” for one reason or another. Maybe they’re fresh out of school and have only just started auditioning. Perhaps they just haven’t landed the right role yet – that perfect match between actor and role that succeeds in making them a household name while also launching the production to great success. GM Brodie Van Wagenen has indicated he’d prefer someone with a proven managerial track record. He also conceded that he’d be willing to think “outside the box” as well.
Another former player with the Mets, Ventura does have some managerial background (with the Chicago White Sox). His history in Queens and his good relationship with the Wilpons could help his case.
Currently a commentator with YES Network, Cone is another one of those players who’s familiar to fans both in Queens and the Bronx. He’s got a likable personality, is known to be an “analytics guy” and said he would be willing to interview if asked.
I don’t really need to say more than the man’s name in order to generate excitement in the Mets fanbase. He’s currently serving as a special assistant to our very own GM. Although he doesn’t have any actual managerial experience at the moment.
I could go on and on and on. There have been numerous other names discussed and/or mentioned as possible candidates – Dusty Baker, Brad Ausmus, Luis Rojas – just to name a few. Personally, I think Girardi has the inside track. It would make the most sense for the club to bring in someone with an established track record. Whatever happens, I hope it proves to be a move that the Mets will build on heading into next year. The team has a pretty solid cast to work with, from Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to wunderkind Pete Alonso. I’m looking forward to seeing who gets the part and how much success they bring back to Queens.
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