Buck Showalter is doing such a good job of his first few weeks as Mets manager, one wonders why he was relegated to television for three straight seasons after being let go by the Orioles. And why, precisely, did his former Yankees team not think of bringing him back?
Well, actually they did. But only for a second or two.
Showalter’s name came up early and at least briefly in a discussion between a few high-ranking brass after Aaron Boone’s contract expired and the Yankees were discussing their managerial job internally. While the Yankees seemed to be taking a surprisingly long time to finalize Boone’s deal, Buck proved to be little more than a fleeting thought in a very brief discussion of other alternatives. The Yankees weren’t about to retire Boone.
The Mets really are the team that needed a shock, and Buck is delivering just that. The Yankees didn’t demand that.
It was Brian Cashman’s call, as it should be, and the very longtime general manager was fully and naturally behind Boone.
The Yankees gave Boone a three-year extension after a regular season where they again exceeded expectations and a playoff where they again disappointed.
Boone has an overall won loss record (top five all-time) and is considered an outstanding employee. In other words, he’s generally good at following directions from the front office, which is now power, not just with the Yankees, but with most teams.
Meanwhile, Showalter is known as a baseball scholar, certainly at 161st and River better than anywhere. But he’s also been known to want things done his way, which could explain how someone so brilliant in baseball has been fired four times before, including by owner’s father Hal Steinbrenner in 1995. And why he spent three years at the MLB Network rather than the Dugout.
Bringing Showalter back after a 27-year absence would have made headlines, but the Yankees played it safe, surprising no one.
In the end, it’s the Mets’ win. In their own search, there was some support for Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, heated debate and perhaps even a brief split, although owner Steve Cohen was firmly in Buck’s camp and the Mets finally agreed to unanimously select Showalter – a recent finalist. to Joe Maddon and Joe Girardi.
Now at 10-3 with Showalter in the dugout (they lost on Wednesday when he was absent for a medical intervention; he returned the next day and they say he is fine), it is almost unanimous in five boroughs : it was the right choice.
Showalter set the necessary tone by charging out of the dugout after Mets stars Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso were punched in the face, and impressed everyone by using the rulebook to secure a run against the D’backs . People suggest that Showalter has a “lifespan”. But as one Mets person said, “The right guy at the right time.”
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