Olney’s Seven Candidates for Mets GM

An article by posted on August 27, 2009

This morning, Buster Olney has an article for ESPN Insiders that details seven logical candidates to be the next General Manager of our NY Mets. Wait, I thought Wilpon said Minaya was staying? First, if you haven’t learned to not trust what this organization says, I think you’ve been watching and listening to the wrong people. Second, he never really said Minaya would be the General Manager. 

Here are the options according to Olney; 

#1 Billy Beane – I actually wouldn’t mind this. I think what stands in Beane’s way of being successful in Oakland is finances. Theo Epstein is Billy Beane with a bankroll, and he seems to be doing just fine. However, Beane is signed through 2014 and when he turned down the Red Sox job he was offered a small ownership in Oakland. So I don’t see this happening. 

#2 Doug Melvin – He’s signed with Milwaukee through 2012. Melvin is an interesting case. He’s a guy that is in most ways responsible for turning the Brewers franchise into a team that is at least on the radar in the National League. He’s another guy that has proven he can win if he has the financial backing. Imagine if his team had the $ to keep Sabathia? I don’t mind this idea, it’s not mouth watering, but it could work. 

#3 Bobby Valentine – I totally disagree here. I absolutely think he could be a great on-field manager, but not as General Manager. Valentine’s greatest asset is that he can get the most out of his players, and he has a presence in a locker room that commands respect. He’d be better served in uniform, not in a suit. Plus, if he was the choice, the second our manager stumbled, we’d have a Bill Parcells situation where the media tries to push the idea of Valentine coming downstairs to take over. No thanks. 

#4 Tony La Russa – Again, I don’t really get what Olney is doing here. His article is about seven General Manager candidates but he’s about to list 3 straight on-field managers. You want to tell me La Russa would come to New York and bring Dave Duncan? Great. Put him in the dugout where he belongs and is proven to be great. 

#5 Buck Showalter – At least he has more MLB experience in the office than La Russa and Valentine, but again I don’t see it. He’s a great teacher of the game, and has a great baseball mind. However, I don’t see him being the guy who should really be in charge of how the organization is run. Furthermore, he couldn’t get along with ownership with the Yankees (who could other than Torre,) so what makes us think Showalter will enjoy working for the Wilpon’s? 

#6 Pat Gillick – Would be a great option, but he is a pretty loyal guy and I don’t see him coming out of retirement to come to the Phillies rival, and to try to clean up Omar’s mess. It’s worth exploring, but I just don’t see it happening. 

#7 Mark Shapiro – Shapiro is somebody who like Beane could do some great things if he had the finances to back it up. The quote in Olney’s column is, “he is regarded within the industry as one of the game’s best general managers. If the Indians were to ever let him go, he would have a job with another team in about 0.4 seconds.” Frankly, I don’t see the Indians letting him walk when he is signed through 2012. He’d be an exciting GM though. 

So this list is pretty depressing in almost every way. For one, it tells me there is no real hope for the Mets to bring in an experienced General Manager to replace Minaya. Secondly, every candidate is either unavailable or an on-field manager. I get what Olney was trying to do here, but I think he went 0-7 on his list.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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