Mazzilli Doesn’t Sound So Amazin’ To Me

An article by posted on September 18, 2010

Veteran writer Bill Madden of the Daily News, thinks the Mets should hire Lee Mazzilli. He says that Bobby V will cost the Mets too much money and that the Mets front office is hesitant to move Wally Backman from A-Ball to the major leagues in one fell swoop.

While I do agree with Madden on Wally and Bobby, I must draw the line on Lee Mazzilli.

I’ve NEVER been convinced in his ability to manage and I’m not looking for the Mets to tangle themselves up with a personality that could come off too strong and too cocky which was a big knock on Mazzilli from what I have read.

Did you know that several of his players, including Sammy Sosa himself, referred to Maz as Mr. Mazzilli when referring to him to the media, even on the day he was fired? Mr. Mazzilli? That just shows what a terrible disconnect existed between him and his players, and how estranged the player/manager relationship had become. 

There is way too much Joe Torre in him, and the Mets simply don’t have the kind of a team that can run on auto-pilot or a team that wins a majority of their games with three-run homers.

I still can’t get over the fact that he frequently would take cigarette breaks during a game. I mean, what’s up with that? Would he tolerate that from any of his players?

There’s more…

Matt Cerrone of Mets Blog. had concerns about how Mazzilli can get “snippy” with reporters sort of like Willie Randolph did. But he now believes that maybe his brief time with SNY may have given him a new found respect for reporters and therefore a much improved manner in dealing with them.

That may or may not be true, but his like or dislike of the media is not what bothers me most about Mazzilli. But even when he did work as an analyst for SNY, you sometimes saw how emotional he could get in discussing a loss or making a point. There was an apparent disdain for his co-host Matt Yallof and several times they locked horns and it was very tough to see Maz get visibly red with anger. I always thought it was one of the reasons why SNY didn’t retain his services, although I’m sure they would never cop to that.

Mazzilli is not a very good leader, and even his own coaching staff had problems with his standoffish style and the frequent breakdowns in communications. An article from the Washington Post written halfway through his FIRST season as manager of the Orioles reads,

According to clubhouse sources, Mazzilli’s relationship with his coaches is distant at best, cool at worst. “He doesn’t engage them in any strategy discussions,” one source said. “He does what he wants to do.”.

In another article by the same Washington Post, they write:

While Mazzilli is only halfway into his first season, already one critical component of a manager’s security — his hold over his players’ faith — is in question, as two veteran Orioles, neither of whom would agree to be identified, said last week that Mazzilli has lost the clubhouse. “A couple of things frustrate guys in the clubhouse. I will say that,” said Sidney Ponson, who declined to elaborate.

It looks to me that Mazzilli couldn’t even make it through the honeymoon period, and that was in Baltimore, imagine him as manager of the Mets… Perish the thought.

Look, I’ve said this over and over and over again on this site. Can we please stop using a managerial candidate’s Mets ties as a prerequisite for the job?

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About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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