I admit that the whole process associated with picking the new manager of the Mets is like root canal for me, situational substitution for a guy who has been in the baseball business for over thirty years should come as second nature, and there should be very little difference between Backman, Melvin and Collins. My personal favorite would have been Oquendo, a guy that hit .256 lifetime and was the first player in Mets franchise history to play for the team that was actually younger than the team, he was born in 1963. You would think that spending time with Tony LaRussa would have some benefits and that he would not have spent as much time with the Cardinals, if he didn’t have something going on. He has had managing experience in the minor leagues and in the World Baseball Classic. Seems as though he has all of the qualifications that Sandy Alderson characterized to all of us on SNY last week.
I don’t mean to overstate the benefit of the manager, as a fan, I should not be telling him to switch righty vs lefty in the late innings in a one run game when we are at home, or letting the starting pitcher stay in the game when he tells the manager that he can pitch another inning. After all, I am just an overweight baseball fan sitting at home watching my team, having never been paid to play the game that I love.
My analysis is simply this, does the guy get as much as he can out of the players he has been given and do they want to give everything they have for him, it really is that simple. I really want to know what the guy can do with the crappy players on the bench as opposed to being the Yankees and getting the guy they want because they can afford a mid season payroll increase, didn’t work this year for them, did it?
Take Bobby Valentine for example, his starting lineup during the great run in 2000 included names like Todd Zeile, Benny Agbayani, Jay Payton and Mike Bordick. With pitchers like Glendon Rusch, Rick Reed and Al Leiter. Not exactly the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. But you get the picture.
Terry Collins finished in second place every year that he managed except one. When managing for the Astros his lineup had players like Tony Eusebio, Orlando Miller, Dave Magadan and a pitching staff of Shane Reynolds, Doug Drabek, Greg Swindell and Mike Hampton, before he was Mike Hampton, not a bad staff. Hint Sandy, maybe it is pitching that wins, just ask Brian Sabean in San Francisco.
Well, we can all over analyze this, but if the dream team front office of Alderson, DePodesta and Ricciardi give the field manager a Sabermetric roster, the manager will be fine, and any of the above managers will be a good choice and only time will tell, unless of course Carlos Beltran looks at a call strike three in the final game of the playoffs with the bat hanging on his shoulder like he did in 2006 NLCS.