With one last Brian Wilson fastball and one final swing and a miss by Nelson Cruz in Texas last night, the 2010 MLB season ended. Halle-freaking-luja! Absolutely ridiculous they were still playing baseball in November, but I don’t see that trend ending anytime soon. Enough of the on the field stuff, let’s get down to what we all really care about….Mets Hot Stove baseball.
Following Friday’s meet and greet with Sandy Alderson, the General Manager is now in place. I am guessing sometime before Turkey Day, there will be a new manager in place. In fact, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com is reporting via his twitter feed that Mets may have already begun to speak with managerial candidates over the phone. We all have heard by now that Alderson is not crazy about managers who are strong central figures in the organization (see: Bobby Valentine). Apparently he views the manager as more of a “middle management” figure, or a company man if you will. The real figurehead sits in the front office and the organizational philosophy permeates down from there.
That being said, one line from Alderson’s introductory presser that stuck with me was when he said he is not adverse to a fiery
manager because the manager is part of what makes the game fun for fans. I immediately thought of former Mets hero Wally Backman, who joined the organization last year and managed the Mets Single-A club in Brooklyn. His name has been bandied about for months now, but according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, “friends and former associates of Alderson continue to say they cannot see him hiring Backman because Alderson is analytical and, thus, risk averse.” In case you don’t remember, Backman was hired to manage the Arizona Diamondbacks on Nov. 1, 2004. Four days later he was canned because of numerous revelations regarding sordid details of past transgressions involving drunk driving arrests and domestic issues.
Honestly, I can’t yet say where I stand on the idea of Backman taking the reins at Citi Field. I love the idea of someone with strong ties to the Mets past coming aboard and I also like the idea of a fiery manager willing to kick some ass in the locker room. Too many of the Mets stars (Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Pelfrey) have been coddled by previous regimes and the results on the filed have showed it. You can be rest assured that Backman would pull no punches and likely create a whole new clubhouse culture, something the Mets are in desperate need of. On the other hand, I agree with Alderson’s sentiments that maybe this ballclub should be a bit risk averse right now considering the current off-the-field troubles of
Francisco Rodriguez and the past smears on organization the guys like Tony Bernazzard have caused. Do you really want to take a chance at this juncture on a guy with such a checkered past, not to mention a guy who has absolutely zero major league
managing experience. Unfortunately, all of this is pointing to an uninspiring candidate like former Arizona skipper Bob Melvin or former Rockies manger Clint Hurdle getting the job. I still want to see Bobby V. come back to Flushing, but all signs point in the opposite direction of that happening (even though it appears as if Valentine will not be offered the Milwaukee Brewers managerial position).
With all the positive vibes sent out from the hiring of Sandy Alderson, it appears we must still remember, this is the Wilpon-led New York Mets we’re following here. So it comes as no surprise that this news comes from Rubin on ESPNNewYork.com. Apparently, in a predictable reshuffling of the Mets scouting ranks, the team left professional scout Russ Bove hanging before informing him his contract isn’t being renewed. Via Rubin’s blog post, here is what Bove had to say about how the Mets handled his employment situation:
"“There was no communication letting us know whether we were in or out. They strung us along pretty good. I don’t care I’m fired, but to do it on Nov. 1, after the contracts ran out, is totally unprofessional and unprecedented. I talked to a million people and they never heard of that. To not be able to talk to othe clubs and leave us hanging is pretty low. But I can understand a new guy comes in and wants to bring in his own people.”"
Way to go Wilpon and Son. Just another black mark on an already opaque bunch of folks running the business side of things in Queens.
Next post, I am going to get into how the San Francisco World Series victory relates to how the Mets should look to do business in the coming months in years. It has something to do with pitching, pitching and more pitching!!!