Watching a New Skipper
One of the biggest stories, and later scandals, of this past offseason was who would succeed former Mets manager, Mickey Callaway after two stagnant seasons. Although the initial excitement at the prospect of Carlos Beltrán assuming the position turned to frustration, fans were eager to support Luis Rojas – who should hardly (and isn’t) be seen as a second choice.
The 38-year-old son of 3-time All-Star, Felipe Alou, and brother of former All-Star Moises Alou, was highly regarded for his rise throughout the Mets organization – first as the manager of the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies from 2017-2018, and then as the 2019 Quality Control Coach under Callaway – where he developed close relationships with several of the Mets current major league stars. It’s no surprise then, that Rojas was set to manage his first MLB season.
However, since baseball has been put on hold, Mets fans have literally been missing Rojas’ first season as skipper. We’re also missing how he would have managed the most dynamic Mets roster in years (even more so than the 2015 squad), as this year’s roster is young, dynamic, and not so heavy of veterans.
There were also storylines we looked forward to seeing how our new manager would deal with this season. What was the Stro-show going to be like during Marcus Stroman’s walk-year? Would we have seen Jed Lowrie actually play a series in a Mets uniform for a change? Would Seth Lugo continue his dominant relief in tight situations, or would he excel as a starter (which became a possibility after Syndergaard went down with Tommy John surgery)?
This was also Yoenis Céspedes’ last contractual year in a Mets uniform, and fans had hoped we’d see him on the field once more (mid-season probably since he is still injured). What’s a Mets season though without some intrigue? Watching how Rojas managed the bullpen saga/drama with notable Mets relievers Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia and their possible redemption season would have also been something to see, as his predecessor and his staff never seemed to figure it out.
And of course, everyone was looking forward to Jacob deGrom’s chance at history. But how much of this 60-game season will be taken seriously? Time will tell.