As the New York Mets go on the hunt to find their next general manager, there’s really just one qualification the fans are looking for.
When the New York Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen as the general manager following the 2018 season, plenty of fans already had a bad feeling in their stomach. After all, how could a former agent possibly succeed as the general manager of a Major League Baseball team?
The naysayers and Brodie haters were proven right over time. Van Wagenen was anything but successful during his time as the team’s general manager. Several of his most notable transactions may only get worse as time goes on.
But enough about Brodie. It’s time to move on. There’s new ownership in town. There’s a chance to do things right. It starts by hiring a general manager that meets this one qualification: experience.
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Although plenty of the Van Wagenen hate had to do with the way he came off publicly, the more sensible reason to question him was his lack of experience on the job. He wasn’t a front office person. The Wilpons seemed to pluck him out of nowhere and insert him into a job he was not qualified for.
The next Mets general manager doesn’t need to be a veteran of the job. He doesn’t even need to have a day on the position. Whoever it is they hire does, however, need to have some level of experience of front office work.
Ask a room full of Mets fans who they want to be the next general manager and likely you’ll get a few different responses. Some may want a newer name like Billy Owens. Others may prefer a proven commodity like Theo Epstein.
The name is just that—a name. What all Mets fans want from their next general manager is a guy who has earned the position by paying his dues through hard work.
Van Wagenen, while possibly a fantastic agent, never did that. It backed him into a corner early with the fans. The results eventually knocked him down.
Not everything Van Wagenen touched turned to dust. The J.D. Davis trade worked out well. He also made some intriguing draft picks in two chances.
He was never prepared for the task at hand, though. Merely a figurehead without the ability to do much without approval from Jeff Wilpon, Van Wagenen’s true abilities as a general manager will never be known.
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And quite frankly, I don’t think there’s a Mets fan out there who care.