NY Mets: Fixing the leadership issue starts with the manager

If there’s one thing most people will agree was a weakness of Luis Rojas it was his lack of leadership. The now-former manager of the New York Mets was well-liked from start to finish during his tenure as the club’s skipper. However, as everyone noticed, he never really seemed to have the pulse of the roster.

Rojas was a kind manager and one who seemed to rule with whatever the opposite of an iron fist would be. He played the oblivious card when asked about the thumbs-down fiasco. It was often his go-to move whenever things were getting out of control and it became clear that the inmates ran the asylum in the home team dugout at Citi Field.

Confirming the lack of leadership in the clubhouse, Aaron Loup and Jeff McNeil each spoke about it. While they didn’t mention Rojas specifically and commented more on the lack of a leader from the players, it’s important that the main general in any clubhouse is the manager.

The Mets need a different kind of manager

Before there was Rojas softly managing the Mets and letting players do pretty much whatever they wanted, the team was managed by Mickey Callaway. His other issues aside, he suffered from a lot of the same problems as Rojas.

Callaway joined the Mets with an overly positive vibe. It was a huge contrast from Terry Collins who seemed bred from the old-school way of managing a baseball team.

The Mets haven’t exactly had the best of luck since Collins departed following the 2017 season. The 86-76 2019 team is the best they’ve done and even they finished 11 games out of first place.

The manager is hardly the sole bearer of the blame. The teams haven’t been built brilliantly. Injuries have gotten in the way. Transactions have come up short of meeting expectations.

The main difference in the 2017-2021 era is the lack of David Wright. He played only a pair of games back in 2018. His presence is greatly missed and the team has yet to replace what he brought to the organization behind the scenes.

Throwing Noah Syndergaard’s lunch in the trash (with an assist from Bobby Parnell) is hardly going to win the team a championship. However, it keeps players in check. The lack of accountability seemed to be lacking with the Mets last year. And according to McNeil, who has been with the club since mid-2018, the guy to call them out for their nonsense has never been there.

The next great Mets leader

It seemed like Pete Alonso was well on his way to becoming the next captain of the Mets. A different kind of leader, I imagine it might have been a little tougher for him to lead with the added presence of Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez to this year’s locker room. It’s not that they are to blame but with Alonso still trying to grow into a bigger leadership role with the club, it has to be tough for a more veteran and established star to join the franchise and tell them what to do.

Players will always have 26 different personalities. Expecting one to rise above the rest is a huge favor to ask. It’s precisely why you want to hire a manager that can do this.

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Someone in the Mets locker room will need to take charge. Rather than wait for it to happen naturally, hiring the right manager fixes things quickly and stops any lunches from getting eaten in the wrong places.