Giving Mets GM Billy Eppler a chance to prove himself
By Tim Boyle
A more pessimistic person might be waiting to find out that Billy Eppler was somehow D.B. Cooper and this latest hiring by the New York Mets is another disaster waiting to happen.
I’m not going to think like that. Not this time. I’m going to reserve my judgment until Eppler makes some moves and maybe works a little bit of the Disney magic he carries with him over from Anaheim.
Despite not having much success with the Los Angeles Angels with a stacked roster—at least on paper—it’s way too soon to view Eppler as a bad hire for the Metropolitans of New York.
Mets fans gave peace a chance, why not Billy Eppler?
Baseball executives are like relief pitchers. Some years, you never know what you’re going to get from them.
Eppler was hired to become the general manager for the Angels in an exciting time for the franchise. Mike Trout was already on the roster and building around him was priority number one.
The results couldn’t have been much more disappointing. The Angels haven’t made the postseason since 2014, way back when Eppler was still working for the New York Yankees as an assistant general manager. I understand why some Mets fans might be hesitant to jump for joy with this acquisition. You could argue Eppler has done less with more than any other person in his position.
If at first you don’t succeed…
Eppler is different from many of the recent general manager hires the Mets have made. Vastly so from Brodie Van Wagenen who joined the organization with zero experience in the position, Eppler also has a leg up on Jared Porter and Zack Scott—the pair who helped build the 2021 Mets and were dismissed for two different reasons.
The success Eppler has with the Mets hinges largely on how well he may learn from his mistakes. Blank checks didn’t win in Los Angeles. It won’t do the same in the Big Apple.
Like some sort of Samurai or soldier of fortune, I like to imagine Eppler took 2021 off to reflect on his mistakes and rethink what it takes to build a winner. I’m sure there was some sitting around and feeling sorry for himself. All firings involve a few tears and a couple of bags of Cheetos.
For Eppler, I’m going to give him a clean slate. I won’t worry about the lack of pitching the Angels added in all of his years with the team. Their lack of winning doesn’t have to carry over to this new position. I’ll hold my worry until after he makes a huge blunder in a trade or overpays for a dud free agent. Only then will I allow the floodgates of criticism to open up.
Until then, welcome to the Mets, Billy!