Buck Showalter won't be back in 2024 and no one is all that surprised. The move was inevitable with the New York Mets hiring David Stearns to the vacant President of Baseball Operations position. Keeping Showalter would have made him a lame duck we'd already expect to leave after 2024.
Showalter's tenure with the Mets brought a ton of excitement after two straight first-time managers who appeared out of their element. Despite lacking a World Series ring, he had oodles of experience Mets fans were craving.
Unfortunately, all fans were treated to was one great regular season and a very disappointing one. The Showalter era in New York is now over. What grade does his tenure deserve?
Give the NY Mets tenure of Buck Showalter a C-
Showalter was the perfect match for the 2022 Mets. He had an old-school baseball intelligence. Time off from working as a skipper seemed to reinvigorate him. The Mets felt like the smartest team on the field. Player chemistry appeared strong. We couldn't have asked for anything more.
The Mets came up short in the postseason but weren't deterred from improving in the offseason. After all, Showalter was the 2022 NL Manager of the Year. He seemed like a capable manager to lead them further in 2023.
Showalter deserved a solid A in year one. But this was a two-part project. In terms of results, decisions, and his own interest at times, 2023 felt like a failure.
It's like Showalter wrote up a brilliant essay that was supposed to be a diorama. The incompleteness of his two years with the Mets is obvious. Three postseason games can at best earn him an average grade. Because he seemed checked out for so long in 2023, we can tally on the minus.
How much a major league manager even matters these days is up for debate. With Buck, those frustrating lineups weren't always on him. Nor was every bullpen decision that had us pulling out our hair. For sure, the front office had their say along the way.
As badly as it ended, you won't find too many people who have anything bad to say about Showalter. Was he perfect? Far from it. But he was another one of those additions to give the Mets legitimacy. It helped transition us further away from the Wilpon regime.
Showalter may have managed his last big league game ever. If so, baseball fans everywhere appreciate the ride. This includes Mets fans who rightfully gave him a proper send off.