In the final stages of 2021, the New York Mets reveal their new manager, heading into 2022, Buck Showalter. The Mets were looking to upgrade their team-conductor, and chose who they thought is the best fit; but what options were left on the table?
In the fall of 2021, the New York Mets parted ways with, now former team manager, Luis Rojas. Rojas and the Mets concluded the season 3rd in the National League East, with a 77-85 record, below .500. The beginning of the Mets year was promising, grasping 1st-place in the east for months until the injuries and downfalls started to pour down. Rojas’ contract option was not pursued.
Buck Showalter was the announced as the top-guy for the Mets Skipper position. Showalter started his career as a manager in 1992 with the New York Yankees, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Texas Rangers, and most recently the Baltimore Orioles. He’s managed a total of 3069 games with a record of 1551-1517, and a .0506 W-L%. Looking specifically at the National League, he went 250-236 with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2000; 2 out of 3 of those seasons has above .500 finishes.
Now, we could talk stats, numbers, track records, and all that fun stuff, however, that doesn’t define a “guy for the job” skipper. The positives behind Showalter is his experience as a manager in the toughest division in baseball; the American League East, both early with the Yankees, and recently in Baltimore. He’s now arguably managing in the toughest National League Division. Another experience is managing in New York City; he’s done this a train-ride away, and now comes to Queens. Overall, the Mets did find a solid guy for the job, but what names were left in the bread-basket?
Potential Managers the New York Mets Left on the Table
After years of professional playing experience, Don Wakamatsu took to coaching in the league, beginning in Texas, with the Rangers as a bench coach. He was also the bench coach for the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays. Don had a 2 year managerial stint with the Seattle Mariners before scouting for the Yankees. Don Wakamatsu holds hands-on field experience within the league and carries great knowledge of the game, its optics, operations, and metrics. He held a managerial record of 130-154 with a .458 W-L%.
Gibbons spent 2 separate stints as manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, 2004-2008 and 2013-2018 for a total of 10 seasons. His second stint was his best, bringing the Blue Jays to their 1st playoff appearance in 2015, since the year of 1993, with an American League East Pennant. He led them back-to-back to the playoffs in 2015-2016. Gibbons proved himself to be managerial material in the show; he also played for the New York Mets in 1984 and 1986. He managed 1582 games with 793 wins and 789 loses.
No one understands baseball as the eyes and ears of Brian Butterfield. He’s been a coach for 24 years in Major League Baseball, primarily controlling the running game and taking acting opportunities by the reigns. He’s coached with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Cubs, and most recently with the Angels. Butterfield has been a part of some phenomenal coaching staffs and successful rosters; he won a World Series with the 2013 Red Sox.
Lovullo was a colleague of Butterfield on the Toronto Blue Jays. Another solid baseball guy with meaningful managerial experience. Matter of fact, Lovullo’s coaching style was very much managing aside from his known development. He’s been a manager with the Arizona Diamond Backs since 2017 to present and holds a career 337-371 record with a .476 W-L% as a skipper.
A Veteran name in the game today; currently a 3rd Base coach and World Series Champion with the Atlanta Braves. He’s managed for 8 seasons, 2007-2014 with the Texas Rangers, 1275 games going a career 664-611. Ron has a great deal of postseason experience, and understands both sides of the league.
Sandy Alomar JR
After his long playing career, Sandy took to managing his first and only time in 2012, followed by coaching from 2008 until now. From 2008-2009, he was actually with the New York Mets. He’s then spent the remainder of years with the Cleveland Indians/Guardians. Sandy was a catcher with baseball IQ and an art for coaching and leading. He’s been a leading candidate for multiple teams hunting for a new skipper; a return to the Mets would have been a great reunion.
I do think Showalter is a solid candidate for the job; however, there was never a struggle to find a good skipper!