5. Bud Harrelson, 1991
There have been very few instances in Mets history where a former player had come back to manage. The 1990 Mets was the last go around for the core of players that won a championship in 1986. The expectation was to win the division for the first time since 1988. After an underwhelming 20-22 start to the 1990 season, Cashen made the move to release Johnson and promote Harrelson from third base coach to manager. Though the team missed the playoffs, they did finish with a 91-71 record, 71-49 under Harrelson.
Harrelson received an unfair shake in his first full season as Mets manager in 1991. The team had just lost Strawberry in free agency to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cashen brought in Vince Coleman to replace Strawberry, and let's just say 'disappointing' in an understatement for his performance. Gooden was no longer his dominant self, and Darling was dealt at the trade deadline. Harrelson would not make it through his first full rookie season and was fired with 7 games to go in the season. In all, the Mets record was 74-80 under Harrelson, 77-84 overall.