Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Mets' Manager Hunt Goes On... and on.... and on...
You know, I am fairly excited about the Mets' new braintrust. They actually have four guys who are well respected and knowledgable in Sandy Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi, Paul DePodesta and John Ricco. I think just by the first three of that group being hired the Mets are immediately no longer considered a front office full of clown shoes.
Having said that, just what in God's name is taking so long to choose a manager?
One of the better candidates has already been hired by the Pirates (Clint Hurdle) and the fanbase is getting a little antsy. I'm all for taking the time to make the right choice, but this does seem to be getting a little out of hand.
So rumor has it that the finalists are: Wally Backman, Chip Hale, Terry Collins and Bob Melvin. According to some sources, it's mostly a two horse race between Collins and Melvin.
Me? I'd rather see one of the two upstarts get the chance.
I'm wildly in favor of Wally Backman mainly because I like his fire and his attention to basics, which is something I think the Mets could use. His style of play is gritty: full of speed and defense, with smart and aggresive baserunning. I like that sort of play. I also think Backman is the LEAST likey of the four to get the job.
I'm a fan of Hale also. He has a lot of respect from the players and a fresh set of eyes. Everything I have heard about him is excellent.
I'm NOT a fan of Collins (who would be a disaster with the media I think as well as a guy who has a rep of pissing off his veteran players easily) and not too big a fan of Melvin.
So my hope? Is that we see a combo of Hale and Backman. Maybe one as manager and the other the third base coach. Toss Melvin the bench coach job.
I have heard that Alderson feels the team manager job is less important that most teams might think. I'm sure he wants someone who will mostly go along with the team strategy that he will detail. However, he needs someone who will be a bit of a presence, carry excellent communication skills and will handle the media well. I also think he needs someone who will let the team see that there is no longer going to be an crap in the clubhouse and on the field. That the management is on top of things and the players need to worry about playing and nothing else.
I think that describes Backman and Hale more than it does Collins and Melvin.
I have my fingers crossed.