The Argument for Ken Oberkfell

Amidst all the buzz about who should be the next Mets manager, there is a name that is somewhat under the radar, but gets tossed into the conversation here and there depending on who is talking: Ken Oberkfell.

People like to bring up “Obie” because he has “put in his dues” managing in the Mets farm system for the past several years. And he has managed many current (and possibly future) Mets when they were playing at the lower levels. Is that enough justification to make him manager of the big club? Let’s take a deeper look at this candidate.

Why the Wilpons Like Oberkfell

- He will cost next to nothing
- He fits in with the “building from the farm system” hype
- He is a very safe choice, from the standpoint that he is unlikely to embarrass the organization in any way
- He is a good soldier who is likely to “go with the flow” – i.e., do as he’s told from the powers-that-be
- Owners tend to look good when they “promote from within”
- His hiring would make a nice “rags to riches” story

Why the Fans Like Oberkfell

- He’s not Jerry Manuel
- He’s a relative unknown, and fans like to “discover” people, particularly from the minors
- He is a no-nonsense, blue-collar guy
- He’s from the Mets farm system
- They also like the “rags to riches” / “loyal hard worker finally getting his due” story

Why Ken Oberkfell is Not Getting More Attention as a Candidate

- He is not particularly flamboyant or a big personality
- He does not have any MLB experience as a manager
- He has not done anything noteworthy / newsworthy
- He has a career record of 676-708 (.488) in 10 seasons as a minor league manager

For me, that last fact is the one that removes Oberkfell from serious consideration. I don’t believe it makes sense to promote someone simply for showing up and hanging around for a long time. That may sound harsh, and of course Oberkfell does more than just “show up”, but the point is, he hasn’t shown the ability to lead a group of men to consistent winning. I’m sure he knows how to win as a player — he does have a World Series ring — but that doesn’t mean he can translate that knowledge as a manager. Certainly, his minor league record does not give an indication that he’s a “winner”. Including this year at Buffalo, Oberkfell has managed a team to a record above .500 four times in ten seasons. He managed one team to a first-place finish — the 2007 New Orleans Zephyrs.

I know what the argument is going to be: “But in the minors development comes before winning, so you can’t judge Oberkfell on his won-loss record”. Let’s put aside for a moment the stupidity of that kind of thinking, and say this: if you can’t judge a manager based on his won-loss record, then what DO you judge him on? His personal knowledge of players? Because he’s done a good job of developing players’ skills? OK, then you will have a manager who knows the players and can help them with their skills. But there is no evidence of the connection between those skills and winning ballgames — you’re taking a shot in the dark that someone who has spent ten years “developing skills” but not worried about winning, is suddenly going to be able to win games with people whose skills should already be fully developed.

I am of the opinion that young players can and should learn to win while they are “developing” their skills. Moreover, the two go hand-in-hand: winning IS part of a player’s “development”. Yes, there is the issue of the illogical pitch count limits that can affect a game, but every minor league manager has to deal with that, and the great managers find ways to win by getting the most out of their entire roster. That’s what winning is all about, actually — conquering challenges by adapting and adjusting to constantly fluid situations.

There is the other argument that Oberkfell’s losing records are due to not having enough talent to win. That could be true. And if it is, there are two problems. First, if Oberkfell hasn’t had talented teams in 9 of his 10 years, will he know what to do with a talented team at the MLB level? Second, if Oberkfell can only win if he has a talented team, then what is his point of differentiation? In other words, what does he bring to the table that Jerry Manuel didn’t?

The last (and only?) manager to be promoted from the Mets farm system to the big club was Davey Johnson. Like Oberkfell, Johnson had spent a few years managing in the minors, and therefore was familiar with many of the players who were on the MLB team. Unlike Oberkfell, Johnson had a winning record at the minor-league level: 190 – 155 (.550). Maybe that was because Johnson had better teams / more talent than Oberkfell. Or maybe Johnson just knew how to win; after all, he did wind up with a .563 winning percentage in 14 years as an MLB manager.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. MatthewA August 23, 2010 at 7:47 am
    Really? No mention of the fact that Oberkfell was Baseball America’s 2005 Minor League Manager of the Year? The ’05 Tides finished in first place that year. He also led the St. Lucie Mets to the league championship in 2003. So that’s 3 first place finishes, not one.

    No reference to the fact that Obie oversaw the exodus of the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate after Norfolk kicked ‘em out? Once that affiliation ended, the Triple-A affilate became an afterthought because New Orleans was too far. Players rehabbed in Bingo and Brooklyn. And Obie won his first year in New Orleans, and is winning right now in Buffalo.

    No pointing out that Obie’s won at every level in the Mets’ system since he restarted in Port St. Lucie in 2002? Or the fact that his teams finished below 3rd place only twice in his 13 years? Or that some of the players Obie developed are now playing with the Mets, including Wright, Reyes, Niese, Pagan, and others?

    I’m OK if you honestly don’t think Obie’s the best candidate. But you’ll need to be a bit more thorough.

    • James K. August 23, 2010 at 10:08 am
      Great comment Matt. I agree that Obie’s case was undersold.

      FWIW, I’m anticipating that winning in the NY-Penn League will be held up as a grand achievement in a future post. Meanwhile, the Cyclones have won a division title four times from 2001-2009, led by men such as Edgar Alfonzo, Tim Teufel and Tony Tijerina. I guess they didn’t throw enough bats and accrue a sufficient number of ejections though.

      • James K. August 23, 2010 at 10:18 am
        I should point out that I’m not even a big supporter of Oberkfell as next Mets manager — I just believe in fairly presenting evidence when making a case for something.
        • Joe Janish August 23, 2010 at 11:52 am
          Really James? You must mean only when others are writing, because your recent article on Wally Backman was far from “fair” and provided little evidence of anything other than your opinion, the opinion of a Mets employee, and erroneous information.
        • James K. August 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm
          Could you be more specific about what “erroneous information” I wrote about? I’m always happy to correct errors. I haven’t been contacted by anyone (via email or blog comments section) about any erroneous information and it was viewed by thousands of people, so I’m genuinely curious what was erroneous. Feel free to e-mail me, thank you.
        • alexSVK August 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm
          I was late to the party so I did not comment your Wally piece at the time. However, there were few things I personally did not like.

          First, you omitted mentioning Wally’s successful minor league stint in the White Sox and Dbacks organizations prior to his 2004 promotion. By this, you created an impression that there’s not much track record except for the Cyclones this year and some independent ball.

          Second, your whole anti-Wally reasoning (in addition to his off-field issues) boils down to two highly debatable arguments: (a) Wally does not have any MLB managing/coaching experience, and (b) Wally likes to bunt. Both of these are very weak arguments at best, especially since you have not even tried to justify them. You did not provide any evidence of correlation between previous MLB coaching experience and successful managing at the MLB level. And the whole bunting argument is just ridiculous, b/c when you actually do the math, it’s almost a non-issue even in a worse case scenario. There are much more important managerial decisions (such as the batting order and the bullpen management) but I have not learned anything from your piece about Wally’s competence in these areas.

          If you just said that you do not like Wally based on his off-field issues and on-field antics, I’d have no problems with your stance.

          Btw, Joe, I really do not agree with your anti-Oberkfell reasoning. Fortunately, MatthewA has already summarized the main counter-points.

        • James K. August 24, 2010 at 11:05 am
          Thanks for the feedback and actually providing legitimate criticisms of my piece. Unlike Joe, who decides to attack my credibility rather than the actual content. Not a surprise from Joe though. Looking back, I probably should have talked more about his pre-Diamondbacks managing a bit more. Also, one of my main points which you didn’t point to is I’m unsure about his ability to manage big leaguers as opposed to Single-A players. That’s a major concern, for me.

          Also unsurprising that Joe hasn’t corrected the glaring factual mistakes in this piece that Matthew pointed out. But since they hurt his case that Oberkfell is a bad manager, of course he doesn’t correct them. Why let facts get in the way of a tidy narrative?

        • Joe Janish August 25, 2010 at 11:39 pm
          My apologies for not surprising you. Unfortunately I am quite consistent in my ineptitude here; one of the negatives of being a grumpy “old school” baseball guy.

          My apologies also for not responding sooner — I’ve been busy with my day job.

          But since you are so interested in having an editor, I’ll be happy to correct you.

          First, you use Backman’s “history of off-the-field problems including a DUI and a domestic dispute” as evidence why he is incapable of managing. If such issues existed, I’m not sure how they would matter, but let’s pretend they do. He had a DUI, yes, but I don’t know anything about the rest of this fabrication. The “domestic dispute” that I believe you are referring to was an incident where Backman was assaulted with a baseball bat by a neighbor, that led to his wife asking for a restraining order that was thrown out of court when the judge discovered his wife was lying. In other words, there may have been one, solitary incident in which he was found to be innocent of wrongdoing, but there is nothing else that would support the idea that he has a “history” of issues.

          Also, you suggest that Wally bunts too much. Do you have any stats that suggest his teams have bunted more than others? You claimed in your article to be aware that bunting could be part of the teaching process (it is, by the way) but then you chastise Backman for calling bunts. I don’t understand how you can play both sides — make up your mind.

          More to the point, did you make this bunting assumption based on stats, or what you’ve heard? For someone who generally relies on the stats to support a story, it is quite out of character for you to make a generalization like that. Perhaps you can research the # of sacrifices Backman’s teams have made and compare/contrast to other teams in the leagues he’s managed in. I’ve tallied the numbers myself and can tell you that most of his teams did tend to bunt more than others — and they also won more, so maybe “buntapalooza” could work with the right personnel / situation, despite what the theories of sabermetrics state.

          Also, you cite that Backman “has a reputation for sending runners in risky spots”. Again, please provide evidence. How about providing some stats showing that his third-base coaching is more aggressive than others, AND that as a result it is causing the team to score less runs than it should?

          Additionally, a large focus of your argument is Backman’s “lack of experience”, but then you don’t back up the theory (again) with any pertinent facts. Just because you think experience as a coach at the MLB level is vital doesn’t mean it is so. See: Gil Hodges, Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, Davey Johnson, Joe Girardi, Lou Piniella, and many other managers who have World Series rings despite little or no MLB coaching experience. (Not to mention there are HUNDREDS of managers with all kinds of experience who have never won a ring … Jerry Manuel, for example.)

          The icing on the cake is your decision to use Toby Hyde’s comment: “I haven’t seen any evidence he has the skills/temperament to be an MLB mgr.”

          How, pray tell, is Toby Hyde qualified to judge who has the skills/temperament to be an MLB manager?” I can sort of understand why you position him as an expert on the Mets minor leaguer players — he does see a lot of minor league action as the announcer for the Savannah Sand Gnats — but what does he know about MLB managers? How many times has he seen Backman manage? And if he saw Backman managed more than two dozen games, why would his opinion on Backman be substantiated? Is Wayne Hagin an expert on MLB managers? Is Joe Buck? Nothing against Toby, but using his quote as some kind of “evidence” that Backman can’t manage in MLB is implausible. A more valid quote would be from, say, a current or former MLB GM — ideally one who has seen Backman manage more than a handful of games.

          What was so stunning is that you are known as a stat person, you write on a stat-focused site, and yet the entire article was written in the style of an old-school rockhead such as myself — an argument based on hearsay, unproven assumptions, and devoid of fact-checking. In other words, a severe drop from your usually well-supported, intelligent writing.

          It was like you were writing your argument based on personal emotion, or some other immeasurable intent.

  2. Joe Janish August 23, 2010 at 9:59 am
    Ah, I forgot about 2005 and 2003, thanks for bringing them up. Those omissions don’t change my opinion, though, because he has led teams to so many losing seasons.

    I also forgot 2006, which is one of those years his team finished third, as you mention; the Tides were 57-86 that year. Maybe that’s why finishing third isn’t so impressive, particularly in 4-team divisions.

    I’m not sure how the exodus to New Orleans counts for anything.

    And what do rehabbing players have to do with anything ? All A-ball managers deal with that.

    • MatthewA August 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm
      He’s led quite a few teams to losing seasons. He’s also won more seasons than you give him credit for in this post. He has a career .495 winning percentage as of today (that includes the 2010 season as well as whatever seasons aren’t counted in your winning percentage). Commenter 86mets already pointed out why sticking with winning percentage can’t tell you the whole story. And you should know better than to think a win in the Sally is as easy to acquire as a win in Bingo.

      Moreover, the Mets essentially demoted Obie back to the Florida State League after two failed attempts in the Sally. He won the FSL Championship in ’03 and was promoted to Bingo from there. And won. Then promoted to Norfolk. And won until the Exodus messed everything up. His trajectory does much better if you concede that he started from scratch in Port St. Lucie after failing first in the Sally.

      The exodus to New Orleans counts because the Mets organization, led by VP of Player Development Tony Bernazard, downright neglected that team. Take a look at the Zephyrs roster in 2007 and the following year and try to convince me with a straight face that the Mets were trying to field a competitive team in New Orleans in 2008. They moved that crappy, neglected team to Buffalo to 2009 and didn’t change a thing until Buffalo threatened the end the affiliation this past offseason. Gil Hodges couldn’t have won with that roster.

      The rehabbing players is just a symptom of that effects of the exodus. As further evidence the Mets neglected New Orleans, they sent no notable players to rehab with the Zephyrs. Double A is more of a developmental league, but the Mets used it like a Triple A team to rehab players because it was closer. It’s admittedly a minor point but not a negligible one.

  3. Anthony August 23, 2010 at 10:02 am
    It should probably also be noted that the Mets stuck Obie with an absolutely atrocious Buffalo team last year (.392 winning percentage, and 31 games under .500).

    This team was filled with washed-up minor leaguers and almost completely devoid of talent. If you recall, the Mets were heavily criticized for their failure to adequately stock the Bisons with either up-and-coming talent, or minor league stop-gap players who would at least form a (somewhat) competitive and entertaining team.

    I understand the need to judge minor league managers on won-loss records, but you might want to at least mention that the talent level on the 2009 Bisons team was putrid.

    • Elliot August 23, 2010 at 10:55 am
      Putrid yes, but really, sometimes a record speaks for itself. (That’s why Backman got fired from the indy leagues after all.) Maybe we should give Oberkfell a break because he’s turned the team around in 2010, though?
  4. Elliot August 23, 2010 at 10:13 am
    I agree with the winning and losing comment. A managers job is to WIN regardless of whether the major league team gives him terrible talent. WIN WIN WIN. That’s why I want Joe Torre, he’s a winner.

    It also makes me skeptical of Wally Backman, because he had a 24-42 record last year with an indy league team before they fired him. Now that team is playing .500 ball… I think that proves Wally’s a loser.

    I’m in camp Torre. For sure.

    • Xavier22 August 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm
      Torre? Really? What success has he had at the MLB level other than the Yankees? Given the level of talent (and steroids) on those late 90s teams, Willie Randolph could have managed as effectively as Joe did.

      When he’s managed normal big market teams like the Dodgers now (or the Cards, Mets and Braves) he hasn’t done all that well (even with the Braves, he took them from 1st to 3rd over 3 seasons).

      • Elliot August 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm
        “What success has he had at the MLB level other than the Yankees?”

        OTHER THAN THE YANKEES?

        The guy spent 12 years as the Yankees manager and won 4 world series titles and made the playoffs all 12 years and you want to ignore it?

        Oh, and he won the division with the Braves once (three years, .529 win percentage) and with the Dodgers twice (3 years .539 so far). And he was basically .500 with the Cardinals. Your argument is invalid

        • Xavier22 August 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm
          Yes, other than the Yankees – a trained chimp could have managed the 1995-2005 Yankees and gotten them to the playoffs. Steroids and money had more to do with that than Torre’s “genius” – as has been proven in his previous and subsequent managing gigs.

          On normal teams – teams without an unlimited checkbook – he has been a mediocre manager – absolutely horrible with the Mets, average with the Cardinals and so-so with the Braves – taking them from 1st to 2nd to 3rd in the 3 seasons he managed them. As for the Dodgers, he’s been as good with them as Grady Little.

          In addition, he has the same managerial style as Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel combined – mismanaging the bullpen, forgetting players on the bench and riding the hot hand until he ends up on the DL. He would be an awful choice for a manager. I’d rather go with Tony LaRussa – at least he had success with teams that did not have a bottomless wallet.

  5. 86mets August 23, 2010 at 11:08 am
    So the main ingredient for managing a Big League team is Won-Loss record. Ok. Well, Jerry Manuel has a .509 career winning % so where’s you’re argument for keeping him? Willie Randolph had a .544 winning % w/ the Mets, so why did they fire him? How about this one, the recently retired Lou Pinella had a .517 winning percentage over 23 seasons in the big leagues including a very impressive .542 mark in 10 years with the previously inept Seattle Mariners. Yet, how many times did “Sweet Lou” win a title? Once. In 23 years. Even in a year his Mariners won a league record 116 games they still failed to make the World Series.

    Now, the counter arguments would be Bobby Cox and Joe Torre who between them have won 5 World Series and won 11 pennants. My point is, a whole lot of luck in involved in managing in MLB. Is Cox or Torre a better manager than Pinella just because they won 11 pennants and Pinella only one? Who knows, a few injuries here and there to a Chipper Jones or Greg Maddux or Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera and maybe there aren’t a combined 5 WS rings between Cox and Torre.

    If winning percentage is what you’re looking for in the next manager why not simply bring back a former Met, such as Randolph (.544), Valentine (.534), or even Davey Johnson (.588)? Obviously there are reasons why those guys got fired from the Mets in the first place. I don’t know who the “right” guy is for the Mets, don’t pretend to. But I certainly wouldn’t discount Oberkfell based simply upon his so-so winning % in the minor leagues.

    • Joe Janish August 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm
      86Mets – Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

      I would agree that Bobby V, Davey Johnson, Lou Piniella, and Willie Randolph are all much better candidates than Ken Oberkfell. 100% in agreement with you on those alternatives.

      Jerry Manuel’s record is pretty darn close to Omar Minaya’s publicly stated goal of .500. So there you go … maybe we WILL see Jerry back in 2011!

  6. TeufelFan August 23, 2010 at 11:21 am
    Joe, it is not necessary for you to tear down every candidate for the Mets managerial position who isn’t Wally Backman.
    • Joe Janish August 23, 2010 at 11:58 am
      I didn’t realize Ken Oberkfell was the only candidate other than Backman. Though I doubt EITHER is truly a candidate in the Wilpons’ view.
      • TeufelFan August 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm
        No, I just figured this was the first in a series of posts where you tear down every other Mets managerial candidate until only Backman remains, as part of Backman Today’s agenda pushing Wally Backman as the only manager who can save the 2011 Mets.
    • Elliot August 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm
      Dude, WTF. How is this supporting Backman??? Backman got FIRED FROM AN INDY LEAGUE TEAM FOR HAVING A 24-42 RECORD. He’s a LOSER just like Oberkfell and Willie and Jerry and Art Howe.
  7. Kevin August 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm
    Again more racism from Mets fans. A contest to see who wants their favorite white guy redneck the most. And Torre? Really? So let’s get an OLD white guy!! Yeah, that’s gonna work. Bunch of racist nerds.

    Hey how about we look at a Latin manager? We haven’t tried that n maybe that could be the link between Omars guys and winning.

    • Elliot August 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm
      I like Torre.

      I don’t like Backman (loser) or Oberkfell (loser).

      How does that make me a racist?!?!?!

      • gary516 August 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm
        @ Kevin – Cut out the racist crap.

        @Elliot – You aren’t a racist, but you’re either an idiot or someone who never watched Joe Torre manage besides his time with the Yankees. HE IS AWFUL.

    • Hilton October 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm
      Omar’s gone!! Next.
  8. Patrick August 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm
    Other Mets managers promoted from minor leagues:
    Joe Frazier – 1970s, after Yogi. Had a horrible squad, Mets too cheap for free agents. After he left, he said, “I asked them to get me some players.”
    Buddy Harrelson – You know how that ended.
  9. HappyChandler August 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    I agree with the comment about it not being fair to judge a minor-league manager by his winning percentage because, quite often, winning is not the highest priority in the minors. For example, the Mets in recent years have developed an organizational philosophy in which their best prospects tend to be promoted to the bigs either directly from AA or after a short stint at AAA, leaving AAA as a wasteland for career minor leaguers serving as big-league insurance policies. It’s hard to blame Obie for not winning within that paradigm.

    I will say this: Having watched a few of Obie’s teams, they tend to be fundamentally sound and — get this, Hojo — go to the plate with a plan. His teams tend to have good OBPs and seem to have an ability (a directive, it seems) to work the count. I don’t think Frenchy would last half a season with him.

    While I like Obie as a manager, I have concerns as to whether his laid-back personality is the proper antidote to the soon-to-be-ending Jerry Era.

  10. Anthony August 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm
    Joe, will you be analyzing the merits of other internal candidates who could be the Mets’ next manager? Specifically, I was wondering as to the strength of Tim Teufel as a managerial candidate. He is also a member of the beloved ’86 Mets, has more managerial experience than Backman, and is currently the AA manager, yet I haven’t heard nearly as much support for him, perhaps because he isn’t “fiery” like Wally.

    What do you think of Teufel (or do you plan to write an entire piece on him)?

    Thanks!

    • loge mezzanine August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm
      I sleep through a few days and I wake up to a heated debate. Right on.

      Anthony, of all the managerial candidates, Teufel has the LEAST experience. And that includes Backman.

  11. Anthony August 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm
    It really bothers me when people yell about racism when there isn’t even an inkling or a whiff of that type of thing….

    Why exactly is this guy Kevin claiming racism? Because Mets fans are touting a former player who happens to be white? How exactly is that racist?

    I also disagree with Kevin when he says that the team should hire a Latin manager. The team should hire the manager it thinks is best able to motivate an underachieving team – whether that manager is white, black, Latin, Asian or any other racial background should not make any difference whatsoever.

  12. Joe August 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm
    Oberkfell’s won-lost record was badly damaged last year when the Mets gave him an awful team at Buffalo. They signed a bunch of 5th outfielders and the like for the major league team and sent the extras to Buffalo. They started the yea with no real power threats except Nick Evans and he went into a terrible slump. What few ‘decent’ players Buffalo had got called up to NY when injuries set in. Buffalo and Binghamton were the two worst teams in the minor leagues last year, more de to the Mets rater than the team’s managers. If you subtract last year’s record from his career record, Oberkfells’s won lost record would look much bedtter.
    • Joe Janish August 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm
      Joe, thanks for the comment.

      My numbers were off because I was relying on Baseball-Reference, which for whatever reason neglected Obie’s two years in Norfolk in 2005-2006.

      When you add in those two years, his career record is 815-860. If you subtract his 2009 year in Buffalo, his career record 759-773, which I agree is “much better” but is still nothing that screams “hey this guy should be managing a big league club!”.

  13. Hilton August 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm
    You guys??? No one in particular, but I understand there is a lot of frustration being a Mets fan and it transfers to these comments from various avenues. I have been a Mets fan since my Grandfather hooked me on that glorious opening day in 1969. If you can remember that far a lady named Joan (I don’t know the first thing about baseball) Payson was the owner then. Luckily the Mets had a decent GM-I believe it was Bob Scheffing and he made a few shrewd moves…since then there have been some horrendous decisions. What’s the point here? Look at the track record of these underachievers with no fire in their belly roughly since 2001. Is it truly the manager’s fault. Certainly they have contributed, i.e. Art Howe who after every frigin’ game that sad sack team lost would say, “.”we battled.” I am pretty damn sure that I’ve heard Manual mumble those same words recently. Too Deja Vu. No racism here just look at these managers: Randolf, Manual, Art Howe. There is no spark plug man! Regardless of Won-Loss records in the minors and people seeking out the aging Torre for nostalgic reasons, maybe a Wally Backman would be a breath of fresh air in terms of MOTIVATOR. However (what’s the f- point you still wonder-OK,OK Here!) The Wilpons will NEVER hire Backman because he is not a safe choice to them. They seek a popular person, someone who is a yes man to their chaotic structure of “leadership.” Truth be told from ridiculous contracts of so many ex-Mets still collecting millions of dollars: Mo Vaughn, Bobby Bonilla etc., to spending heaps on Oliver Twist In The Wind Perez, and Luis-I was over the hill and limping when they signed me-Castillo, as long as The, “I am ignorant when it comes to beisbol” Wilpons are in charge we as Mets fans should feel doomed. I know what you’re saying don’t cry in your beer. I still watch them every night but it is what it IS. Who do you think will REALLY become the next manager? A safe choice who comes cheap. Watch the Wilpons continue to make the wrong decisions. It does not take a baseball specialist to see this. Enough ranting for now. BTW would it be wrong to have picked up Cody Ross’s contract 16/58/283 for the remainder of the year for a team sorely lacking in offense from right field?
    • Hilton August 23, 2010 at 11:41 pm
      Re: Spelling Error
      Make that Jerry MANUEL. How did I ever get A’s in Spelling?
  14. Carlos August 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm
    I agree with James K in that you, Janish, misrepresented Oberkfell. You said that Oberkfell “has not done anything noteworthy / newsworthy”. I beg to differ. In the winter of 2009-2010, during his first year managing winter baseball, in which he was actually able to actually manage the team, as opposed to doing what the big league team tells him to do, as we all know is the case in AAA baseball – he won and won big. He lead the Leones del Escogido team to win the 2010 Dominican Championship and also the 2010 Caribbean Series in Venezuela. That’s not noteworthy/newsworthy? Oberkfell may not be the best fit for the Mets, but your “look at this candidate” is flawed.
    • Joe Janish August 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm
      Thanks for the info, Carlos.

      You are correct, my analysis is flawed, because winning the Caribbean Series is indeed noteworthy / newsworthy.

      And I agree with you that Oberkfell is not the best fit for the Mets.