Can Teufel Toughen the Mets?
At least one individual fits both requirements: Tim Teufel.
Those old enough remember Teufel as the choir boy of the rough-and-tumble ’86 Mets — save for one unfortunate night outside a Houston night club. Though that one night was an off-the-field anomaly for the normally well-behaved Teufel, the second baseman did fit in with his teammates on the field as a hard-nosed, gritty ballplayer who took s%&t from no one.
But don’t take that from me — just ask the 6’4″, 230-lb. (in his playing days) fireballing Rob Dibble, who had his face rearranged by the 6′, 175-lb. Teufel after plunking Tim in the back.
Of course, being feisty is not the only characteristic needed to be a successful Major League manager — it helps if you can manage a team to victory as well. But I bring up the gritty side of Teufel because some feel that such a personality is necessary to “toughen” what many believe is a “soft” Mets team.
Looking at the rest of Teufel’s resume, it’s hard to say whether he’s ready to take the reigns as a big-league manager. His first year managing a pro team was an undeniable success, as he led the Brooklyn Cyclones to a 75-47 record and division title in 2003. After that, though, none of Teufel’s teams have finished with a winning record; over his career as a manager his teams are 337-412 (.450), managing mostly at the A level.
Granted, the talent of those teams may not have been up to snuff. But as with Ken Oberkfell, you can’t glaze over consistent losing when considering someone for a Major League managing job. I was a huge Tim Teufel fan from his rookie year with the Minnesota Twins, and thoroughly enjoyed watching him in the orange and blue — he was one of my favorite all-time Mets. If he was named as their next manager, I’d be happy to see him in the uniform again, I’d root for him, and I wouldn’t criticize the decision, but I’d be skeptical. My feeling is that this team needs a huge change in at least one if not all of the leadership roles, and a Teufel hiring on its own wouldn’t be enough to change my lack of faith in the organization. However, if Teufel were part of several moves aimed at changing the face of the franchise, I’d probably feel better about him in the dugout.
What’s your thought? Why or why wouldn’t you support the hiring of Tim Teufel as manager in 2011?