It’s not yet official but Sandy Alderson as Mets’ GM is as good as a done deal. So next we move on to who will be the next Mets manager?
If you are a loyal reader of MetsToday then you know who my choice is — Wally Backman. But it doesn’t matter who MY choice is, it matters who Sandy Alderson wants. Is Wally on the list?
Yesterday, MetsBlog reported that Wally Backman’s (and Bobby Valentine’s) chances were “dwindling“. Today, the same blog cited a tweet by Mark Healey of Baseball Digest that stated Backman was a “leading candidate“. So what gives? Does Wally have a chance, or doesn’t he?
Being part of SNY, Matt Cerrone has access to fairly reliable “inside sources”, and yesterday’s post supports the same thing that Jon Heyman has been hearing. Adam Rubin of ESPN-NY is hearing the same thing. Heyman also has a strong argument in this tweet:
will be shocked if alderson hires wally back as manager. will show right away he isnt running things, and i dont see him doing that.
The notion behind this is that Wally Backman is Jeff Wilpon’s choice, and therefore, in order for Alderson to make it clear that he isn’t Jeff’s puppet, he has to hire someone other than Wally.
Now, if that’s actually the main reason behind not hiring someone, does it make any sense? What if Wally is actually the best man for the job?
The interesting thing about this latest drama is that MetsBlog linked to the wrong tweet by Baseball Digest — there is another one posted earlier that is likely to be more accurate:
I think #Mets will be going outside the organizaton for MGR candidates, think Hurdle and McEwing could get interviews
That’s right — Clint Hurdle and Joe McEwing. It’s too perfect, isn’t it?
Hurdle is a former Met, has 8 years of MLB experience as a manager, is a God-fearing family man, once won a pennant, and has the reputation as a company man who does as he’s told. In other words, a dream choice for both Alderson and the Wilpons. (Never mind that he has a career losing record of 534-625; Alderson and the statheads know that the manager has no effect on a team’s winning or losing — so get on board with it.) In other words, he’d be “Art Howe Redux”.
McEwing is also a former Met — and a huge fan favorite at that. “Super Joe” was loved for his grit, hustle, determination, scrappy play, and team-first attitude — all the things that Mets fans have been craving. Additionally, he was named the “Top Managerial Prospect” in the SAL by Baseball America after leading the Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox A-ball affiliate) to a 73-65 record in 2009. McEwing followed up that with an 81-58 record in 2010, again in A-ball. Sounds like … “Poor Man’s Wally Backman”. As if that’s not enough to qualify him, he’s a local guy, born in PA, played at the County College of Morris. Oh, and David Wright loves him — which pretty much seals the deal, doesn’t it?
Where does that leave Wally? Or what about his ’86 Met teammate Tim Teufel? Or Ken Oberkfell and Chip Hale, for that matter? We’ll soon find out, but if Sandy Alderson wants to make clear that he runs the show, the next Mets manager will come from outside the organization. However, it could still be a former Met.
How do you feel about the prospect of Hurdle or McEwing as managerial candidates?