Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Monday, September 06, 2004

BASEBALL NATION: Who's the Next Mets Manager?

With a team in the tank and a manager as exciting as the History channel, the Mets know it's time for change. If the Mets want to have any shot of being in the same league as the Yankees in this town (albeit on a far lower talent level), they've gotta fire Howe. If they don't, maybe the Cyclones will have better attendance numbers next year. If I were a Met fan and Howe was back next spring, I'd be as mad as a Red Sox fan seeing Grady Little in the dugout.

So, who's next?

DON BAYLOR, bench coach. Baylor has a reputation as being a tough guy, which is exactly what the Mets want. He's good for PR because he's black; I think he'd be the Mets' first black manager ever. Maybe it'll get Al Sharpton to come to the games. And as an ex-Yankee, maybe he'll draw some mid-80's fan who curse the day that Cecilio Guante was released. Baylor's track record? Not great. He led the Rockies to the wild card in strike-shortened '95, but didn't do a whole lot in his stint with the Cubs. But remember: the Mets always get the second-best guy out there, never the best (the Mike Piazza trade being the major exception). So if you think Piniella is sick of Tampa Bay or Showalter will come, you can have a smoke and step back into fantasy-land.

LARRY BOWA, Phillies. I thought the Phillies would go all the way this year, but they've been a disaster. And Bowa's time there has clearly run its course. He's already got the "Bowa's currently the manager" spin, so you know he'll be outta there. And as a passionate and loud guy, i guess you can say he's the poor man's Lou Piniella. And the Mets are dying for a loud, Dallas Green-type guy. The Yankees can fire Joe Torre tomorrow, and I don't think he'll be loud and tough enough for the Mets' brass. Although the humongo-PR points would be too tempting. As for Bowa, he's done nothing but underacheive so far in Philly. I guess that makes him a good fit for the Mets.

JIMY WILLIAMS- I can see this one happening. He's a bit unconventional, always kinda reminded me of Bobby Valentine. They hated him in Boston for changing the lineup every day, and Houston basically quit on him. He's got decent W-L numbers, but he's managed for teams with a lot of talent on them. Maybe the Mets will go for him because he spells his name with one "m" and they think it's cool. If it's good PR, the Mets just might go for it.

BOB BRENLY- I can see the Mets doing it just because he won a World Series, so of course he's gotta be good. But unless Rick Peterson can turn Glavine and Leiter into Johnson and Schilling, I don't think this one's gonna work.

WALLY BACKMAN, MOOKIE WILSON, KEITH HERNANDEZ, HOWARD JOHNSON, JOHN FRANCO?-- I can definitely see the Mets pull off a move similar to the Tigers and Alan Trammell and try to bring back a popular name from the good times. The Tigers are still a young, developing team, so it's hard for me to assess Trammell's performance. But in terms of the Schmets: with a half-veteran, half-prospect, half-injured, half I-don't-give-a-**** team, you have to wonder if this is the situation for a manager with no prior major league experience. I think not. But will the PR factor prove to be too tempting? Just maybe....

And will John Franco get an "M" on his jersey instead of the "C"? That "C"'s gotta go. It belongs in the NHL, where the ten Canadians who watch the stuff might appreciate it. George's appointment of Derek Jeter as Yankee captain last season (in the midst of a Yankee mini-crisis) might've been pathetic and laughable, but at least the Yankees have enough class not to pull off any "C" shtick.


Blogger Gary Student said...

Hernandez already said he has no interest in becoming a manager. He doesn't want to have to travel and be there 162 games a year.

12:37 PM  

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