Earlier this week, the New York Mets announced manager Mickey Callaway would not return after two seasons on the job. In the time since, there's been much speculation about who the Mets might tab as their next skipper. (Our Mike Axisa rattled off some candidates .) Some of the names mentioned are out there because they're former Mets, some because they have past experience, and some because they went to the same college as the team owners.
One name to keep your eye on for the #Mets opening is Mike Matheny, who went to Michigan, and is quite close to the Wilpons. He's a finalist with the #Royals opening, and could be a long shot with the Mets, but those close to the Wilpons say not to count him out.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 3, 2019
Others, meanwhile, are trying to put themselves on the map by talking about the job. Sort of. Take a look at what longtime manager Buck Showalter said on Thursday as part of an interview with Steve Somers on WFAN. Note that the transcript is courtesy of the New York Post:
"Yeah, I'd like to be talked about it, but I'm not going to campaign about it, and I'm real uncomfortable even talking about it with you now because there's a lot of good people out there and they're going to make a good decision. They'll have reasons why and why not, and, you know, I respect that."
It's unclear if the Mets are or will consider Showalter as a legitimate candidate -- it probably doesn't do him any favors that he presented his interest in the gig with an instant remorse often reserved for folks who agree to after-work plans with loose acquaintances -- but based on merit he ought to be in the mix.
Showalter has managed four teams across parts of 20 seasons. He's posted a winning record for his career, winning 50.6 percent of his games, and has shown a particular penchant for turning organizations around. In each of his four stops -- that's with the New York Yankees, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Texas Rangers, and most recently the Baltimore Orioles -- his teams have won at least 15 more games in his second full season than they did in his first.
Of course, Showalter is just one of many qualified veteran skippers available on the free-agent market. Some other names worth keeping in mind include Joe Maddon, Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, Clint Hurdle, and Mike Scioscia. It's anyone's guess as to whether those individuals will be asked to interview. Do note that they're likely to ask for a higher salary than a first-time or relatively inexperienced manager -- they're also less likely to accept front-office interference.