Takeaways from the NY Mets manager’s press conference
Buck Showalter, at ease in this setting, knew which notes to strike.
In his first address as Mets manager, Showalter wanted “everyone to know that it would be a priority to bring a product to market that everyone can be proud of”.
Responsibility, accountability and adaptability were the touchstones of Showalter’s initial speech on Tuesday, as he was officially billed as the 24th manager in franchise history.
Of course, Showalter has the unique challenge of piloting a winning Mets club that has already made huge waves with free agent signings, while the Crosstown Yankees have remained silent.
The MLB lockout froze player supply, but Showalter – along with his wife Angela – was able to lift his new No.11 Mets jersey, don the cap and talk about the challenge ahead.
Mets are made to win
Unlike his earlier initial leadership assignments, starting with the 1992 Yankees, Showalter inherits a competitor out of the box, but one that requires a guiding canoe hand.
“Every situation is different and you try to provide what the players need,” Showalter said as he helped them “reach their potential”.
Showalter, 65, spoke of going into this mission with a clear mind and drawing on the front office and staff.
“There is no magic dusting powder,” Showalter said. “It’s about winning baseball games. “
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The new wave
“It’s not like I’ve been away for 10 years,” said Showalter, who worked as a television analyst for MLB Network and YES Network since his last management of the season, with the 2018 Baltimore Orioles.
“I’ve been pretty connected via TV,” Showalter said, adding that he was open to the Mets’ increased use of analytics as part of his management toolkit.
“You have to figure out how to do other things better than the people you’re competing against,” Showalter said.
Mets general manager Billy Eppler cited Showalter’s “curiosity mixed with his experience” and his ability to connect with players and staff as the reason he was the Mets’ choice.
In pursuit of a World Series ring
Thirty years ago, Showalter took over a 71-91 Yankees team from the previous year.
He started on the ground floor with the Arizona Diamondbacks expansion in 1998, joined the Texas Rangers in 2003 after a 90-game losing season, and landed in Baltimore in a 96-game losing streak.
In each case, Showalter improved the fortunes of his franchise, but a World Series eluded him.
While the lack of a ring doesn’t define it, “it wakes me up every day now,” Showalter said. “I understand the job description… this will be the last team standing. “
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The praise of the front office of the Mets multiplies
Customary in such contexts, the bouquets were out.
Mets president Sandy Alderson put an end to any hesitation about the choice, saying Showalter was adaptable, curious, energetic, motivated, information-oriented and “as close to a 10 out of 10 as anyone. ” in the field.
Alderson added that he tried to hire Showalter with the Oakland Athletics before the 1998 season.
Eppler touted Showalter’s ability to “shape a culture with high operational standards”, although the other club leadership contenders “have made a difficult decision.”
Showalter congratulated finalists Joe Espada and Matt Quatraro and praised the additions of players led by Max Scherzer and Starling Marte, funded by owner Steve Cohen.
“Steve continues to eliminate excuses for the things we can’t do,” Showalter said.
Connections with the Yankees
As a scout early in his career with the Yankees and later an assistant general manager under Brian Cashman, Eppler had “common in-game mentors” with Showalter, most notably Gene Michael and Bill Livesey in the player development arena.
Showalter recalls working for late owner George Steinbrenner first as a minor league manager, and when camp broke, “you had two tasks: developing players and winning your league, not necessarily in that order.
But as Showalter said, learning how to win was also part of development.
“(Steinbrenner) shared the same passion for winning as Stick and I, and couldn’t tolerate guys who didn’t share that passion,” Showalter said.
Cohen has shown a passion for spending what it takes to win, and his new manager understands the New York ground.
“There’s no place like this when you’re doing it right,” Showalter said.
Pete Caldera is an MLB Writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all baseball analysis, news, talks and more, subscribe today and download our app.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @pcaldera