New Mets manager Buck Showalter aims to win titles as his goal

Buck Showalter is ranked 24th on the all-time win list for managers. He has led three different teams to the postseason and is a three-time winner of the Manager of the Year award. Plus, he never won a World Series, and he knows what the expectations will be for a New York Mets team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016, but has spent a lot of money this offseason and currently has the highest roster in the league. Big leagues.

“The job description here is not to be competitive or to try to win more games than you lose. It’s to be the last team standing,” Showalter said Tuesday when he was officially introduced as the new manager of the Mets. “And not just once.”

Only Dusty Baker and Gene Mauch have won more games without winning a World Series than Showalter, who began his coaching career with the New York Yankees in 1992, when he was 36 years old. He is now 65 years old. The Mets finished a disappointing 77-85 record in 2021 after leading the NL East in early August and signed Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha in free agency to build Series hopes. World by 2022.

“It’s not something that’s going to define my life, but I can tell you this, now it wakes me up every day,” Showalter said of winning a World Series. He emphasized that he knows it sounds selfish and that the goal is to make everyone in the Mets organization successful and impact the lives around them. But he knows that the final task is to win. That’s the assignment from owner Steve Cohen, team president Sandy Alderson, and general manager Billy Eppler.

Showalter last managed the Baltimore Orioles in 2018 and while he’s been on the game as a television commentator, he also knows that the game has changed a lot in just a few short years, with more analysis, more numbers, and new strategies.

“If someone thinks I’m going to go back to the hotel or the house and they think maybe they beat us because someone else had better information or used analytics better than us, then you don’t know me very well,” Showalter said.

He told the story of coaching in the Florida State League and that his wife Angela kept track of where batters hit the ball.

“We used to change players based on six at-bats, now we do it at 600. I still have those rosters,” he laughed.

In fact, both Alderson and Eppler emphasized that while Showalter’s experience was key, the Mets’ two previous managers, Mickey Callaway and Luis Rojas, had no major league managerial experience, let alone managerial experience in New York, his other traits were also important.

“You don’t last as long as Buck, and you don’t stay as interested in a person who has been out of the game for three years if that person has not adapted, if that person has not been curious, if that person has not been able to evolve with the game. itself, “Alderson said.

Eppler spoke to a wide range of people in the hiring process, speaking with former players, coaches and general managers related to the final candidates. However, he did not speak to any active players as contact between teams and players is prohibited with the lockout. In other words, he did not speak to Scherzer, although reports emerged in early December that Scherzer made it known that he preferred Showalter get the job.

“It was Buck’s ability to connect with a wide range of people, his drive to compete, his curiosity combined with his experience and his general adaptability that led us to make him manager of the New York Mets,” said Eppler.

Showalter, displaying a knack for playing alongside the New York media that Callaway and Rojas lacked, even joked that his age shouldn’t be a problem connecting with players.

“I will know what music they are listening to. You may be surprised by some of the songs that I will hum in the locker room,” he said.

He said he reached out to other active veteran Baker managers Tony La Russa and Joe Maddon.

“I wanted to hear what you think about what to expect, what could be different,” he said. “It’s not like I’ve been away for 10 years. I’ve been quite connected through television. But I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I think you have to do certain things the same way.”

Showalter becomes the fifth manager to have led both the Yankees and the Mets, joining Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Dallas Green and Joe Torre.

“The Mets are very valuable to the fans,” he said. “They are precious to me. It is a great job to maintain what we have ahead of us. It will be a priority from day one to launch a product that people can be proud of.”