Buck Showalter on Mets Management: “It’s About Winning Baseball Games”


Buck Showalter ended his introductory Zoom press conference on Tuesday by saying, “Come on, let’s go.”

There is no doubt that the new manager of the Mets wants to launch after three seasons out of the dugout. But with the MLB lockdown in effect, Showalter is prohibited from speaking – or even about – his new players.

So there were no questions or answers about Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom or Pete Alonso or any of the other Mets on lockdown. MLB doesn’t want its executives to say the names of the players during the lockdown, which is silly but is also less important than the fact that Showalter can’t reach out and introduce himself to the Mets players he is going to handle in the lockdown. the end of the lockdown. .

At least all the teams are in the same boat, Showalter said, and the Mets have some work to do as they only have one coach under contract with pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.

Showalter said he spoke to Hefner for over an hour on the phone on Monday and looked forward to more such conversations. Once a full coaching staff is hired, Showalter can also spend hours on the phone with them.

Showalter, 65, was hired by the Mets over the weekend and signed a three-year contract. He has 20 years of canoe experience, starting with the Yankees in 1992 and ending with the Orioles in 2018. He is three times Manager of the Year.

“There is no magic sprinkling powder,” Showalter said. “It’s about winning baseball games.”

Universally recognized as a brilliant baseball spirit, Showalter apparently had to overcome a well-deserved perception that he was a control freak in order to get the job. Managers these days are expected to collaborate with the front office and analysis staff and performance staff, and since there were no actors to talk about on Tuesday, Showalter spent a lot of time talking about his. love of data and collaboration.

In what was arguably the most memorable wording of the hour-long press conference, Showalter said he was “spongy” when it comes to accepting and using data.

“I’ve always been very spongy with information, wrongly,” he said. “And like everyone else, I have no control over this. There are a lot of smart people in this game. But if you think I’m going to let someone beat us by having better analytical information or because that someone on staff doesn’t understand it and I’m not going to talk about it, we’ll show you. “

Later, Showalter said: “I think collaboration is a big word. It’s not a new word in the language. Large organizations in almost all sports have real connectivity between the CEO, the staff of land and property. It’s something I know it’s not going to be a challenge here. “

Even later, however, Showalter said he viewed his job as “what do players need from me?” Without naming any names, because I know the situation we’re in, he’s trying to bring in what a player needs and to assess what they need … and that’s the end of the game. concerns players. It’s about creating an environment that puts their skills first and being proactive with things before they have to react. To get your finger on the pulse of things in there. And it’s about who the players want to be. Who do we want to be? What do we want to be? “

Of course, every Mets fan is asking Showalter to be close to reaching and winning a World Series, which he failed to do in his first four saves. They aren’t as interested in how the sausage is made. Showalter said the chance to win a World Series – or maybe more than one – is one of the reasons he wanted the job.

“You wish it was always the end of the game,” he said. “It’s not something that’s going to define my life. But I’m going to tell you this – it wakes me up every day now… Obviously winning the World Series is why when [the Mets] asked me, “Why would I want to start over? This is the quick answer. To be the last team standing. ”

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