New York Mets hire Buck Showalter as manager
Buck Showalter is back on the bench in New York.
Almost 30 years after making a name for himself in the Stripes, Showalter was hired as manager of the Mets as he returns to the Big Apple to take charge of his fifth major league team.
The former New York Yankees skipper replaces Luis Rojas, dropped in early October after two lost seasons. Mets owner Steve Cohen announced the move on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
Showalter was given a three-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the length of the deal had not been announced.
An official club announcement is expected in the coming days.
Showalter has managed more than 3,000 big-league games in 20 seasons, giving the Mets an experienced bench boss for the first time since the end of Terry Collins’ seven-year tenure after the 2017 campaign.
Since then, New York has been looking for strong leadership, in the dugout and the front office.
Showalter certainly has some credibility, with a long history of reversing losing teams. This has undoubtedly made him an attractive candidate for new Mets general manager Billy Eppler and the aggressive Cohen, who freely spends on gamers and eager to win quickly since purchasing the goofy franchise in November 2020.
Houston bench coach Joe Espada and Tampa Bay bench coach Matt Quatraro were the other finalists for the position. Neither has any major league management experience, and Showalter has always been considered the frontrunner.
Each of the three separately met Cohen in person last week in a second round of interviews.
New York also interviewed former Tigers and Angels manager Brad Ausmus as well as former Oakland manager and current Dodgers coach Bob Geren, who coached the Mets under Collins when they reached the 2015 World Series. .
Showalter, 65, joins Hall of Fame Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra and Joe Torre as managers of the Mets and Yankees. Dallas Green also held both positions.
In addition to building a winner across town during the 1990s with the Yankees, Showalter led the Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He compiled a regular season record of 1,551-1,517-1 (0.506 winning percentage) from 1992 to 2018, winning three AL Manager of the Year awards and taking all of his teams outside of Texas to at least one playoff. time.
The Yankees (1996) and Diamondbacks (2001) both won the World Series in the first season after Showalter left. He led Arizona to 100 wins in 1999 before losing a playoff series to the Mets.
His most recent managerial role came with Baltimore, where he spent more than eight seasons from 2010 to 2018. Showalter guided the Orioles to three playoff appearances, a division title and a berth in the AL Championship Series 2014, where they were swept away by Kansas City.
He came under heavy criticism, however, for leaving dominant closest Zack Britton in the relieving box during the 2016 AL Wildcards game, which the Orioles lost 5-2 to Toronto on the three-point homestead. Edwin Encarnación facing Ubaldo Jiménez at the end of the 11th. inning.
Baltimore has also finished last in the AL East three times in Showalter’s full eight seasons, including his last two. He was replaced by Brandon Hyde following a 47-115 debacle in 2018, as the Orioles overhauled baseball operations and embarked on a full rebuild.
Since then, Showalter has worked as an analyst on the MLB Network and on Yankees shows with YES. Previously, he had a similar role at ESPN.
Trendy but with a sense of humor, Showalter is well known for his baseball acumen, dogged preparation, and meticulous attention to detail. He’s already comfortable in New York’s large and pressured media market, with relationships dating back decades, to his days in charge of the Yankees.
The Mets declined their 2022 option on the Rojas’ contract on October 4, a day after finishing 77-85 and third in eastern NL after a collapse in the second half.
They hired Eppler last month after a long search for someone to run baseball operations under team president Sandy Alderson, and quickly signed four free agents for a total of $ 254.5 million. : ace pitcher Max Scherzer ($ 130 million over three years), center fielder Starling Marte ($ 78 million over four years), outfielder Mark Canha ($ 26.5 million over two years) and All-Star infielder Eduardo Escobar ($ 20 million over two years).
The deals were made days before baseball’s employment contract expired on December 1, resulting in a lockout that halted transactions and froze big league rosters.
This allowed Eppler – who also spent years with the Yankees, but not until Showalter’s tenure ended – to finally focus on finding a manager. Showalter becomes the Mets’ fifth in just over four years.
Mickey Callaway replaced Collins and lasted for two seasons. Rojas was quickly promoted to skipper when Carlos Beltrán was sacked in January 2020 without handling a single game – the fallout from the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017.
None of these three had made it in the majors before. Beltrán still hasn’t. Rojas was hired by the Yankees last month to coach the third baseman.
Now it’s Showalter’s turn to lead a Mets team that has suffered four losing seasons in five years and 10 in the past 13. New York has made the playoffs twice in the past 15 seasons, advancing only to 2015.
Showalter, who has never won a pennant, will have to complete his technical staff. The Mets announced in October that Jeremy Hefner would return as pitching coach next year, but the other coaches are expected to be replaced.
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