I think there is one obvious manager candidate that no one seems to mention, Super Joe McEwing. McEwing was a Met fan favorite while with the team…. Baseball America named him one of their managers of the year the past two years (High A in the White Sox organization). And unlike Backman he does not come with the baggage and potential public relations nightmare….
But the real key is his relationship with LaRussa and Dave Duncan. Joe came to the majors with the Cards and was a favorite of LaRussa, who respected him so much he requested a pair of the Joe’s spikes when he was traded to the Mets (for Jesse Orosco). Why is this important, because Dave Duncan can have more of an immediate impact than any manager or GM the Mets can hire. The timing is perfect, he would have never left the Cards in years past, but now he is upset with the way the Cardinal organization, the local media, and fans handled the situation with his son.
– Reader Dan, via e-mail.
On the surface, Dan’s case is an interesting one. After all, if the Mets are serious about considering Wally Backman — currently a short-season A-ball manager — to helm their big-league club, why wouldn’t they be willing to hire a current High-A ball manager in Flushing? And Super Joe, like Backman, led his team to a lot of success in 2010, taking the Winston-Salem Dash to the Carolina League championship series, where they (it? Are we pluralizing Dash?) lost to the Potomac Nationals.
But I have a pretty strong feeling Joe McEwing, at 38 and with no managerial experience above A-ball, will not be the Mets’ next skipper. And if we’re going to campaign for such unlikely solutions, I might as well lobby for an WPA generator like some folks at Amazin’ Avenue keep advocating.
And maybe there’s a role for Super Joe on the Mets’ bench. Brooke from SNY’s Original Programming department just suggested they could hire him to be a roving bench coach, first-base coach, hitting coach and third-base coach all in one. I remember reading that he was a popular guy in his time with the team, and that David Wright especially was sad to see him go. But though we know the Mets love hiring ex-Mets, it does seem a bit random. Plus they keep saying all hires will be up to the new GM.
I will say that I was no fan of Super Joe during his time with the Mets. I recognize now that there’s some value in a guy willing and at least vaguely able to play absolutely anywhere on the field, but the combination of his inability to hit with the media’s tendency to fawn over him turned me off. But then that really has no bearing on his ability to manage or coach a team.
I didnt realize this guy was so young. For some reason I always though he was more of a veteran when he came to the Mets but looking back he was only 27 years old, and basically in his second year.
When the Mets got rid of him in 2004 I thought he was like 40 years old, he was only 31.
I’m with you. I thought he was 38 in 2004. Jeeze louise, those grey hairs have quite the effect!
Why not Tim Bogar? Same gritty intensity as Backman. Has been with winning organizations as player, coach, and manager, and has proven minor league track record? Of course my all time favorite tough guy Met John Stearns would be an interesting fit as well. I guess my issue with former Met players managing the Mets is that managers always eventually get fired and that taints the players memory of the Mets. Look at what happened with Buddy Harrelson. He was right up there with Tom Seaver as the face of the franchise and got booed so much as a manager that it changed how he felt about the Mets and their fans. Hojo has been a disaster as hitting coach yet the Wilpon’s idolize the 86 team so when he needed to be reassigned or fired it never happened.
The Mets would benefit greatly from having a manager like Super Joe McEwing. Besides knowing the game he is regarded as an all round good guy with an old school baseball attitude. The Mets could use a guy that is a student of the game and would “get in your face” if you did not play hard and show heart. Some of the most successful managers in baseball were not such successful players during their careers, but were great managers because they knew how to play the game, to guide their players and show them what the game is all about. I think Joe would be great for a clubhouse and great for a team. He possesses all the qualities a great leader should have.
Super Joe is the perfect candidate. Everything I have read mentions how he was the king of every clubhouse, in every city, that he ever played in. Players respected him and coaches adored him. I know Bobby V still raves about his work ethic and his passion for the game of baseball. I read an article once that talked about how Joe used to take 250 ground balls every day BEFORE the team workout and also used to have his tee work done before anyone else had arrived at the stadium. Joe is a hard worker and a fierce competitor and the Mets desperately need an infusion of both. He has been a skipper for two seasons now, and has taken his team to the finals both years, and won Carolina League manager of the year both years. Not an easy thing to do considering the revolving door of talent that is Class A baseball. As a die hard Mets fan I would love to see Super Joe back in Flushing. Maybe he can even get Bobby V to be his bench coach. LOL!