The New York Mets’ exhaustive headhunt for a new manager appears to have come down to a choice between two retreads, Terry Collins and Bob Melvin, neither of whom strike Fox Sports’ Bob Klapisch as particularly inspirational figures. “Why has this managerial search been so maddeningly vanilla? Why does Sandy Alderson pretend Bobby Valentine doesn’t exist?” I’d have guessed an ownership mandate to hire someone far less expensive (especially now that the Wilpons have no fewer than 4 general managers on the payroll), but Klapisch cites other, more depressing reasons.
If experience was enough of a factor to disable Backman’s dream of managing the Mets, Alderson’s inexplicably neglecting the one person whose credentials dwarf the rest of the field’s.
That’s Valentine, of course, who took the Mets to the World Series in 2000. He’s currently working for ESPN and would return to the Mets in a heartbeat if he were officially courted.
Alderson would’ve been better off telling Mets fans the cold truth: Valentine just isn’t his type of manager. That’s the real reason his phone’s been silent. It’s not that the Wilpons hold any sort of grudge against Valentine ” people close to both Fred and Jeff say they would’ve welcomed Valentine back had Alderson decided to hire him. Instead, Alderson and DePodesta have a distinct idea about a manager’s importance and, ultimately, his job description.
Valentine would be larger than life in an organization that will now demand strict, buttoned-down behavior from its subordinates. Alderson will pick Collins or Melvin because they’re better suited to act as his proxies.
The question’s whether that philosophy will resonate, not just with the fans, a third of whom have stopped coming to see the Mets since 2007, but with the players themselves.