One opinion on who the next Mets manager and pitching coach should be

In 1964, the Mets were terrible. In only their third year of existence, they lost 109 games – actually an improvement over the celebrated 120 losses of 1962 and 111 of 1963 – and finished 40 games out of first place. With such luminaries as Wayne Graham, Larry Burright and John Stephenson dotting the roster, the Mets opened shiny, new Shea Stadium that year, hosted the All-Star Game and ended up on the receiving end of a famous perfect game by the Philadelphia Phillies’ Jim Bunning. The St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Pennant that year, in a four-way dogfight with the Phillies, the Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants. They beat the Yankees in the World Series, sending New York off to a postseason drought from which they wouldn’t emerge for another 12 years. However, things weren’t a rosy as they appeared for St. Louis. Simmering front office turmoil cost them their manager – Johnny Keane, who ended up managing the Yankees in 1965 – General Manager Bing Devine and Player Development Director Eddie Stanky. These latter two were scooped up for similar titles by the Mets, who were, as writer Roger Angell put it, “not used to such good fortune.” Stanky only stayed for a year, but was helpful to Devine in building what would become an almost annual contender from 1969 to 1976.

This year’s Mets, coming off a 92 loss season and having jettisoned their manager and pitching coach, now have an opportunity similar to to their swingin’ sixties forebears. There are a couple of guys for those positions who would seem a perfect fit. One is a former Mets player who had a lot of success in the American League as a manager. The other was also a manager, but had been a respected pitching coach before that; he was let go two days ago. Your intrepid columnist, then, hereby nominates Ron Gardenhire as the next Mets manager and John Farrell as the new pitching coach.

Gardenhire was let go by the Minnesota Twins in the winter of 2015 after an incredibly successful 13-year run as their manager. In that time, his teams had losing records only five times – including his last four in a row, which is, of course, what got him fired. His teams reached the playoffs six of his first nine seasons. An injury-prone Mets shortstop of the early-‘80s, Gardenhire developed a reputation as a fiery umpire baiter and bench jockey. Sounds similar to another Mets infielder of the same era, for whom many have clamored to be manager doesn’t it? His guys played hard for him year after year and he has earned the respect of people throughout the game. He’s currently in the employ of the Arizona Diamondbacks as a bench coach under young manager Torey Lovullo, and between the two of them, they were able to guide Arizona to the playoffs this year. More importantly, this would be a sign to the fan base that ownership is serious about contending next year and that they won’t “cheap out” and bring in a Bob Geren or a Chip Hale or stay in-house and name batting coach Kevin Long, or something.

As for Farrell, he was the pitching coach under Terry Francona with the Red Sox when they made their World Series runs in the mid-2000s. He had what would be deemed a successful tenure as manager of the Red Sox – three division championships and one World Series title in five years — but in the wake of their playoff ouster this past Monday, Sox management has seen fit to let him go. The Mets would do well bring in an innovative coach who may have a different idea as to how to preserve those all-important pitching arms.

That’s one guy’s two cents.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley.

13 comments for “One opinion on who the next Mets manager and pitching coach should be

  1. October 12, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I’ll put my vote on Alex Cora Charlie. Intelligent and no-nonsense . I guess you can say a new breed of manager for today’s game. Though I’m not too sure he will have the ability (or stature) to discipline Cespedes ala Gil Hodges with Cleon Jones.

  2. Hobie
    October 12, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I wouldn’t mind that, especially Farrell–Cora is my preference for FM. Wouldn’t mind D.Wright as bench coach & Letroy Hawkins in the BP either. Granderson at 1B?

    I remember wanting Stanky instead of Stengel in 1962! (I’m old.) And was ticked that Herzog, who was in-house as Player Development Director, didn’t get the reigns when Gil passed. So it goes.

  3. TexasGusCC
    October 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Guys, Wright doesn’t want to retire (he just had another procedure in order to come back) and Granderson won’t be coaching next year. Can’t understand why everyone keeps bringing these names up. However, Michael Cuddyer is a good name, as a player that played the game correctly, and he certainly would pass that on. I would love to have him as a bench coach.

    Can’t understand why Frank Viola is not more appreciated by his organization, but they don’t appreciate any of their minor league offerings. Suppressing them is more the mindset. Funny how successful former players aren’t considered but rather we just keep turning over stones and dumpster diving, even in our coaching staff.

    How does Alderson still have his job??

  4. Joe Gomes
    October 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Alex Cora and Frank Viola

  5. John Fox
    October 12, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Whoever gets the manager job (my pick would be Kevin Long) should be the one to pick the pitching coach and the rest of the coaching staff with input from the front office

  6. Steevy
    October 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    A good manager will help but what the team really needs is a a major market payroll class talent infusion.

  7. October 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    If the manager is someone who is highly regarded and respected why should the FO have any input on “his” coaching staff? Let SA handle FA and the draft. And please keep TC as far away as possible from Citifield.

    • TexasGusCC
      October 12, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Pete, Collins is going to be the player development guru, once more. Then, he can complain about how the college programs don’t prepare players for professional ball very well.

      • October 13, 2017 at 3:26 am

        Gus he’s going to be what 70? It’s a vicious cycle here. He wasn’t very good at developing all the kids he got during his tenure as manager.

  8. Larry Smith
    October 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I also like the idea of Cora for manager. Not sure that Farrell would be a great choice for pitching coach only because it might put a cloud over Cora’s head. If the team stumbles early might the front office turn to an experienced former manager sitting right next to him in the dugout?

  9. Chris F
    October 12, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    if anyone out there watching cubs nats. im hiding in the syndergaard pivetta chat

    • TexasGusCC
      October 13, 2017 at 1:15 am

      You left when it got good.

  10. Rae
    October 14, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I’d pick Alex Cora as he is smart, knows baseball analytics and should be able to work with prima donnas such as Cespedes and Syndegaard.

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