MLB Network’s The Shredder recently released rankings for second basemen and Jeff McNeil finished second. Maybe you think that ranking’s too high. Maybe you think it’s a reflection of the lack of talent/depth in MLB at the position. Or maybe you think it’s overdue recognition for the skills that McNeil brings to the table. To me it’s a reminder of the comically bad take of Brodie Van Wagenen when he said he considered second base a “primary need” of the team.
It’s probably a given that clubs – especially the Mets – are thoroughly reviewing their hiring questions and practices. If you think Art Howe lights up a room, your hiring process probably stinks. If you have to cut ties with your skipper before he manages a single game, that was a pretty big mistake. If you hire a guy who sends 62 unanswered texts to the same person, you are not asking the right questions during interviews. If you pick a GM who thinks trading for an old guy so he can “upgrade” from McNeil is a great baseball move – well, you get the idea.
There are multiple rounds of interviews with who knows how many people involved in the discussions. What are they asking and how are they following up on answers received? The goal is not to crucify anyone or any group of people for what’s already happened. Instead, the hope is that because mistakes have been made in the past – hiring dullards, cheaters, predators and people not qualified for the position – what mechanisms are built into the process to ensure these don’t happen again?
Maybe the latest blunder is what finally pushes the hiring process to be overhauled. The takeaway should be that there are many different facets that need to be addressed, not just one.