Even though he was a Yankee, it’s my opinion that most Mets fans bear no ill-will towards Don Mattingly. He had Hall of Fame talent but had his career derailed by back injuries. He’s also had a lengthy managerial career, which for the most part has been a disappointment. But few want to say that part out loud. And why is that?
Yes, the last seven years were with the Marlins, which would be a challenge for anyone to consistently pump out 90-win seasons. But perhaps no team in the league seemed less prepared, less fundamentally sound than the Marlins. It was such a contrast to compare Mattingly’s Marlins and Buck Showalter‘s Mets last year.
Mattingly was given the ax following the 2022 season and my fear was that he was going to wind up on the Mets in some capacity. That fear had nothing to do with his Yankees ties but rather the uninspiring play of his Marlins teams. So, I was relieved to hear that Mattingly joined the Blue Jays as their bench coach.
The Mets will have a new bench coach in 2023. Hitting coach Eric Chavez was bumped up to bench coach, so that the club could promote Jeremy Barnes from assistant to the main role guiding the team’s hitters. Allegedly, Barnes was in high demand and the Mets were afraid of losing him. Good luck to both guys in their new roles.
Last year’s bench coach, Glenn Sherlock, will now work exclusively with the team’s catchers. Some may look at this as a massive demotion but it doesn’t seem that way to me. There’s probably no manager in the majors who needs a bench coach less than Showalter. And Sherlock has the chance to really impact the 2023 team by working with Francisco Alvarez. Hopefully they’ve already started and Sherlock can make the brass feel comfortable enough to have Alvarez on the Opening Day roster.