Pham’s Words Will Sink New York Mets Skipper
New York Mets manager Buck Showalter is as disappointed as anyone regarding the team's performance in 2023. Coming off of a 101-win season and a Manager of the Year award, Showalter appeared to be the captain that would steer Steve Cohen's MLB yacht into the World Series. That excursion may be short lived.
On Thursday's theathletic.com, Tim Britton and Will Sammon wrote an article How the $445 million Mets Crashed and Burned. It's a terrific piece by two great writers. Included in the article was a damning quote by former-Mets outfielder, Tommy Pham.
In the report, Pham, who was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Mets August salary dump at the deadline, says he told Francisco Lindor, “Out of all the teams I played on, this is the least-hardest working group of position players I’ve ever played with.” The 35-year old veteran added that he respected the work ethics of the team’s leaders; Lindor, Pete Alonso and Brandon Nimmo but his praise seemed to end there. That particular indictment is a horrible reflection on the team's manager and one that puts most organizations in last place.
Showalter has long been considered a "player's manager." As the article referenced, the 67-year old manager prefers that players "police themselves." That is all well and good when there are positive results. Buck Showalter can't be blamed entirely for the Mets' performance in 2023 but holding players accountable for the work they put in, appears to be a significant part of the problem. Accountability is included in most manager's job descriptions, especially in Major League Baseball, where players are making millions. Hard work isn't too much to ask for that amount of cash.
New team president of baseball operations, David Stearns starts his term in just over a week. Stearns will have decide whether or not Buck is the right guy to lead the Mets in 2024. If the new prez wants to win a World Series, his team won't get there working as hard has Showalter had them working this year, that is for sure. Maybe that is why in 22 seasons, the skipper has never won a World Series and has a .385 winning percentage in the post-season. Those kind of numbers add up to; Buck Showalter may be looking at his final days in the Mets dugout.