By Dylan MacKinnon
Steve Cohen announced on Saturday night that Buck Showalter would be the next manager of the Mets. Immediately, the reaction all around the league was that this is some brilliant hire. Even in this city, people gave the Mets credit for what they said was a great hire. Our own John Kincade and Tyrone Johnson said it was a good hire and it made them nervous. My question is why. What exactly makes this guy such a great manager.
Showalter has been around the league a long time. He has 20 years of Managerial experience to his name. And by all accounts he is a great Baseball mind. But, lets take the name out of it. Instead, lets take a look at his track record over those 20 seasons.
Showalter started out his Managerial career with the Yankees. He took over for them in the middle of a long post season drought. They hired him in 92, and the last time they made the playoffs was when they lost the World Series to the Dodgers in 1981. He spent 4 seasons there. His first year he had a losing record, he followed that up with a winning record but missed then playoffs. Then in a strike shortened year in 94 he managed the Yankees to a 70-43 record. The next year he broke the playoff drought, but lost in the ALDS. George Steinbrenner fired him that offseason.
He followed that up with 3 years with the Diamondbacks, making the playoffs just once. Later, he managed the Rangers for 4 seasons and had 1 winning season, and no playoff berths. Finally he managed the Orioles for parts of 9 seasons. He made the playoffs 3 times, and had 6 winning records. In 2014, he won his one and only playoff series in his career.
Here is a full rundown of his accomplishments in 20 seasons.
- 0 World Series
- 5 Playoff Berths
- 1 Series victory in the Playoffs
- a Record of 1551-1517 (.506)
- 12 of 20 seasons with winning record
- On average, his teams have a record of 82-80 throughout his career.
So why is this guy held in such high esteem? Not only has he never won a world series, he has barley had any playoff success. Compare him to Andy Reid in the NFL, and Reid still had a ton of success, he just got stuck at the NFC Championship hurdle, and lost one Super Bowl. Showalter teams in comparison struggle to even make the playoffs.
Two of his teams went on to win the World Series the year after he was fired. But does that make him look good? It can be argued that it makes him look like what was holding those teams back. At the very least it shows someone else was able to do more with those teams than he could.
There are reasons to be concerned about the Mets. They have had a very good off season before the League shutdown. They added Starling Marte, Max Scherzer, and Mark Canha. While Marte and Scherzer are both older, they should both still be good for at least this year. A great off season doesn’t mean the team will be great. But the roster on paper is certainly impressive. With DeGrom and Scherzer as your 1-2 punch, they are going to be able to win games.
Showalter is an uninspiring hire. It is worse than a retread. He is a retread who has never had sustained success anywhere he has been. Showalter is a big name, but one whose track record does not live up to its hype. I am sure he is a great guy, and I am sure he knows a lot about Baseball. But in 20 seasons, to have such little success, it doesn’t track with some of the hype the hire is getting. It its a desperate hire by an owner who has only shown he has a big money bag, but not much baseball smarts as of yet.