There’s been a lot of talk lately about who will be the next general manager of the Mets. First off, let’s hope the Wilpons do the right thing and actually remove Omar Minaya from the post. Given the way they operate, it’s not a sure thing. But for this exercise, let’s assume they do it.
The Mets are high on assistant GM John Ricco (on the right, with the Mets current — ahem — brain trust) , but most reports say the Wilpons don’t think he’s ready to run the entire organization. They also like Wayne Krivsky, the former Reds GM who is now a Mets special assistant. He probably didn’t deserve to get fired in Cincinnati, and the fruits of his labors are now being seen by the first place Reds.
No disrespect to Ricco or Krivsky, but I hope the Mets don’t promote either one. They need to go outside the organization for their next top guy. However, the Mets have no history of doing that. They’ve done it just once in 48 years — when the Wilpons hired Frank Cashen. How did that work out? The Mets need to do that again.
The Mets need an overhaul, and they need an objective person to do it. Someone like Ricco or Krivsky, despite their abilities, might lack that objectivity because they have been a part of the organization and might have ties to certain personnel (both on and off the field) that could cloud their judgment.
The key thing to look for in a new GM is creativity. The Mets won’t have much payroll flexibility next season, so the new man (or woman, for that matter — ah, who am I kidding?!) will have to be creative to improve the team within financial constraints. I’ve said it before, but it is mind-boggling that Ruben Amaro, Jr. has been able to trade for three of the best pitchers in the game (Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt) over a 12-month period given the Phillies limited budget, while Minaya couldn’t even land a decent number two starter. It’s called creativity, a skill Minaya lacks.
All signs point to Kevin Towers (left). In 15 years as the GM of the small-market Padres, he won four division championships. How many have the high-priced Mets won in 15 years (the answer is one)? He was fired prior to this season, but the first place Padres we are seeing on the field right now is mostly Towers’s team. He did all of this with a severely restricted budget by making smart, creative moves. Think about what he could do with more money at his disposal. Towers is currently a special assistant for the Yankees. He will almost certainly land a GM job this off-season. Let’s hope it’s in Flushing.