A report this week says the Mets have whittled down their search for a manager to five candidates. If the list is accurate, it means the Mets are planning on spending very little money on their next field chief. What a shock.
According to the story by Jon Heyman at FanRag, the five are Kevin Long, Alex Cora, Joe McEwing, Mickey Callaway and Manny Acta. See a pattern? Except for Acta, none of the others has managerial experience. Which means they can likely be gotten on the cheap.
The Mets eliminated potential candidates Robin Ventura, Brad Ausmus, Bob Geren and Chip Hale for one reason or another. But the real reason is because they all come with managerial experience and a thus a higher price tag.
This is standard operating procedure for the Mets, to spend as little money as possible on anything. It is also SOP for Sandy Alderson and the sabermetrics crew, who have such a disdain for managers in general. The general manager is in charge of everything, with the manager just implementing his marching orders. So why spend a lot of money or hire an independent mind for the job?
This is not to say the non-experienced candidates will do a bad job. Hell, everyone has to have their first job once. Even Tony LaRussa and John McGraw were first-time hires at one point. But it just shows the way the Mets operate, to keep as tight a lid on the purse strings as possible. And it is frustrating to watch time and time again.
In the end, whoever is in the manager’s office will not determine the fate of this club. It will be the players Alderson puts on the field. And if the Wilpons cheap out on them, then we are in real trouble.