Back when the New York Mets were looking for a manager this offseason, Buck Showalter was a candidate. He has the experience and guile to guide a young team to success, if given time and resources. He is a household name in the industry, and the Mets know that.
However, after Carlos Beltran and the Mets decided to part ways following the former’s implication in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal in 2017, the Amazins opted for the internal route and hired quality control coach Luis Rojas, who has been with the organization for more than a decade.
And, as it turns out, Showalter has nothing but praise for Rojas, as he told Bob Klapisch of NJ.com, cited by SNY.
Upon failing to secure a managerial gig, Showalter was ready to work for YES Network before this 2020 season was suspended due to concerns regarding the coronavirus.
The Mets’ manager has a respected follower
The experienced manager and baseball man said that the New York Mets’ current skipper reminds him of himself at one point.
“Let me say this about the Mets: I like their manager. I don’t know him, but I like his path. I’m a big bio freak and I know where he’s been. I think: ‘That was me once.’ I bet he doesn’t know I’m a big fan of his or that I once managed against his father (Felipe Alou) in the (Class-A) Florida State League (in 1987-88).”
Showalter, much like Rojas, worked his way through the minors before receiving his opportunity in the big show. And Felipe Alou, Rojas’ father, taught him a couple of things about professional baseball.
“I learned a lot from Felipe,” Showalter explained. “For instance, that he would call for a steal one pitch in advance. I finally realized that and pitched out. In those days there were about eight people in the stands, so I could hear Felipe’s booming voice all the way from the other dugout. He tipped his hat and said, ‘It’s about time you figured it out!'”
The Mets continue to wait for MLB, health authorities and the players’ association on a plan to restart the season. When that happens, Showalter will be watching Rojas closely.