New York Mets: What To Expect From Manager Luis Rojas in 2021?

yankees, New York Mets, Luis Rojas

New York Mets manager Luis Rojas had a roller coaster ride in his first season as skipper. Rojas assumed the job of hired, then fired, manager Carlos Beltran, lost spring training to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then started up again for a two and a half month season. There were plenty of peaks and valleys throughout that ride, but Rojas is in a much better position for success in 2021.

Lost in all the 2020 mess is the ownership change that was ongoing throughout the season. Jeff Wilpon and Brodie Van Wagenen always found a way to screw something up during their time with the Mets. Now that both are gone forever, Rojas can manage and influence the game his own way.

New Year, New Me

Regardless of when spring camp gets going on time, Rojas will head into it way more prepared than he was in 2020. If COVID-19 precautions are taken seriously, he will manage an entire season without any major interruptions. Rojas has a strong relationship with a majority of the roster from his time managing in the minors. Those who are new have past relationships with other coaches on his staff.

Of course, the Mets will have a much better roster with Steve Cohen, Sandy Alderson, and Jared Porter as the Mets’ brain trust. Rojas is symbolic of their new GM and assistant GM, a young, good baseball mind who worked his way up from the bottom.

He has teachings from his father, Felipe Alou, and said teachings will be better utilized in 2021. Despite spending many years managing in the big leagues, year one is still a big challenge no matter the experience. Rojas learned plenty of valuable lessons during the underwhelming 60-game struggle. He was managing a wounded roster, but Rojas will never use that as an excuse.

The biggest strength Rojas has is his unique ability to keep his cool. Even in a short season, Rojas never got ejected and never even came close to one. Some see that trait as weak, but that is an essential skill for the modern-day manager.

Thanks to Cohen, the Mets have plenty of buzz surrounding them, and Rojas helps it even more. 2021 is going to be a big year for Rojas due to the hype and much-improved roster. 60-games was not a true indication of Rojas’s ability as a manager, and he will be much better in a full season.

Reminder: This was someone who wanted him fired a week after the season ended

New York Mets: What We Learned From the Hiring of Luis Rojas

The Houston Astros cheating scandal put an unneeded variable in the future of former New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran. It brought questions on his credibility, and he eventually lost his job. General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen had to act quick and smart with two different owners overlooking every move.

The Wilpons are gradually taking a backseat to the day to day moves as Steve Cohen begins to assume majority ownership of the organization. While the transition is occurring, there is increasing uneasiness among the executives who worked under the Wilpon regime. Every executive is under the microscope as Cohen tries to revamp the future of the Mets.

Brodie on the Hot Seat?

Van Wagenen had a tough choice to make when selecting Luis Rojas. The decision was more than simply hiring someone to replace Beltran. If Van Wagenen hired someone they initially refused to interview, such as Dusty Baker or Buck Showalter, it would be a bad look on him. It shows Van Wagenen’s role as a puppet for the Wilpon’s instead of someone thinking on his own.

Cohen will not be the control freak the Wilpon’s have been since they assumed majority ownership. Van Wagenen is trying to stay above water with Cohen. New owners usually bring in their crew of guys and quickly moves on from the old regime. Van Wagenen has made plenty of bold moves during his two offseasons as GM. The leash is very short, and the only person who can extend it is Van Wagenen himself.

The hiring of Rojas is a good move bottom line. Van Wagenen had to stay inside of the organization with Spring Training quickly approaching. Rojas prior managing experience in the minors put him in line to become a future big-league manager. Almost every player on the roster has high praise for Rojas, and he has a good relationship with the young players he worked with in the minors.

Urgency to Win

The “win now” motto of Van Wagenen has never carried the significance it has now. His future with the Mets is on the shoulders of Rojas. No matter the outcome this season, he will have a job in 2021. Cohen is going to provide Van Wagenen with the freedom he did not have under the Wilpon’s.

Despite having freedom, the offseason is all but over. The only thing left as an evaluator of Van Wagenen will be the success the Mets have in 2020. If the season starts the same way 2019 did, it is hard to see Van Wagenen making it to the All-Star break.

New York Mets Have Interest in Dusty Baker

The New York Mets manager search is back open after the organization parted ways with Carlos Beltran. One of the candidates drawing a lot of attention is the long-time veteran manager Dusty Baker.

Baker has managed four different franchises and has won everywhere he has gone. His career record is 1863-1636 to go along with 22 years of experience managing along with 19 years spent as a player. If the Mets are looking for expertise from a manager, it does not get any better than Baker.

Playoff Success?

The one knock on Baker has always been his inability to reach a World Series Championship. For his ten 90-win seasons, he only has one pennant to show for it. His 23-32 postseason record taints his three manager of the year awards. Baker has not made it to a league championship series since 2003 with the Cubs.

Each of his jobs has left sour tastes in the respective fanbases mouths. All four teams he managed have playoff series end where they had two games to close out a series and could not win either game. Baker is also 4-9 in win or go home games.

Focus On the Positives

Baker is a manager who gets it. There is no situation he has not managed before. Baker’s current streak of four consecutive 90 win seasons is intact despite managing two different teams. The only managers to do that in the last decade are Dave Roberts, Joe Maddon, and Joe Girardi (if you carry over the 2009 season). Baker sits between the hall of fame manager Bill McKechnie, and future hall of famer Lou Piniella on the all-time manager wins list.

The combination of the imperfect manager and franchise known for chaos could be a match made in heaven. Both sides have been longing for a World Series championship, and for both, this is their best shot. At age-70, it will likely be a one-year stay for Baker unless both sides are satisfied with what happens in year one.

If the Mets bring in Baker, the expectations should be at the same level, if not higher, than they were when Beltran took the job. He has managed many different teams to winning season, and there is more talent on this roster than on any he has managed in his 22 seasons.

The New York Mets Managerial Malediction

New York Mets, Mets

The New York Mets have a manager problem. Again.

For the 4th time in 5 years, the Mets are looking for a new manager to lead the team. And with less than a month before pitchers and catchers report, it’s not like they’re going to have a lot of time to secure someone who can truly evaluate the team. Part of it was Brodie Van Wagenen’s fault, as he didn’t press Beltrán about his involvement in the Astros cheating scandal before he was hired, but that’s not important. What is important is trying to find the right person for the job in the span of a few weeks.

Lead Candidates for the Mets

In a report by Danny Abriano for SNY, Luis Rojas is reportedly the lead candidate right now being discussed internally by the team. Rojas is only 38 years old, but young managers are in vogue right now. What works to his advantage is that he’s a coach who’s worked his way up through the Mets system, from when he joined in 2006. Rojas would then have a closer relationship with homegrown stars like Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonzo, and Brandon Nimmo, who would get vets like Cano, Cespedes, and Betances fully on board. Three other potentials include Hensley Meulens, Tim Bogar, and Eduardo Perez.

Maybe Go Old School

It’s no surprise that front offices want managers who will abide by the analytical information provided by their analytics department. Which has resulted in managers like Buck Showalter and Bruce Bochy out of the game? With a mess like this, the manager got fired for his involvement in a cheating scandal, someone hard-nosed and old school may be just the kick in the pants an organization needs. The players on the Mets, Red Sox and Astros are all going to be distracted come Spring training by the added media attention around their former manager’s departure. Buck Showalter would be a perfect guy to keep a team focused, cut out all the noise, and get his men to focus on the task at hand. Getting to the 2020 World Series.

New York Mets: Five Possible Replacements for Carlos Beltran

New York Mets, Terry Collins

Over the last 48 hours, controversy and rumors of Carlos Beltran stepping down from his manager position have been surrounding the New York Mets. Should Beltran leave his job, who are the best candidates to jump in and take the reigns with less than a month until Spring Training starts?

Terry Collins

His name either brings back memories of happiness or causes other Mets fans to begin to gag. Collins would be a solid choice in a one-year role while the Mets try to figure out their manager for the following season. He has a good relationship with a majority of the roster and was a key figure of bringing the Mets out of their chaos from the early part of the last decade. Collins is the latest manager to bring the Mets to the World Series and already has direct experience with the job as Mets manager.

Hensley Meulens

Meulens is currently the bench coach for the Mets and has been involved in baseball since 1985 as a player. His experience and knowledge certainly qualifies him to become the manager. Meulens has managed the Netherlands multiple times in the Summer Olympics and World Baseball Classic. Since 2010, he spent time as the hitting coach and then bench coach under Bruce Bochy in the San Francisco Giants organization. Meulens has respect from players throughout the league and speaks five different languages.

Eduardo Perez

Perez was originally one of the few remaining candidates who lost out on the Mets job. He has experience managing in Puerto Rico along with various coaching roles in the earlier part of the 2010s. As much as Perez would like the opportunity to manage, it would be hard to see him jumping out of a multi-year deal he signed to remain as an analyst on ESPN. Despite the lack of time he would have to prepare, the talent the Mets have on their roster may be too much to pass on.

Buck Showalter

Much like Collins, Showalter would be with the Mets as a short term option. His resume speaks for itself and is the most polished out of anyones on the list. Showalter’s last job with the Orioles did not end as smoothly as he wanted, and his older style of managing could be what the Mets need to get eyes focused on the product on the field, not off it. The seven names surrounding Showalter on the all-time wins list are all in the hall of fame, so he is not a wrong choice to settle on.

David Wright

The chance of Wright taking the job has to be less than one percent, but you have to make the call to ask. With all the negativity surrounding the Mets, Wright is the joyful and hopeful face fans, and the organization can rally around. Wright represents the opposite approach the Mets could take when compared to Showalter. He knows the media, the clubhouse knows and respects him. Much like Beltran, Wright is a former player with a brilliant baseball mine and exceptional leadership qualities. With all the analytics and Brodie Van Wagenen involved, how much managing would he even need to do?

New York Mets: Carlos Beltran is the New Manager

New York Mets to interview Carlos Beltran.

After weeks of searching and speculation, the New York Mets have named Carlos Beltran as the 22nd manager in the team’s history. He beat out Eduardo Perez in the final stages, who seemed to have the job all but locked up. There are many aspects involved in this hiring and lets take a dive into it now.

At first, Carlos Beltran was not even interested in a managing gig. As his name continued to be floated around, his interested slowly grew. It grew to the point where he only was interested in taking the Mets job. Beltran had a hall of fame caliber career and it included many great years as a Met. The only unfair rain cloud over his head is looking at a called strike three from Adam Wainwright in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.

Respect is Key

Beltran garners respect from players throughout baseball, especially veterans like Robinson Cano and Jacob deGrom. He is the top manager on my list managers without any experience at any level. There is no doubt his knowledge and demeanor is suited for the job. He was set to be a manager at one point down the road, but is he ready now?

Outside of the lack of experience, it is hard to find a reason why Beltran cannot do a terrific job leading the Mets. He is highly respected, knows the game in and out, was a leader as a player and knows how to handle the New York media. Beltran would also prefer to hire Terry Collins as his bench coach, who would be a great person to have in the dugout.

What Role Does the Front Office Play?

A major topic of discussion will always revolve the role of the front office during the games. When Mickey Callaway was the manager, there were constant reports of him being told what moves to make.

This makes Beltran’s hiring is interesting for a couple reasons.

Beltran is a potential hall of famer, who is doing this job because he wants to, not out of necessity. This should mean he will be in full control and will take input from upstairs when he wants it. Should he be unhappy with the way he is being treated, he can easily change things because of the support from his players.

The other aspect is a scary one. Beltran could be here just as publicity, while Van Wagenen and co. continue to run the organization into the ground with their in game decisions. This could be why handling the press was a key part of the interview process. Someone has to take the blame when moves from upstairs do not pan out. Beltran would make the simple moves, but could just be here for the paycheck.

Understanding who Beltran is, the scary aspect is very unlikely. Beltran simply get what it means to be a winner. While most of us still prefer Joe Girardi, Beltran still would qualify as top three in the list of candidates the Mets hired. Despite the dysfunction in the front office, Beltran is the one who can stabilize the franchise.

New York Mets: A Clearer Timeline

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

The New York Mets managerial search now has five names instead of the original four. The original crew of Derek Shelton, Tim Bogar, Eduardo Perez and Carlos Beltran are joined by Pat Murphy. The organization hopes to have a name selected by the time the GM meetings start on November 11.

With the Royals officially hiring Mike Matheny on Thursday, the Mets are one of three teams who still need a manager. With free agency quickly approaching, the Mets would be better served to select their candidate in time for the team to make some moves.

Owners in On the Manager

Putting Fred Wilpon in the interview process should be very telling of how the organization works. This third round of interviews will likely be surrounded around what Wilpon wants to ask. If everyone in the room likes a candidate, but the Wilpons do not, the candidate will not get the job.

Unfortunately, just like a big business, the top guy has the final say. In this case the everyone answers to the Wilpons and we know how power hungry they are. Judging by the lack of success over their time as owners, the Wilpons have been wrong way more than they have been right.

Since Davey Johnson was fired in 1990 the Mets have gone through 10 managers. Only two of them lasted at least four full seasons. The Mets roster is full of talent now and the man they select for the job has to be the one who finally guides this team to a championship.

New York Mets: The Third Round of Interviews

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

While half the teams searching for managers have made hires already, the New York Mets are conducting their third round of interviews to find their next leader. The list of names was cutdown between rounds one and two, but barely changed for round three. They still feature Eduardo Perez, Tim Bogar, Carlos Beltran, Luis Rojas. Pat Murphy‘s name emerged as a mystery candidate over the weekend, but it is unknown if he is receiving a third interview.

Murphy has been the Brewers bench coach since 2016 and spent 20 years coaching college baseball. He came to the major leagues in 2010 where he was working throughout the Padres organization. He managed them to a 42-54 record in 2015 after Bud Black was let go. The still unknown “bombshell candidate” is still in play as well.

These interviews will feature Fred Wilpon, it what seems like the boss battle in a video game. The Mets interview process is one of the most extensive in baseball and rightly so after Mickey Callaway’s time as a Met was a disaster.

Manager Interviews or March Madness

At this point, we may need bracketology to keep track of the remaining candidates. It is a good sign to see the Mets go this far for their candidates though. It is better for them to be thorough than to pick anyone…even though Joe Girardi was the right man for the job.

What continues to make the dynamics of these interviews interesting is the amount of involvement the front office likes to have. At times during Callaway’s tenure, it seemed like he was stuck with whatever in game decisions they wanted. Since we do not know the questions from the interview, the power of the next manager is up to speculation.

When the season begins, we will receive a better idea. If the team is managed the same way as Callaway, it will be obvious the front office has control. Potential managers like Perez and Rojas have plenty of experience and should deserve the ability to manage the game without the front office’s hand up you know where.

New York Mets: Two More Managerial Candidates

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The New York Mets seemed to narrow themselves down to their final four managerial candidates, but a lot has changed over the last 48 hours. A “bombshell” candidate along with two others emerged to land second interviews.

Luis Rojas is one of the lesser known candidates. At age 38, he is the youngest candidate for the job. Despite his youth, he has plenty of coaching and managing experience in the Mets organization. His coaching career began in 2006 by spending a year coaching the Nationals Dominican League team.

Ties in the Mets Organization

Rojas earned the same job for the Mets in 2007, then moved on to the Gulf Coast Mets in 2008 followed by the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2010. Rojas first managing experience was in 2011 in Gulf Coast, then held the Sand Gnat job from 2012-14. He managed the St. Luice Mets in 2015, then the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2017-18.

Rojas got his first big league gig in 2019 as the Mets quality control coach. He is a very interesting candidate because he has spend over 10 years in the organization and has helped develop a majority of the players on the roster now. Phil Regan had worked with multiple Mets pitchers in the minors and it ended up benefitting him when he became pitching coach. Expect the same effect if Rojas becomes the manager.

Derek Shelton is also a good candidate for the job. He is currently the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins. He spent three seasons managing players like Robinson Cano in the Yankees minor league system. Shelton moved on to become the Indians hitting coach for five seasons before moving on to the Rays as their hitting coach from 2009-2016.

He spent the last two seasons as the Twins bench coach. Shelton is brings experience from coaching under Joe Maddon, Paul Molitor and Rocco Baldelli.

Who Deserves the Job?

Behind Joe Girardi, Rojas and Shelton should be listed a candidates B and C. They more qualified than Carlos Beltran, Eduardo Perez or Tim Bogar. The experience of Rojas and Shelton are very extensive and both have a good relationship with players throughout the organization.

New York Mets: The Four Managerial Candidates

New York Mets to interview Carlos Beltran.

The New York Mets have gone through an extensive list of candidates to fill their manager position. After a couple weeks of intense vetting the final four names left are Tim Bogar, Eduardo Perez, Carlos Beltran and Joe Girardi.

Tim Bogar is currently the Nationals first base coach and is a name that has flown under the radar. His experience is no joke though, which has given him to opportunity to make the final four. Bogar is a former Met who spent nine years in the big leagues and has won manager of the year in three different minor leagues.

He spent time coaching in multiple roles during his MLB coaching career. Bogar has coached under Joe Maddon, Terry Francona, Bobby Valentine and Ron Washington. His only managing experience came in 2014 when he replaced Washington and led the Rangers to a 14-8 record to end the season.

From the Booth to the Bench?

Eduardo Perez has a very interesting background compared to the rest of the candidates. He has experience coaching in the bigs, tv experience and comes from a baseball family. Perez is the son of hall of famer Tony Perez and Eduardo was a 13-year veteran who bounced around from team to team.

He has managed in winter ball leagues in Puerto Rico and has experience as a bench and hitting coach for the Astros and Marlins, respectively. Perez is a very likable figure throughout baseball which helped him earn another interview.

Will a Beltran Hire Be Another Strikeout?

Carlos Beltran had a very successful career which included seven good years with the Mets. He was known for his ability to be a strong clubhouse leader, but did have front office conflicts with the Wilpons. Originally, Beltran wanted nothing to do with job but quickly had a change of heart which is paying off for him.

Beltran lacks the managerial experience at any level, unlike the other three candidates. What makes Beltran’s story interesting is he only wants the Mets job. He can definitely add the hitters and base stealing perspective the team lacked with Mickey Callaway as manager.

Will the Wilpons Accept Girardi?

Joe Girardi is hands down the best candidate of the four, which is why the Phillies see him as their top candidate. He is a World Series champion, former manager of the year and has 988 wins over 11 years of managing experience. Girardi also owns the best challenge record in baseball history.

The one red flag, for only Fred/Jeff Wilpon, and Brodie Van Wagenen, is that Girardi would expect to have full control of the day-to-day and game decisions. This had a lot to do with why Brian Cashman decided to move on to Aaron Boone to manage the Yankees. Cashman wanted more control of the team and it has not seemed to work very well.

The Direction of the Franchise

If the Mets bring in Beltran or Perez, expect the same old stuff that happened under Callaway. The one variable here is that Beltran has way too much to lose by become a puppet to the front office. Beltran is a borderline hall of fame and can find a better job somewhere else if he is not happy with what the Mets offer.

Girardi or Bogar should receive full control when they get the job. This situation is very black or white. Unfortunately, the Mets tendencies forces us to assume they will make the mistake by hiring another puppet.

Prediction: Carlos Beltran lands the job