Czar Brodie Van Wagenen is in the midst of a full-fledged power play. There is no one to stop him. The purge is on, and Mets fans will pay…
Czar Brodie recognizes an opportunity when he sees one. Sitting alone at the top of the Mets organization power flow chart (view here), Van Wagenen answers only to Jeff and Fred Wilpon concerning the day-to-day baseball decisions made on behalf of the team.
Czar Brodie is on his second round of interviews in the hiring process of a new manager. Eduardo Perez, Tim Bogar, Joe Girardi, and Carlos Beltran are widely reported to be on that list. Girardi remains at the head of the class, especially among Mets fans who want him dearly in that seat for 2020.
Forget it. No way, no how, will Czar Brodie allow Girardi into the fold – his fold. It has nothing to do with Girardi being the most qualified suitor for the job. It has everything to do with the power Girardi will command and the threat he represents to Czar Brodie’s control of the team in the dugout and beyond.
The ironic part is that Czar Brodie will ply the Wilpons ignorance of baseball and what’s best for the Mets quite easily with the pitch that Girardi is too expensive. This will be music in the ears of Fred Wilpon, leaving the road open for Van Wagenen to pick the servant of his choice.
Joe Girardi is using the Mets to up his hand with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. All the rest is camouflage.
“I’ll Be Your Huckleberry”
Go back to the list now, and ask yourself who fits that role best? Who will be most likely to allow Czar Brodie a hand in making out his lineup, answering his phone calls to the dugout mid-game, and delivering Van Wagenen’s “message points” to the media every day?
Who is Tim Bogar, and why is he even in the conversation?
The question didn’t appear odd when I came across a story from 2015 when the Seattle Mariners fans and media were asking the same questions about Bogar, who was being considered for the manager’s job there. Like, who is this guy?
“This guy” is the guy Brodie Van Wagenen is targeting. Like Girardi, Czar Brodie wants no part of Perez and Beltran. These are both men who carry weight and juice – and they know baseball inside and out. Neither can be pushed around. Plus, they won’t come on the cheap.
On the flip side, Bogar will be as surprised as anyone if he gets the Mets job. And more significantly, he will be (unlike these other candidates) forever grateful to Van Wagenen. Though perhaps, beholden is a better word choice.
His limited managerial experience is just enough to say he’s not a Mickey Callaway retread. And despite the fact he played for the Mets, is there a Mets fan who can come within two years of naming the years he played – or any other event about his time with the team?
Czar Brodie: Caveat Emptor
This is not about Tim Bogar. It’s about candidates like Tim Bogar.
Czar Brodie is off and running. As long as he stays within the confines of the budget allocated to him by the Wilpons, he has free reign in doing what he wants.
This was, for instance, the case of firing Edgardo Alfonzo, who was due for a nice raise and moving him laterally into obscurity, out of Czar Brodie’s way. There’s not a peep from the Wilpons on that one, no siree.
Can it be I am the only one seeing Van Wagenen in this way? Perhaps. As a fan of the Mets, it is best if I am wrong. But darn it, I don’t think so…