The 2020 Mets search for a new manager is underway. Candidates abound. Today, we’ll take a look at one of the non-big names under consideration…
The 2020 Mets will broadly be defined by choice of the team’s General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, as the next manager. Van Wagenen has the option of selecting from outside or inside the Met’s organization.
The second tier of candidates follows that group, some more well known than others. Bob Geren, Carlos Beltran, Brad Ausmus, and Tony Pena all are receiving play as potential candidates. Note: Profiles on each of these men can be found on the primary Reflections On Baseball page.
These candidates, if they are hired, all come from outside the Met’s organization. Another intriguing source, however, would be for Van Wagenen to select from inside the team’s organization.
Joe Girardi, you’ll recall, played for the Yankee’s championship teams of the late nineties as their catcher before he was named to succeed Joe Torre for the next decade.
Almost immediately after Mickey Callaway was terminated, David Wright (profiled here) surfaced as a home-town candidate for the job. Viable as someone Mets fans would gush over, Wright’s main detriment is his lack of managerial experience – ironically, the same criticism that befell Mickey Callaway.
Edgardo Alfonzo Checks Most Of The Boxes
That changes, however, when you insert Edgardo Alfonzo into the mix. Alfonzo is currently the Manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets representative in the Class-A New York-Penn League. Alfonzo led his team to the NYPL League Championship this past season.
Critics will say it’s only Class-A, but baseball is played on the same diamond everywhere. Preparation for games and communication with staff and players is also the same. The media, however, is not the same, and that’s an area Van Wagenen needs to weigh regarding Alfonzo.
Alfonzo’s roots with the Mets run deep. Born on November 8, 1973, nicknamed Fonzie, is a former Major League Baseball infielder. Alfonzo spent the majority of his 12-year playing career with the New York Mets, with whom he played in the 2000 World Series. Alfonzo’s 29.7 wins above replacement (WAR) as a Met place him as the seventh most valuable player in franchise history. (Wikipedia)
So, there’s a pedigree present with Edgardo Alfonzo. If Van Wagenen chooses him, an uptick in the morale among Mets coaches and managers toiling in the minor leagues will follow as a side benefit.
On the other hand, there’s also the possibility that those above Alfonzo in the pecking order will be miffed. Tony DeFrancesco, the manager of the Mets Triple-A team in Syracuse, comes to mind as someone who could fit that bill.
Fluent in both English and Spanish, Alfonzo checks that box too.
Alfonzo, unwittingly perhaps, picked up points with fans and Van Wagenen with this quote about the Cyclones, sounding eerily like the team he would be managing in Queens:
Mets And Alfonzo – Summing Up
In sum, few will argue with Alfonzo’s baseball resume. He’s played in the spotlight of New York, but this a whole new challenge, especially regarding contact with the media. As a player, there’s always the Director of Media Relations acting as a barrier between you and reporters. That all changes for any manager who tackles the job in New York.
Pre-game and post-game press conferences are commonplace — the more words you utter, the higher the chance of a slip-up.
By no means, however, does that disqualify Alfonzo from the Met’s job. I would think, though, that an abundant amount of time on this subject will consume the dialog between Van Wagenen and Alfonzo.
Look for updates on the main page as the interview process moves along.
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