The Mets are scheduled to interview Joe Girardi. A fly on the wall uncovered this transcript of how the interview went…
Most readers have picked up on the idea that this series is what’s called True Fiction. These are “Transcripts”, not The Transcripts. Some of the candidate’s interviews have yet to take place. The readers who “get it” are enjoying the series. I hope that includes you.
Van Wagenen: Morning, Joe. How was the ride in?
Girardi: Not too bad. The Van Wyck was bottled up a bit, but it was manageable. There’s a new Johnny Carson channel on SiriusXM, and I used to watch him every night. Passed the time.
Van Wagenen: “Tell you what. Why don’t we move to my box? There’s a brunch they’ve prepared and a nice view of Citi Field.”
Girardi: Sounds good. You’re on. (Pause)
Van Wagenen: So, let me explain what we’re looking for. The Mets came close with the talent we have. I have some work to do with the bullpen and possibly another starting pitcher. Zack Wheeler is up in the air for us. But I can tell you straight-out we have no intention of trading Noah Syndergaard.
I need a leader who can take us over the top. And I don’t mean just a cameo appearance as a Wild Card team. Tell me how you plan to make that happen for the Mets.
Girardi: That’s a good question, Brodie. May I call you, Brodie? (no pause) My resume as a manager is well-known, and something I’m very proud to have accomplished.
But as you well know, the Mets are not the Yankees. Over there, I inherited a team composed mainly of veteran players who managed themselves. Things went well until they didn’t.
They decided a change was needed, and I was okay with that, mainly because I needed a change as well. That was then, this is now, and the fire is burning again.
Van Wagenen: That’s fine. Joe, but when are you going to answer my question?
Girardi: I’d like to, but here’s the thing. My answer depends on the question I have for you.
Van Wagenen: Really?. Okay, shoot.
Girardi: As I mentioned, my skills both on and off the field as a manager speak for themselves. With no disrespect intended because you are relatively new yourself, my impression of the Mets organization is one of disarray, discontent, and disillusionment from the top on down.
I need to know where I fit in. Will I be number three after Jeff (Wilpon) and you? Will I have input on some things, but not others. And if so, what are those things?
I’ll be blunt. I’m talking about power and how much you are willing to share. I need to know these things now, or at least in the next couple of weeks.
Van Wagenen: Well, if I’m not mistaken, that’s more than one question.
Girardi: I know. But from the outside looking in, because I’ve been following this, you have me, Joe Maddon, and Buck Showalter if you’re thinking of bringing in a high power name for the Mets job. There’s also the expense involved for each of us.
Joe appears ticketed for the Angels, and Buck has the Phillies wooing him. That leaves me.
Both of us have a full calendar, Brodie. So, where is this going?
Van Wagenen: I appreciate the consideration of time. It has been hectic. I’m not prepared to answer your concerns about where you fit in. I’ve thought about it a lot, but I haven’t yet decided just what it is I want.
I say that to you in confidence with an understanding of what the media would do with that one.
Why don’t we do this? Let’s sit on and mull over this conversation for a few days, and I’ll get back to you by phone. Will you be at home?
Girardi: Nah, I’ll be on the road with the networks until after the World Series. Here’s my cell.
Van Wagenen: One other thing. If things get hot with the Cubs, will you promise me a call before you make a decision?
Girardi: I can do that, sure.
Van Wagenen: You’re right about the money, you know. They’re (Mets owners) – well – let’s just say they’re tough to deal with. Let’s keep in touch. Say hi to Kim for me. I see your son Dante is playing for a team in New Rochelle (NY). Quite the pitcher and hitter, huh?
Girardi: You bet. I’ll do that.
Three weeks go by, and there is no further contact between Joe Girardi and Brodie Van Wagenen, Neither of them makes any comments about the content of the interview, other than to say, “It went well.”
The New York media, however, continues the hype of Girardi as other candidates join the line of scheduled interviews.
Fans stand by, waiting for the list of names who are being called in for a second interview.
By now, Van Wagenen knows precisely what he is looking for in a new manager.
Joe Girardi’s name does not appear on that list.