The Mets greeted Carlos Beltran with open arms today. His boss didn’t waste time giving him marching orders. How will the new manager receive them…
The Mets 22nd manager’s first day played out like a movie script with a minute by minute coverage offered by SNY, the team’s broadcast network. There were cameras waiting for Carlos Beltran‘s early morning arrival (video below).
New manager alert (via @mets) pic.twitter.com/C36p41x0Gz
— SNY (@SNYtv) November 4, 2019
Brodie to Carlos: Your marching orders…
The mood and atmosphere were festive and joyous as Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen took to the podium to formally introduce Carlos Beltran to the New York media. A new man brings new hope and promise of bigger and better things to come.
Van Wagenen spoke for only a minute (thank you) to take a step backward and not forward in recalling his first words spoken when he became the GM of the Mets – “We are a player’s first organization.”
However, he added a new wrinkle, offering that Carlos Beltran will be a “player’s manager.” (Video below)
"Carlos Beltran will be a players' first manager" – Brodie Van Wagenen pic.twitter.com/83mR9QjAq7
— SNY (@SNYtv) November 4, 2019
Which got me to thinking and wondering about two things. First, what does “player’s first” mean? And second, is Beltran ready and willing to buy into the orders he just received from his boss?
More to the point, if he doesn’t buy-in, what type of manager does he want to be – and how will that impact his relationships with his boss and the team?
A player’s manager means – what?
Before we go there, though, let’s put Brodie to the test by recalling the episode involving Noah Syndergaard and his “demand” to have a personal catcher not named Wilson Ramos.
Syndergaard is not some third-rate pitcher asking for this privilege, and you would think a “player’s first” organization, led by Van Wagenen, would have no issue with granting their Number Two starter his wish.
But as we know, that’s not how it played out when Van Wagenen passed the ball to Mickey Callaway. He was left as the mediator and scapegoat on a matter that should have been handled in days, and not the weeks the fumbling Mets never took firmly to resolve the issue anyway.
How about this one? When the Mets nine player’s eligible for arbitration present their salary number to the team for 2020, what happens then, Brodie?
A player’s first organization is not one that sits down across the table from the player, beating them down with all the reasons why they suck and don’t deserve what they are asking for. Is it, Brodie?
Or, how about the player who insists something is wrong, and he wants to fly back to New York to see a specialist in the middle of crucial road series in August?
Does he get a yes because the Mets are a player’s first organization – or a no – you can wait till we get back to New York?
Brodie Van Wagenen is either lying through his teeth when he says the Mets are a player’s first organization – or he is as naive as many believe him to be about major league baseball.
And he does no service to Carlos Beltran by hooking his new manager into the charade.
Thankfully, Beltran knows better
It’s a team-first – not the player’s first.
One through twenty-five, every man is accountable to the other 24 players. What’s best for the team must be the only question a player asks before he does or says this or that.
The good news is based on last year’s performance, the 25 men in the Mets clubhouse already know this. Carlos Beltran does, too, as well.
It might be too much to ask, but to clear the air Beltran can take an immediate positive step forward by establishing his narrative. Perhaps, one that suggests we are a team-first organization, and everything we do is based on what’s best for the team – and winning.
And just to set the record straight (Noah), I’ll decide who catches when you pitch based on who gives us the best chance to win that day. End of story.
The timing is off for Beltran to play his cards now. But in the back of his mind, hopefully, as he listened to his boss introduce him today as a “player’s manager,” he kind of chuckled to himself – “See, I knew it. It’s the same at the top as it was before when I was here. They still don’t have a clue”…