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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Beltrán: Need to be “best friend” to Mets’ GM as manager

NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Beltrán was back in familiar blue pinstripes Monday, buttoning up a New York Mets uniform while standing next to his new boss, Brodie Van Wagenen.

The first-time manager is taking over following a tenuous season at Citi Field, and his plan to calm the clubhouse works from the top down. That means Van Wagenen isn’t just getting a new employee.

“When you’re a manager, literally, your GM has to be your best friend,” he said.

Beltrán was introduced as Mets manager by Van Wagenen and Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon during a news conference in Queens. Beltrán, who spent seven of his 20 seasons as a player with the Mets, identified inconsistency as the culprit for New York’s rocky and disappointing 86-win season.

Seems strange to me, for various reasons…..

 

QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:40 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brodie van wagenen, carlos beltran, mets being mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. flournoy Posted: November 05, 2019 at 08:43 AM (#5898692)
I don't really think of star-level outfielders as managerial candidates. Though obviously not unprecedented... Frank Robinson, Dusty Baker, Don Baylor (more of a DH, granted)...
   2. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5898705)
... Ted Williams ...
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:17 AM (#5898708)
tenuous?
   4. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:20 AM (#5898710)
I really like Beltran and I hope this works out but I suspect it won't. The Mets bullpen imploded this year but their starters were pretty healthy. If you consider Vargas and Stroman as one starter (the Mets essentially replaced one for the other), their top-5 starters all made 30 starts. Alonso is really good but he isn't likely to be as good next season.

I feel that the Mets are more likely to win fewer games than more, and that will have little to do with Beltran's managing. The fanbase tends to be a bit ambivalent towards him despite how good he was the Mets.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5898714)
Mets are a clear "in the mix" team which means 70 wins could happen as easily as 90.

A lot went right with the hitting last year, and DeGrom was magic again, but you wouldn't say they really played above their potential. Syndergaard/Stroman/Wheeler(?)/Matz could easily exceed their combined ERA+ of 100 (also they could all get injured).

The bullpen should be improved, but who knows.

   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5898721)
I don't really think of star-level outfielders as managerial candidates. Though obviously not unprecedented... Frank Robinson, Dusty Baker, Don Baylor (more of a DH, granted)...

Piniella wasn't really a star, but he was pretty good.

Are we counting player-manager. If so, Tris Speaker.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5898778)
Piniella wasn't really a star, but he was pretty good.

So was Davey Martinez. And to a lesser extent, Dave Roberts.

Rocco Baldelli was sort of a star for a short period, and has worked out pretty well as a manager so far.
   8. I Knew A Guy Who Knew A Guy Who Knew Rey Ordonez Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5898782)
jfc this is going to end with manager Jeff Wilpon in mid-August isn't it?
   9. Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: November 05, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5898816)
Beltran should offer to be Van Wagenen's "big toe". That would be nice.
   10. flournoy Posted: November 05, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5898834)
I had always thought of Dave Martinez as more of a career backup/fourth outfielder type (which I see isn't quite fair, but isn't too far wrong). Rocco Baldelli was a star prospect, but I think that's about as far as I'd go on that one.
   11. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5898847)
I don't really think of star-level outfielders as managerial candidates. Though obviously not unprecedented... Frank Robinson, Dusty Baker, Don Baylor (more of a DH, granted)...


Ted Williams was a manager, too.
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5898864)
I don't really think of star-level outfielders as managerial candidates. Though obviously not unprecedented... Frank Robinson, Dusty Baker, Don Baylor (more of a DH, granted)...


If you're willing to go old-school, Fred Clarke.
   13. The Duke Posted: November 05, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5898880)
I hope Wainwright shuts the Mets out in the 7th game of the NLCS next year
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5898885)
I had always thought of Dave Martinez as more of a career backup/fourth outfielder type (which I see isn't quite fair, but isn't too far wrong).

Yeah, similar to Piniella, he wasn't a star, but he was pretty good. Lou was closer to a star -- he started more games, and actually won the ROY, made an All-Star team, and picked up a few down-ballot MVP votes over the years, while Davey didn't. Probably because Lou was a better hitter, even though Davey was a decent CFer and Lou was a mediocre LFer. But they were a lot closer than I would have guessed.

LP - 18 seasons*, 1747 G, 6362 PA, 109 OPS+, 12.5 WAR, -9.5 WAA
DM - 16 seasons , 1918 G, 6480 PA, 95 OPS+, 19.1 WAR, -2.4 WAA

* Piniella had 7 PA in his first two seasons combined, so really just 16 seasons. Piniella was drafted at 18, and was subsequently traded and selected in an expansion draft before making his MLB debut with 1 plate appearance at age 21. He was then traded *again* and selected in *another* expansion draft, ultimately waiting until he was 25 before receiving his next 6 MLB plate appearances. He was then traded a *third time* to the expansion Royals, where he became the first batter in team history and won the 1969 Rookie of the Year. Quite a journey.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: November 05, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5898889)
Sorry, according to SOSH U's standards in the Beltran thread, each of these players was "a drain on his team."
   16. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 05, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5898892)
Felipe Alou is the star OF turned manager that we're forgetting. His place in the great Mays/Cepeda Giants teams and the novelty his endless parade of brothers combined to make him a bit more of a star than his raw numbers would suggest, even though his raw numbers are quite good.
   17. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: November 05, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5898931)
I fear that Beltran's desire to be a "friend" to players and the GM will not serve him well. He will be chewed up and spit out by that job.
   18. Red Voodooin Posted: November 05, 2019 at 06:16 PM (#5898933)
Ted Williams was a manager, too.


So was Cobb for a while. I'm pretty sure they were both terrible managers.
   19. Sunday silence Posted: November 05, 2019 at 06:31 PM (#5898937)
Not so sure about that in the case of Ted Williams. A lot of his old players had very complimentary things to say about him. I know he had his demons but he seemed to be pretty good at communicating baseball knowledge.
   20. A triple short of the cycle Posted: November 05, 2019 at 06:39 PM (#5898938)
Any star-level catchers serve as manager, or just decent but not great catchers? Scioscia is about the best I can think of offhand. Oh Yogi Berra of course.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: November 05, 2019 at 07:01 PM (#5898941)
Any star-level catchers serve as manager, or just decent but not great catchers?


Tony Pena and Bob Boone were in that Scioscia range (though both were probably seen as bigger stars).
   22. Walt Davis Posted: November 05, 2019 at 07:15 PM (#5898943)
That Ted Williams managed for a couple years nearly 60 years ago is not much of a rejoinder to "I don't really think of star-level outfielders as managerial candidates." Speaker and Cobb are even less relevant.

Me, I'm not sure why that would be qualified by "outfielder." Stars of the expansion era rarely become managers period. There are probably a few but no star pitchers becoming pitching coaches spring to mind. Mac and Bonds did have brief tenures as hitting coaches (and pretty sure Baylor did as well and maybe we consider Chili Davis a star?)

Of the top 50 in expansion position player WAR:

Rose
Robinson
Molitor
now Beltran

Sandberg and Bell are just outside the top 50 then Torre at #83. Ventura and Perez seem to close off those with 50+ WAR. Pretty sure Torre, Robinson and Bell are the only ones to make it over 1000 games (Rose 785).

Not far below that you get Matt Williams then nothing until Mattingly at #160 (I think, easy enough to miss one). Not sure how far down you want to go -- Baker is just outside the top 200 among position players; Baylor substantially below that.

   23. flournoy Posted: November 05, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5898949)
Any star-level catchers serve as manager, or just decent but not great catchers?


Joe Torre

Me, I'm not sure why that would be qualified by "outfielder." Stars of the expansion era rarely become managers period.


Alan Trammell is another name missing from the ones you mention. I think my point about outfielders is fair, though. A lot of infielders there in that group.

Kirk Gibson is a name for the outfielder list.
   24. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 05, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5898955)
Any star-level catchers serve as manager, or just decent but not great catchers? Scioscia is about the best I can think of offhand. Oh Yogi Berra of course.


Mickey Cochrane.
   25. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 05, 2019 at 08:48 PM (#5898956)
Stars of the expansion era rarely become managers period. There are probably a few but no star pitchers becoming pitching coaches spring to mind.


Bob Gibson with the Mets and Braves.

Does Warren Spahn's tenure in the 1970s with the Hiroshima Carp count?
   26. asinwreck Posted: November 05, 2019 at 08:53 PM (#5898958)
Yogi Berra went 484-444 as a manager with the Mets and Yankees.
   27. Sweatpants Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:07 AM (#5898995)
So was Cobb for a while. I'm pretty sure they were both terrible managers.
I'd bet that Cobb had a winning record as a manager. His Tiger teams in the 1920s were just bursting with hitters. There was one year when Al Wingo hit .378, which was something like fourth in the American League and third in the Tigers' outfield.

On the other hand, I recall Charlie Gehringer having a very negative opinion of Cobb's interpersonal skills.
   28. Sunday silence Posted: November 06, 2019 at 08:28 AM (#5899021)
''I don't want to be their best friend I want to be their father...''
   29. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5899035)
I'm pretty sure they were both terrible managers.


Maybe, maybe not, but from on-the-field results Ted apparently was a helluva hitting coach. He was AL Manager of the Year for '69, his first season.
   30. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5899037)
Does Warren Spahn's tenure in the 1970s with the Hiroshima Carp count?


His tenure with the Cleveland Indians certainly should.
   31. Rally Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5899049)
* Piniella had 7 PA in his first two seasons combined, so really just 16 seasons. Piniella was drafted at 18, and was subsequently traded and selected in an expansion draft before making his MLB debut with 1 plate appearance at age 21. He was then traded *again* and selected in *another* expansion draft, ultimately waiting until he was 25 before receiving his next 6 MLB plate appearances. He was then traded a *third time* to the expansion Royals, where he became the first batter in team history and won the 1969 Rookie of the Year. Quite a journey.


Interesting, but he did not go to the Senators in an expansion draft. He was signed by the Indians at 18 (not drafted - there was no amateur draft in 1962), and taken by the Senators in some sort of draft in November 1962, but at that point the new Senators had already played 2 seasons.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: November 06, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5899213)
My apologies to Mr. Williams. My brain thought his managing career followed his playing career almost immediately but it was in fact just 50 years ago, not 60.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 06:35 PM (#5899253)

#31, thanks for the corrections. Here's an interesting SABR article about the First Year Player Draft which I confused with the expansion draft.
   34. eric Posted: November 06, 2019 at 07:01 PM (#5899257)
I don't think it should come as a surprise that relatively few managers had been star players. There's only 30 manager slots. There's a lot of ex-players out there, and only a relative few are ever stars.

It wouldn't surprise me if the ratio of managers who used to be star players to managers who weren't is comparable to the ratio of players who used to be stars to players who weren't (all very dependent, of course, on where one draws the line between star and not-a-star). Or perhaps the ratio is even higher given a star player is probably more likely to have the connections and name cachet to land a job.

Of course, star players likely have less of a financial need to keep working especially in a thankless position like MLB manager, so maybe it all evens out in the end.

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