The Mets still need a manager. Here’s our suggestion.
The New York Mets made plenty of headlines during the 2021 season — and not in many good ways. The front office was a debacle and the on-field product became a historic gong show, holding onto first place longer than any team in history that ended the season under .500.
The offseason started with more issues. Steven Matz went elsewhere, sparking a Twitter rant from owner Steve Cohen that then led to new GM Billy Eppler “winning” the pre-lockout offseason.
Thus far, the Mets have signed four solid free agents.
Those free agents don’t know who their manager will be when the 2022 season opens.
Which isn’t ideal.
We have one name that should be at the top of the Mets’ list.
The Known Candidates
Based on reporting, the Mets have started to build a robust list of candidates they have started interviewing.
Brad Ausmus, Joe Espada, Eric Chávez, Matt Quatraro, Don Kelly and Buck Showalter have been linked to the Mets’ opening.
There is also a rumor that the Mets may circle back with Carlos Beltrán about potentially coming back to the job he accepted at one point after the 2019 season, only to be fired before he ever managed a game because of the Astros’ cheating scandal.
Each of these candidates has elements on their resume that are intriguing, if not exciting. Many of them have interviewed for other managerial openings in the recent past. And some — specifically Ausmus and Showalter — have previous managerial experience.
But there’s one name missing that we want added — at the top of the list.
If you read Anthony DiComo’s solid breakdown of the known/reported managerial candidates, he breaks down the managerial experience of each candidate and points out their resume. He does not include Ozzie Guillén, but we’re here for Ozzie being the next manager of the Mets.
Guillén appeared in 1,993 regular season games over a 16-year major league career. He was the 1985 American League Rookie of the Year, was a three-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove Award at shortstop.
He moved into coaching and worked with the Expos and Marlins before he was named the manager of the White Sox after the 2003 season. After playing for the White Sox for 13 years, he was a hero coming home.
Guillén led the White Sox to their World Series championship in 2005. He lasted eight years on Chicago’s south side before he was traded to the Marlins — yes, the Sox traded their manager. He finished his tenure with the Sox with a record of 678 wins and 617 losses.
Unfortunately, comments (taken out of context) about Fidel Castro cost him his job in September of his first season in Miami.
As a major league manager, Guillén is 747-710 (a .513 win percentage).
It’s been almost a full decade since Guillén managed a major league game. He has paid his penance for, and explained the roots of, his comments about Castro thoroughly.
Guillén is a strong voice who clearly wants to get back into managing. The San Diego Padres interviewed him earlier this year before stealing Bob Melvin from the Oakland A’s. And the Padres are absolutely in a win-now position.
The Mets should at minimum interview Guillén for their job, and we would be in favor of hiring him.