Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

New Mets president David Stearns needs to hire a manager and, if not Craig Counsell, an interesting candidate could be…veteran manager Joe Maddon?

That’s what the rumors say, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The former Rays, Cubs, and Angels skipper is apparently keen on the Mets job. The Angels fired Maddon midway through the 2022 season.

The man’s accomplishments and resume speak for themselves. Maddon was an Angels coach for 12 years before getting his first managing job in Tampa Bay in 2006. He took the Rays from regular cellar-dwellers to the World Series in three years.

Maddon also managed the Cubs to winning the World Series in 2016, breaking the 108-year-old curse. His overall record is 1,382-1,216 in 16-plus years.

That said, it’s highly unlikely that Joe Maddon gets the job. Stearns’ connection to Craig Counsell is just too strong.

But if for whatever reason Counsell tells New York, “No, thanks,” hiring 69-year-old Joe Maddon might not be the worst idea. Bruce Bochy is 68 and has the Rangers a win away from the ALCS.

Furthermore, Maddon is very much the anti-Buck Showalter in that he isn’t proudly old school. He’s worked for two of the most analytics-heavy teams in baseball, the Rays and the Cubs. He also took both to the World Series in a short amount of time.

But what makes Joe Maddon stand out is that he knows how to be a player’s manager without losing control of the clubhouse. Like Showalter, his players universally respect him. The Angels only fired him because Arte Moreno is a chaotic owner who, in turn, runs a chaotic franchise.

The difference is unlike Showalter, whose name recognition in New York probably fueled this, Maddon pressers won’t necessarily become “events,” if you will. It’ll be baseball, maybe with a few witty jokes tossed in for fun.

Again, Joe Maddon managing the New York Mets in 2024 probably isn’t happening. But when we recall his interest in the job ten years from now, speculating what might have been could be a fun conversation.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.