New York Mets: Five lessons learned in the first half of 2019

Manager Mickey Callaway, New York Mets. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Manager Mickey Callaway, New York Mets. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets
New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

1. Realistic Goal Setting

When Brodie Van Wagenen took over the reins as New York Mets GM in October it signified a huge change in philosophy. Until he was hired, BVW was a sports agent, including representing Amazins ace Jacob deGrom. Not only did his hiring signify something completely out of the box, but it also represented their shift to baseball in the 21st century.

Van Wagenen is 45 years old, that’s 26 years junior to his predecessor Sandy Alderson. So in addition to a new way of doing things, the Mets got a man who is in tune with today’s athlete. To that end, he can be brash.

On January 16, BVW was filled with confidence. He recently signed Jed Lowrie and Jeurys Familia as free agents as well as trading for eight-time all-star Robinson Cano and 2018’s best closer Edwin Diaz. That’s why he felt fully justified in telling the rest of the National League East to “come and get” the New York Mets.

Almost six months later, it’s safe to say the division stepped up and got the Mets. He certainly wasn’t going to get in front of the cameras and say we put together a fairly good team and we’ll be average-ish next season. At the same time, he set an unrealistic expectation for this team. There wasn’t enough firepower on the roster he assembled to compete with Philadelphia and Atlanta who added a few stars of their own.

Hindsight is 20/20 and as a first-time general manager, Van Wagenen could have phrased things a bit differently, but the Stanford graduate is smart enough to learn from this. While he may be brash going forward, BVW won’t put a target on his team again.