Wednesday the New York Mets hired their new manager Luis Rojas. Once again they missed the boat by hiring someone with no Major League experience.
In November when the New York Mets hired Carlos Beltran to replace Mickey Callaway as the team’s manager, I wrote that it wouldn’t last long. I’m not clairvoyant, I thought the union would fail due to Beltran’s lack of both managerial and MLB dugout experience, not for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal. Here we are two months later and the Amazins are repeating some of the same mistakes they made last time around with the hire of Luis Rojas.
After Callaway got his walking papers, there were two “hit in the head” choices to manage the team, Joe Maddon and Joe Girardi. Both those men have a wealth of experience, more importantly, Maddon and Girardi have each won a World Series Championship.
Unfortunately, New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen never got the chance to interview Maddon as he was quickly snatched up by Anaheim. Girardi did get an interview. At the time BVW had other candidates he wanted to see and Philadelphia was ready to make a move so Girardi now manages the Phillies.
Instead, Beltran was hired to run the Amazins. He impressed team owners, the Wilpons, and Van Wagenen with his knowledge of the game despite his complete lack of experience.
To be honest, even though Rojas isn’t the right hire, he is a much better choice than Beltran. At least he has spent time managing in the minors. Additionally, the 38-year-old was a member of Callaways staff in 2019 as the New York Mets quality control coach.
Rojas never made it to the bigs as a player, but he comes from baseball royalty. His father is Felipe Alou and his brother Moises Alou both spent 17 years in the Majors. Felipe then went on to have a successful MLB managerial career.
The Mets keep making the same mistake by hiring men who have no Major League managing experience. First with Callaway, then Beltran, and now Rojas. There is nothing wrong with outside the box thinking. Former player agent Van Wagenen as the GM was way out of the box. He came in with some swagger last winter and proceeded to change the organization’s culture.
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It’s understandable to want a young go-getter with good communication skills. What management fails to comprehend is that these New York Mets are no longer kids. The players who fans think are young are actually quite seasoned. Michael Conforto is 27-years-old with five MLB seasons under his belt. The same with Noah Syndergaard. Jacob deGrom is 31, JD Davis 26, Seth Lugo 29, and Marcus Stroman 28. As a matter of fact, the only three players 25 or younger in 2020 will likely be on the roster Pete Alonso, Amed Rosario, and Dominic Smith.
The point is these are grown-men. Not only that, the 2020 New York Mets should be in contention for a playoff spot. They need someone who is a veteran of a pennant chase to lead them. If Rojas’ dad wanted to come out of retirement, he’d be an ideal choice.
The media in New York is as tough as anywhere in the country. A rookie skipper had better have a thick skin because his every move will be analyzed and dissected. It’s not a spot for on the job training, ask Callaway.
Yankees skipper Aaron Boone has been excellent despite his lack of experience. He is a unicorn, the rare man in this business who has been successful running a team, without coaching or managing background. Two unicorns in the same city is hard to conceive.