...and not Joe Buck, or the greenback buck. Showalter, that's the Buck I'm referring to.
Here's the way I see things, and correct me if you believe I'm wrong. The Mets organization is a top to bottom, bottom to top mess. I believe this has largely occurred because the Wilpons, as well-meaning and sincere as they might be, have relied on the advice of the wrong people, and have allowed their desire to compete with the Yankees each and every year, and fill Shea Stadium to capacity each and every day get in the way of sound baseball decision-making. Not to mention their desire to ensure a successful launch of SNY, and filling the seats in the soon-to-open CitiField...
So I think they've had a lot on their plate, and somehow the organizational personnel and the team have almost become afterthoughts to them; this has to stop, and they need to pay attention to what it all revolves around, and what will either make them wildly successful in the baseball arena, or make them laughingstocks in the baseball community, if that hasn't already occurred -- the building of a successful, competitive major league baseball franchise, and one that will continue to regenerate and nourish itself by its design.
The first step in this process is to choose the right person to be its architect. I've thought about this, and have tossed it around and around, and have sought sage counsel from some of my more savvy and knowledgeable baseball friends, and I believe the answer to all this might be in the form of one Buck Showalter.
Now, we all know Buck's had problems in the dugout. That's a given. I'm not offering him up, so to speak, to manage the team. What I want is for Buck to be responsible for all baseball operations. Hire him, and give him free rein to put his own people in place, and free rein to make the types of sweeping changes that this organization desperately seems to need. Right now, the organization has the feel of an old-boys-club of sorts, a stodgy group with old and dated ideas. Buck, if he's done nothing else in his many years in baseball, is certainly neither stodgy or full of old and dated ideas, nor is he lazy, which is another curse I believe permeates the Mets organization, from top to bottom.
In case some of you have short memories, Buck was a big part of the metamorphosis of the mid-90s Yankees into a four-time World Championship team. As if that weren't enough, he moved on to Arizona, where he became the force in the reshaping of that franchise, and made it into not only a respectable one, but one to be reckoned with for years to come, as we are now seeing. In between all that, he managed to be named AL Manager of the Year a couple of times, and is widely recognized for his uncanny ability to spot talent and cultivate it.
He's also fiery, opinionated and passionate, three things I think most Mets fans would give their dying breath to see in the organization right now.
I know Buck's had his problems; he's brash, and butts heads with those in charge, and probably has seen his last days in the dugout, but when it comes to knowing how to build a team and make a franchise competitive for many years, he's the guy.