The Buck Showalter is redesigning the Mets ’first position, in one detail

NEW YORK – At the opening of the Mets House, Buck Showalter asked senior manager Billy Eppler to meet him at the stadium. Showalter oversaw only one game at Citi Field, but already realized the mistake. The Showalter invited Eppler to the entrance to the steps that led to the house plate. From the venue, a favorite spot in the game, the Mets manager did not fail see and Mets.

The real problem was the right part. A small piece that hindered Showalter’s appearance. In hindsight, head coach Jeremy Hefner would later say, “it was cruel.” The last two years have angered Hefner and former manager Luis Rojas, both of them first in their careers. Nothing was done about it. Showalter had an answer, but it would take time. Until then, he still wanted to watch his right hand.

Eppler climbed the steps in the middle of the yard and hung over the tracks. He asked the Motel Showalter if it would work.

“Billy, how tall are you?” Asked Showalter.

“6-3,” Eppler replied.

Showalter, 65, was recorded 5-9 in his playing days, but this was 40 years of gravity. He remembered this Appler. That’s why they have to keep an eye on the rotation as footballers scoff at the idea of ​​preparation: The Mets builds Showalter, Hefner and bench coach Glenn Sherlock.

Thirteen days later, when the team returned to Queens with excellent baseball history, the court looked different. The crew built a three-step entrance to the top of the barrier. Now Showalter saw his entire team. And everyone else can see the many ways in which Showalter, in his 21st season as a manager and in his first season running the Mets, is renovating the club cleverly, in one step at a time.

In four previous positions, in a 40-year career in baseball management and the inclusion of three Manager of the Year awards, Showalter was known for his hard work, taxpayers and passionate, to the point of temporary exhaustion of those around him. He knows his thoughts. “Is this one of the things I’m being criticized for?” Showalter said when asked about the change of venues. “If I don’t see the game, it’s difficult.”

The Mets hired Showalter last December to run a team that wants to win. The team has not done well for years. Spending $ 254.5 million in November and owner Steve Cohen is feeling the celestial expectations. At Showalter, Cohen hoped to find a manager with gravitational power, intelligence and good day-to-day operations that run the elite teams.

In the first few weeks of his leadership, through a series of short spring courses and just a dozen games, Showalter achieved this, his players have said. The Mets describe his thoughts as tireless. He asks his players on the game, to see what he knows and their willingness to match his zeal. He speaks intelligently with his West Florida drawl.

“Everything is fun,” said Taijuan Walker. “Everything he says.”

The Mets have learned obedience. The advice about an anonymous law that came out of the meetings before the Showalter season was fulfilled in the first place at home. He kept the veterans informed of the upcoming game change and encouraged them to provide information among their younger peers. He has preached a message of accountability. He amazed others with his wisdom and wanted to make fun of himself. “They are more humorous than I ever imagined,” said Max Scherzer, a $ 130 million Cohen player.

If the Mets look different in 2022 – well, most of that comes from Cohen’s money. But some are based on Showalter’s ideas. And if the ballpark looks different, the same story. It is not just a jar. In support of Showalter, the group also painted the walls of the clubhouse and added lighting to illuminate the venue. The Mets remodeled the cabinet as a private dressing room for support staff. “We’re trying to improve baseball performance in some areas,” Showalter said.

What made Showalter move so fast. He took over the job a few weeks after the owners locked the players out. He was unable to contact any Met until the suspension ended on March 10. At that time, the Opening Day at Nationals Park was less than a month old.

When the group gathered in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Showalter revealed himself through personal interviews and group meetings. He showed a couple of duplicate videos as a blueprint for how the Mets wanted to play and as a starting point for how they watched the game. The video, explained by newcomer Chris Bassist, showed “there is not much to think about.”

“They like to show other teams disrupting, I’ll tell you,” Bassitt said. “That’s all – rundowns, cutoffs, relays, everything. They’re like, ‘Listen, this is winning and losing you football. It’s not always an easy way. But they want you to damage your ass, and do everything right. “

Before each workout, Showalter responded with a variety of rules. At one of the meetings, the group met an arcane that some, like JD Davis, who played for six years, never thought about. Showalter elaborated: Say the opponent is considering asking the athlete to leave the bag as soon as possible. In that case, if there was a Met at the bottom, the player should try to steal the bag. If the defendant takes action and tries to throw the Met out, it would undermine their right to complain.

It sounded impossible. “It’s a very crazy way,” Davis said.

A few weeks later, during a match against Arizona, the Showalter Vision played out. Davis was standing at the start when the Diamondbacks argued for a sacrificial fly. Showalter featured third coach Joey Cora. Davis grabbed Cora’s message and broke it again. Former Arizona veteran Oliver Perez came down the hill, which disputed what could happen, before throwing a third, which he did not release. The run stopped. “Buck, having so many years under his belt, always tries to look at the beach, or look at the entrances,” Davis said.

Through Cora and former coach Wayne Kirby, who coached with Showalter in Baltimore, the Mets set new targets in the early stages. The team entered Sunday’s game at number 4 in the game, according to FanGraphs’ initial metric. (He became No. 27 in 2021.) This character has also helped Showalter find out what happens to the highest paid player. On the team’s first tour, Showalter thanked Francisco Lindor for his impressive performances in a two-match winning streak. Lindor told the manager to cut her if she ate.

The supervisor and shortstop teamed up for spring training, finding that their vision was in line with Lindor’s 2022 season. Love shows up when Showalter changes, often promised with small toys from Lindor and teammate Eduardo Escobar. Lindor can dig in the zip of the Showalter jacket or play with her ears and ears. Escobar can dust on the pilot’s shoulders.

“He’s confident,” Lindor said, “you have to play with him.”

In Lindor, Showalter has found a top star that can match his interest in the profession. The two argue and discuss more about relays, pocket coverage, regular options. Occasionally, Lindor leaves Showalter after a loss. “It’s like ‘Stump the Manager,'” Showalter said. He added, “She’s one of the people you ask ‘Any questions?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, I got one.’ And you go, oh, shoot.

Most of the time, Showalter takes on the role of Socrates. He asks questions to keep his players busy. They also ask questions to waste time. One day recently, Showalter new actor Mark Canha. Showalter questioned Canha’s thoughts on the team’s fault concept, a way to point out an error that occurred when no one else acted, as pop-up crashed in infield. Canha saw an idea he had never thought of before.

“I was just like, ‘Oh. Yes. You’re right,'” Canha said.

Added Eppler, “To the boy which was on ‘Seinfeld,’ has many epiphanies like Seinfeld. ‘Why do you think he does that? What do you think they were thinking? ‘”

On a recent road trip, when young pitcher David Peterson finished off a hard walk, Showalter found Bassitt and Scherzer in the arena. Showalter told them that Peterson would soon be dropped off for the kids, to make room for more. He wanted his clubhouse executives to understand his point of view, knowing he could advise Peterson how to accept. “Buck,” said Bassitt, “is a sure sign of just keeping everyone on track.”

These are the qualities, of course, that the Showalter showed with the Yankees and Diamondbacks and the Rangers and Orioles. Those managers resolved how the managers ended up. But these conditions could also make Showalter, as one Mets official put it, “a real fit for the job,” after Rojas’ ignorance and Mickey Callaway’s incompetence.

Changes introduced by Showalter are already visible. At the first session, he spoke with vice president of ballpark operations Sue Lucchi, football director general Peter Cassano and field operations director Bill Deacon about dugout. The cow was in the spot when the group returned from the road. It gave Showalter a clear vision of history Friday night. In the face of Phillies’ most powerful terrorist attack, the Mets recorded an unbeaten, five-man attempt alone, near Edwin Díaz, he realized the difficulties.

Showalter was concluding his post-match press conference when Díaz and other pitchers entered the room. Showalter pushed back his chair and stood up. The Mets wanted to allow all five jars, including co-founder James McCann, to operate the press.

“Do we have enough seats for them?” Showalter said as Díaz, Seth Lugo, Joely Rodriguez and Drew Smith took to the stage. “It’s like Jackson 5 here. Earth, Wind and Fire.”

Showalter helped set up the venue. The crew was waiting for McCann and started the barrel Tylor Megill. The guard stood behind them. “This is how you get a cheap Christmas card right now, guys,” Showalter said.

Harold Kaufman, director of Mets PR, asked questions.

“You don’t wait for Tylor?” According to Showalter.

“Well,” said Kaufman, “do we want to wait? Let’s wait. Let’s wait for all six guys to get there now.

There was a brief story about the end times. The time had passed after the 11pm collision, McCann and Megill arrived. A few artists put on their glasses. Showalter not found in frames. “I’m getting out of here,” he said. He was already out of the room, his night job, his mind racing tomorrow, his energy was evident.

(Photo: Daniel Shirey / MLB Images via Getty Images)

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