|Monday, October 7
Report: Source says Showalter not to Mets' liking
ESPN.com news services
Buck Showalter might be good enough to manage the Chicago Cubs. But the Mets? Apparently the last thing the embattled franchise wants is a manager in the mold of Bobby Valentine.
Amid a published report in Chicago that said Showalter met Sunday with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry about the team's opening, an unnamed team source told the New York Daily News it's unlikely Showalter would be hired by the Mets.
According to the Daily News, Showalter is expected to interview with team management sometime this week, but the Mets source told the newspaper that some members of upper management viewed Showalter, now an ESPN analyst who has managed the Yankees and Diamondbacks, as "a pocket version of Bobby Valentine."
There are concerns in the organization that Showalter, who has a reputation of being a big-rules guy, possesses too many of the characteristics that were undesirable in Valentine, the source said.
"He's too much of a control fanatic," the source told the newspaper. "There's too many behind-the scenes machinations."
The reputation appeared to hurt Showalter in May, when he was passed over for the Royals' managing job. Kansas City hired Tony Pena shortly after a player told the Kansas City Star that he would seek a trade if Showalter were hired.
"I hear he's a big rules guy," the player reportedly said of Showalter. "I don't want somebody to be checking my socks. This isn't kindergarten."
Showalter said he never had a rule in Arizona dictating how players wore their socks, although he reportedly did author "The Diamondback Way of Life" for Arizona's inaugural season. Facial hair was among Showalter's prohibited offenses, but the policy was lifted after the team acquired Randy Johnson.
The Mets also have expressed concerns that Showalter, in what was his final season with the Yankees, was outmanaged by Seattle's Lou Piniella in the 1995 AL Division Series, and by Valentine when he took the Diamondbacks to the postseason two years ago.
Showalter is reportedly a top candidate for many of the six current managerial openings, including those with the Cubs, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
The Chicago Tribune cited unnamed major-league sources Monday who said Showalter was Hendry's first interview in his managerial search. The only other candidate known to interest the Cubs is Oakland Athletics bench coach Ken Macha. Hendry plans to interview Macha this week, the Tribune said.
Hendry is waiting to hear from A's general manager Billy Beane for permission to speak to Macha. The A's were eliminated by the Twins in Game 5 of the Division Series on Sunday. The Mets have obtained permission to interview Macha.
Beane has said he won't stand in the way of Macha's advancement, and, said A's manager Art Howe of Macha last week, "I'd bet the house he won't be with me next year."
Macha, 52, came to Oakland in 1999 after managing in Boston's minor-league system the previous four seasons. His teams went 317-249 and Macha was named the Triple-A International League's Manager of the Year in 1998.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported Monday that the Yankees granted third-base coach Willie Randolph permission to talk with the Mets. They already have interviewed Chris Chambliss, who was the hitting coach under Valentine.
"Willie's got all the credentials to manage," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told AP. "The one thing he doesn't have is experience. He was a championship player and a championship coach. He is New York battle-tested."
Randolph, who played for the Mets at the end of his career, has been a frequent candidate for managerial openings and nearly took the job in Cincinnati two years ago. He interviewed last week with the Detroit Tigers.