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The first items on Buck Showalter's to-do list as New York Mets manager

The best word to describe Buck Showalter's introductory news conference as manager of the New York Mets? Weird.

He was hired as part of management's attempt to maximize the potential of a roster full of talent, but because of the owners' lockout of the players -- and a policy forbidding club employees to speak publicly about union members -- Showalter couldn't freely utter the name of Pete Alonso, or Francisco Lindor, or Max Scherzer, or any other player.

He veered around references to individual members of the roster the way you might drive around frost-heave potholes. But Showalter is reflexively prepared, and so it's a near-certainty that as soon as he shut down his Zoom link and went off the record -- and probably for hours beforehand, too -- he has been on the phone with club staffers talking about players -- the personalities and the strengths of individual Mets, and possible trade or free-agent targets.

The lockout's policies might have made his introduction stranger than usual, but it also gives Showalter time to start to work through a long to-do list as he moves into a position previously held by, among others, Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, Yogi Berra and Davey Johnson.

Here are the most pressing issues Showalter faces: