The New York Mets may be the most disappointing team in all of baseball.
Their $346 million payroll is the highest in the history of North American professional sports, and after a 101-win season last year, they are currently 35-43 and 8.5 games out of a postseason spot.
The Mets are 5-16 in their last 21 games, and they own the third-worst record in baseball since April 22, leading to many Mets fans calling for Buck Showalter’s job — just seven months after he was named the NL Manager of the Year.
However, that’s not even a thought in the Mets’ clubhouse, says their star shortstop.
“Buck is one of the best managers in the league,” Francisco Lindor said to SNY. “One hundred percent.”
From the outside looking in, it seems easy to say that Showalter has lost the clubhouse. But Lindor says that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“He has not lost the team,” Lindor said. “He is still in the front. He is still holding on to the clubhouse. I told him last year, if he posts up, I’ll post up. And he had posted up every day.”
Showalter is a four-time Manager of the Year, winning each time in a different decade. He’s been managing on-and-off since 1992, so Lindor couldn’t imagine another man leading the squad, despite their porous season thus far.
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“Literally every phase that we have gone through, he’s done that already multiple times in his career,” Lindor said. “He has been manager of the year. He’s had a team that wasn’t performing to the level where he was supposed to be performing.
“He is our leader. He is the one who holds us accountable day in and day out the most. And he’s the perfect guy to go through what we’re going through right now. He has helped quiet the noise a lot…
“He is a special manager — and not just a manager, he is a special person. He is always sticking up for his players.”
Mets fans have been saying all the mental mistakes the team has made fall on Showalter for not preparing his players – BS, says Lindor.
“Mental mistakes that we make are a reflection on the manager? We are professionals. Mental mistakes are going to happen,” he said. “It has nothing to do with the manager. It’s us. The manager can go out there and put a great lineup. The front (office) can go out there and put a great lineup. If we don’t hit, or if we don’t run the bases the right way, it’s tough to win.”
General manager Billy Eppler, who has deservedly received a fair amount of criticism himself, said earlier Tuesday that Showalter’s job is safe.
“I think he’s the guy to get us back on track,” Eppler said, adding that he and the coaching staff “deserve an opportunity to keep this going, and all the support we can give them.”
The Mets were thought of as a potential World Series favorite in spring training with what many thought would be a stacked rotation led by Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. However, Mets starters have pitched to a 4.89 ERA this season, the fifth-worst in baseball. Their offense ranks 19th in batting average and 20th in OPS, categories which they finished second and sixth last season, respectively.
Showalter was signed to a three-year deal before the 2022 season. He previously managed the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles.