Showalter got the job over a bunch of younger candidates with modern tendencies.
Showalter, however, seems more inclined than ever to embrace analytics as part of his decision-making process.
Perhaps more than ever before, every move and decision he takes will be under scrutiny: he now leads a big-market team.
Not only are the Mets a big-market squad: they are hungry for glory, they have a rich owner who happens to be a lifelong fan, and they have every player, and every resource in place to contend for a World Series trophy in 2022.
Buck Showalter will win his first World Series with the Mets and it will be glorious.
— Jake Brown (@JakeBrownRadio) December 18, 2021
Is it “World Series or bust” for Showalter, then?
No, it isn’t, and it shouldn’t be.
The Mets Need To Build A Sustainable Franchise Model
The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, when they lost the National League Wild Card Game.
The last time they were in the Fall Classic was in 2015, when they lost to the Kansas City Royals.
And the last time they won it all was in 1986, after beating the Boston Red Sox.
In 59 seasons as a franchise, the Mets have made the playoffs only nine times, two of them ending in a championship.
Mets fans are hungry for a championship, but there are important factors to consider regardless of who is the manager.
The reigning World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves, play in the Mets’ division, the NL East.
Additionally, the two best teams in baseball in 2021, the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, could also be on the Mets’ path towards the World Series, and both are long-term projects more established than New York’s.
Now, the Mets are strong candidates on their own right: they signed Max Scherzer to a record-breaking contract, they will have Francisco Lindor and Jacob deGrom healthy, and the rest of the roster is really competitive even if there are still a few pieces they should add.
However, when expectations are sky-high, it usually leads to irresponsible decisions, bad contracts, and other issues.
Being Competitive And Playing In October Should Be The Goal
Rather than demanding that the Mets win the World Series, everybody in the organization, including the new manager, should work with the goal of being competitive in mind.
Fans should want a team that is sustainable over time, with a strong farm system to feed the big league club and provide the front office with weapons in trade negotiations; and all of this should be coupled with the willingness to spend.
Billy Eppler’s task with the Angels was seemingly the same one that will now confront him with the Mets: building sustainability, winning immediately and balancing the two. He didn’t succeed at that with the Angels, mostly because he couldn’t address the rotation on the cheap.
— Alden González (@Alden_Gonzalez) November 16, 2021
A reasonable goal for 2022 would be to make the playoffs and be competitive once in.
The Mets have what it takes to make the postseason as things stand.
Perhaps more importantly, they have the pitching firepower to be really good and dangerous in October.
But at the time of evaluating Showalter’s performance after the season, it really wouldn’t be fair for him to lose his job if the team, for example, made the World Series or the Championship Series and failed to deliver a championship.
Regaining organizational respectability and honor, making the playoffs, and trying to make a deep run once there should be the Mets’ 2022 goals with Showalter at the helm.