The New York Mets were considered favorites to steal Brewers manager Craig Counsell from Milwaukee. Counsell had expressed a desire to reset the managerial market, and given his connection to new Mets front office leader David Stearns, a Counsell-to-New York decision made all the sense in the world.
Yet, New York has instead opted to hire Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as their next manager. Perhaps the Mets know something I do not -- Stearns is a capable baseball mind, after all -- by why pass on a proven commodity when you have the chance?
It's safe to say Mets fans are not well. Counsell was considered the best available manager on the open market. New York fired Buck Showalter in part because they wanted to fresh outlook, but also a skipper who has proven they can win at this level. Mendoza...has not done that.
NY Mets fans are freaking out after missing on Craig Counsell
Carlos Mendoza has been in the Yankees organization for the last 15 years, and served as Aaron Boone's bench coach for the last four. He'd be viewed as a strong candidate most years, but most managerial searches do not involve someone like Counsell, who is a strong bet for Manager of the Year seemingly every season.
Mendoza has plenty of experience in the New York market. He'll be tasked to lead a young team, and one that could look much different come next season.
When New York traded Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander at the deadline, there were rumblings the team was preparing to contend in the 2025 season. Allowing a rookie manager in Mendoza to get his feet wet with a young roster in 2024 would make some sense, assuming that is Stearns direction.
Their interest in free agents like Yoshinobu Yamamoto suggests otherwise.
Mets fans will give Mendoza a chance, and he's earned that. He's just not Counsell.