The 2019 New York Mets have stumbled to a 40-50 record at the All Star break. The pressure was already on manager Mickey Callaway before the season started. With the Mets 10 games under .500, to say Callaway is on the hot seat is an understatement.
Who are the viable men out there that could turn the Mets around? We have four potential candidates we feel would be a great fit, and all have ties to the Mets organization.
Note: click the name for a pop up of their page on Baseball Reference.
Isn’t it about time a ‘Ewing’ gets hired to run a team in NYC? “Super” Joe McEwing played for the Mets from 2000 thru 2004, and quickly became a fan favorite. His hustle, hard work and determination were the hallmark of his eight year MLB career.
His playing career ended after a brief (seven games) stint with the Houston Astros in 2006.
In the 2008 season, McEwing started his baseball coaching career as the hitting coach for the Charlotte Knights. At the end of the 2008 season, he was named manager of the Winston-Salem Dash, the Class A affiliate for the Chicago White Sox, for the 2009 season. During that season, Baseball America rated McEwing as the top managerial prospect in the South Atlantic League. McEwing was also named Manager of the Year for his work managing the Dash in 2009 and 2010.
McEwing was named manager of the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox triple-A affiliate for the 2011 season. In 2012, McEwing was promoted to third base coach for the White Sox. He was named bench coach for the 2017 season and continues to occupy that job today.
Before Ventura hit one of the most famous grand slams ever, he was a terrific college baseball player. A 3 time all American for Oklahoma State University, Ventura won an Olympic gold medal, and the Golden Spikes award in 1988. He was inducted into the college baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
To add to his accomplishments in 1988, the Chicago White Sox drafted Ventura with the 10th overall selection. He went on the have a 16 year career, with four different clubs, including the New York Mets.
His playing career was cut short due to a brutal ankle injury he suffered sliding into home plate, an injury that even effected him after his playing days were over.
Ventura played for the Mets from 1999-2001, forming one of the greatest infields ever. He was an key member of the 2000 World Series team.
Ventura was named the 39th manager for the Chicago White Sox on October 6, 2011, succeeding interim manager Don Cooper (who succeeded Ozzie Guillén for two games). Ventura was the 17th former White Sox player to manage the club.
In his first season as their manager, the White Sox finished 85–77, just three games behind the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers. Ventura was a finalist to be the American League Manager of the Year, which was ultimately awarded to Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin.
After four straight losing seasons, Ventura resigned after the 2016 season. Venture posted a 375-435 record, for a win percentage of .463% over his five seasons on the south side.
A quick glance at the Mets all time hitters, and you will see Alfonzo’s name on just about every top ten list. This includes runs, hits, obp and even games played. “Fonzie” was another fan favorite, and was part of that same fantastic infield as Ventura.
Alfonzo began serving as the Bench Coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2014. He originally coached home games and select road games in 2014, before coaching all games in 2015 and 2016. In addition to that role, he served as a roving instructor with the Mets. On January 5, 2017, they Cyclones announced that Alfonzo be the new manager, a position he still holds.
Journeymen catcher Rod Barajas, player for the Mets in 2010, until the Los Angles Dodgers bought his contract near the end of August. One main highlight of his time is Queens, is when Barajas had the first ever walk off homer at Citi field.
Before the 2014 season, Barajas was named Manager of the Arizona League Padres. Barajas has managed both the San Antonio Missions, and was later the manager for the El Paso Chihuahuas AAA baseball team.
In October 2018, he was named as the bench coach for the San Diego Padres, where he still works.
Four managers. All with ties to the New York Mets. All have already managed teams, at various levels. All four would be a step in a different way from Mickey Callaway.
Who is your pick?