Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lee Mazzilli as the new Mets manager? Even Flushing doesn't deserve that!

Squawker Jon, now that your Mets have a new GM in Sandy Alderson, I saw that tabloid columnist Bill Madden is championing Lee Mazzilli for Mets manager. What's that all about?

Madden writes this today in the New York Daily News:
Now the big question is: Who will Alderson hire as his manager? Originally, it was believed the Wilpons wanted a manager who will excite their fan base, but this being Alderson's call and his alone, the primary criteria will probably be a manager with whom he's comfortable and who will not buck him. In that respect, he'll likely want a manager with major league experience because this is New York - no place to experiment with someone untested. I would expect Lee Mazzilli, who has a Met pedigree and had a modicum of success managing in Baltimore under impossible conditions, and Bob Melvin, who had 90-win seasons in both Seattle and Arizona before his teams went quickly south on him, will be on Alderson's list.
Now, I've heard Melvin's name bandied about as a Mets' managerial choice for a while now. But who would want Lee Mazzilli as manager of the Mets? He was fired from Baltimore for going 9-28, after being in first place for the first 2 1/2 months of 2005. He was a terrible bench coach for the Yankees, known mostly for being one of Joe Torre's guys than for any good decision-making skills. Mazzilli couldn't even hack it as an SNY analyst, showing zero personality. Is he somebody who can really turn the Mets around? I don't think so.

This isn't the first time Madden has written about Mazz for manager. Back in September, the columnist wrote this, pushing Mazzilli for the job:
So, if not [Wally] Backman, there is only one other candidate who fills at least two of the three primary criteria the Wilpons are looking for - difference-maker, experience, Met pedigree - and that's Lee Mazzilli, who, coincidentally, is also employed by the Yankees in a behind-the-scenes capacity. Mazzilli, one of the most popular Mets ever, managed the Baltimore Orioles for a year and a half in 2004-05 and might have been a difference-maker there if not constrained by the manic, deterrent ownership of Peter Angelos. Mazzilli's 78-84 third-place finish In 2004, is the O's best record since 1999. The following year, he had them a half-game out of first place as late as July 18 - only to be fired by Angelos two weeks later in the wake of Rafael Palmeiro's positive steroids test.

Mazzilli became the organization's unwitting scapegoat because he wouldn't give Palmeiro a public declaration of support.
Madden calls Mazzilli a "scapegoat" for the Palmeiro issue, but he fails to mention that not only did the Orioles, after being in first place for much of the first half of 2005, go 9-28, but they had also lost eight in a row, and 16 of their last 18 games, when Mazzilli was fired. No matter how much of a micromanager Angelos is, it's hard to justify keeping a manager around whose team collapsed like that, no matter how many injuries and issues the team faced.

Madden also writes that Mazzilli "is also employed by the Yankees in a behind-the-scenes capacity." It's so behind-the-scenes, that I didn't even know about it until now! And that's another reason why he would be a bad candidate for Flushing. I can't tell you how many times I heard Met fans gripe about Willie Randolph being a Yankee. We'd hear the same thing if Mazzilli became Mets manager. Surely the Mets can find somebody with a better pedigree than Mazz to run the team.

What do you think? Tell us about it!

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