Mets would love to get Buck Showalter his first World Series ring
PORT ST. LUCIE — It is universal among the Mets that Buck Showalter deserves his Dusty Baker moment as a World Series champion sexagenarian.
“It would be incredible. It would be a dream come true for me and for Buck and for the city of New York,” Pete Alonso said through a club spokesman before leaving for the WBC.
Astros players were overjoyed for Baker after beating the Phillies and giving their 73-year-old manager his first championship.
Now, the Mets’ Showalter, 46 years in professional baseball, 67 years young, stands as winningest active MLB manager to never win a World Series.
“When you play for a guy that cares about you more as a person than a baseball player, it’s tough to find nowadays,” Daniel Vogelbach said in the Mets’ clubhouse. “It’s tough to find someone that cares about you as a human the way Buck does, and how much time he puts into this game and how much time he puts into us as people.
“So I think that everybody in here would say to see him be the manager of the team that was the last team standing would be pretty special.”
Guest instructor Mookie Wilson was present on Wednesday as a symbol of the Mets’ last championship in 1986.
Driven owner Steve Cohen has emptied his wallet on marquee stars, but arguably his best hire before the 2022 season was the manager.
Who had this to say about Dusty Baker finally winning it all: “Ecstatic. If it couldn’t be us, that’s who I’d want it to be. It didn’t need to happen to validate his career for sure.”
Andy Reid was 61 when he finally won his first of two Super Bowls with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Showalter doesn’t need a ring to validate a 1,652-1,578-1 career.
“It’s about the players,” Showalter always says. “I want it for them. I’m not gonna have my life validated by that … but I am about because of the relationships and the impact you’re trying to have on them that you want them to not make the same mistakes you made. You do it with a pure heart, with no agenda … they’re all somebody’s son. Treat ’em like you’d like your sons to be treated.”
Forever Young, he is more like Uncle Buck to his players.
“A guy that’s been around that long, and has all those accomplishments he has,” Luis Guillorme said, “to not have won a World Series, it doesn’t seem right.
“That’d be pretty cool for us to be the team that makes it happen for him.”
Showalter does what the great managers and coaches are able to do — demand excellence and create an environment conducive to winning. His beautiful baseball mind never stops working. His attention to detail is legendary.
“He has such a passion for the game, he gives so much back to the game that I know that every guy in here would love to win one for him,” Brandon Nimmo said.
Showalter can be asking his players about their families one minute, and sitting in the dugout as The Smartest Man In Baseball the next.
“It’s hard to imagine a person that puts as much into his work as Buck does, as much thought … to be able to return the favor for a guy like that would be amazing,” Mark Canha said.
Asked how many wins Showalter is worth during a season, Canha cracked: “You’re asking me like what’s his manager WAR? Immeasurable, we’ll say.”
Nimmo: “You might have to talk to our analytics department about that to find out what his managerial WAR is.”
Showalter has the perfect even-keeled temperament for New York.
“He’s honest, and I think that’s the one thing that every player wants in a manager, to be honest with you and tell you exactly what’s going on,” Guillorme said.
And showing up every day as Everyman.
“He never walks by without asking you how you’re doing,” Vogelbach said. “He cares about how you feel. He realizes that this game is very hard. It’s nice to have someone that just point blank has your back and you could feel it every day that Buck has your back.”
And they have his.
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