The Wilpons were afraid of knowledge that didn’t align with theirs. This lasted for 22 years. Every once in a while you could hear the frustration in his voice when he was on a broadcast. Hernandez knows hitting. Every Mets fan thought he should talk to players and fix what the hitting coach may have missed. Mike Schmidt was allowed to do this in Philadelphia, and now Keith can do it as well.
Buck Showalter greenlighted this, and I give him a lot of credit for that and talking about how he and Keith were on Seinfeld. It was a nice change of culture for the team. The Mets manager is now listening to everybody. That’s a change from the old Buck, but it’s easy to act like this is spring training, and it’s another thing when the season is rolling, and they are in the midst of a losing streak. He’s a good manager, but not a great manager. That’s always been my take until he proves me wrong, but these early culture changes were a step in the right direction.
Showalter also invited Mike Piazza to Port St. Lucie to shoot the shit. Buck likes to talk, and former players like Piazza want to chip in. It’s a perfect marriage, and it can add something that’s been missing on the Mets team. The infusion of former greats that still care about the team. Like Mookie Wilson, who was also in camp as a guest instructor. These players help build a “Mets” culture. That’s important because the team lost their identity, and owner Steven Cohen has been doing a nice job of bringing it all back.
The Tom Seaver statue is on the way. It should have been there at the very beginning, but the Wilpons didn’t want any statues at the time. They gave Seaver an entrance into the stadium, but that’s about to change. The Apple used to be the most popular item at Citi Field, but this new statue will create a buzz. After they remove the bubble wrap.
The Mets still need to prove it on the diamond. They are still lacking a real third baseman, a right fielder like Michael Conforto, who is still out there and a proven lefty starter. David Peterson may be the fallback. It seems like GM Billy Eppler has given up on upgrading the starting rotation. If they want to win the NL East, they still need to upgrade at these positions. If they don’t, there is no guarantee they will go far in the postseason. Making the postseason is nice, but being the team to beat in the National League will take more than they’ve done.