Bethlehem’s Quatraro is the Mets Right Choice Not the Safe One
Buck Showalter will interview for the New York Mets managerial job Friday. Owner, Steve Cohen certainly had a better selection of choices for his field manager than the billionaire did for his open positions of President of Baseball Operations and General Manager put together. However, Cohen and Alderson may have stumbled upon a quality soldier, in Billy Eppler, to carry out the wishes for a rich man's fantasy baseball team. Showalter, Joe Espada and Bethlehem Central grad, Matt Quatraro would be stacking the top of any Major League Baseball team's managerial wish list.
Buck Showalter is the safe pick of the trio and if I were in Billy Eppler's seat, I would be tempted to hire the candidate with over 3000 games managed. I interviewed Buck years ago, when he was with the Yankees about his days in the Capital Region. I went down to Spring Training and we had an awesome conversation. Showalter is a very thoughtful and intelligent individual, very much like Matt Quatraro. I like Buck a lot. However, it's time that the New York Mets hire a manager to change the culture. The last thing that this franchise needs is a fiery presence every time something goes wrong. It's time for a steady hand with way more experience than Louis Rojas had.
Matt Quatraro has been in professional baseball for 24 years. 16 of those seasons have been coaching. In his early coaching days, Quatraro would spend off-seasons volunteering for the University at Albany Great Danes baseball team. Matt is a smart man with an innate understanding of the game. He is easy to be around. Quatraro is team oriented and understands an organization's structure and each individual's role in its success. That is the baseball business today. That's the kind of person, if I had Steve Cohen's bank account, I would have representing my $2.5 billionaire dollar team on the field. Oh, and Matt's a competitor to the core and knows how to win at the Major League Level. Louis Rojas unfortunately didn't have that experience.
A.J. Martelli of the Poughkeepsie Journal interviewed one of the front office executives of the Hudson Valley Renagades, once the single A franchise for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, about Matt Quatraro's days managing there. “He would always tell the kids, ‘Calm down. You’ll get it right.’ He was even telling the interns to keep working at it and that they’ll get better,” Renegades vice president Rick Zolzer recalled. “And he would tell the umpires that (the interns) were new and they’re in front of 4,000 fans for the first time ever.”
To me, that's Matt Quatraro in a nutshell. To me, that's just what the Mets need. Reports came out from ESPN's Jon Heyman that the Mets were very impressed by Matt. That is not a surprise at all to me. Unfortunately, I believe that Billy Eppler, Sandy Alderson and ultimately Steve Cohen go the 'safe' route. In fear of fan backlash, they will choose Buck Showalter. The New York Mets loss will be Billy Beane, and the Oakland A's gain. Quatraro has already interviewed in Oakland. Beane, the king of Moneyball, will sit and wait for his old team to make another mistake he can capitalize on.