The Yankees’ search for a manager continues. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Yankees asked the Athletics for permission to interview skipper Bob Melvin, but the A’s denied them.
Melvin, 56, signed an extension with the Athletics at the end of September that will keep him in Oakland through 2019. Since being named interim manager in the middle of the 2011 season, Melvin has led the A’s to a 537-534 (.501) regular season record and three postseason appearances.
The Yankees decided not to bring back Joe Girardi to manage after the club lost in seven games to the Astros in the ALCS. GM Brian Cashman said that he wasn’t happy with Girardi’s ability to connect with younger players.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that the Yankees also reached out to former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, but Ausmus intends to take a year off from managing. Other candidates that the Yankees are considering include ESPN broadcaster and former player Aaron Boone, Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens, former Indians manager and current Blue Jays advisor of player development Eric Wedge, and former player Jerry Hairston Jr. YES Network broadcasters and former players David Cone and John Flaherty have also expressed interest in the managing job with the Yankees.
It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.
What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.
You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.
Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:
I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.
This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.