New York Mets Managerial Search: Why Dave Jauss Can Guide Them Back to Relevance
Joe Torre could have been a good fit, but apparently wants nothing to do with the team. Wally Backman doesn't know what he'll be doing next spring after his first stint with the short-season Brooklyn Cyclones, and Bobby V's name has been mentioned by every pundit in the blogosphere but without any real conviction.
Enter Dave Jauss.
Jauss has been in professional baseball for a long time—23 years in fact—and he has been in almost every coaching staff capacity.
In no particular order, he's been a scout with the Red Sox, a Minor League field co-ordinator with the Orioles, a Major League bench coach with the Orioles, Dodgers, and Mets, a Minor League manager in the former Expos' system, an admin director, a winter ball manager, the director of player development, and a third base coach.
That's not even taking into account the fact that he was captain of his college team at Amherst or the six years he spent coaching at Westfield State College in Massachusetts and at Atlantic Christian in North Carolina, or the time he spent in the Cape Cod League.
He really has spent time in the game at every level, other than managing or playing in the Majors.
His knowledge of the game is second to none and he has an excellent outlook on the sport. He refuses to worry about problems in the past and he refuses to look ahead to the future.
Everything centers around the game in front of him. Maybe it's the fact that he takes his psychology degree mentality onto the field with him; maybe it's because he has seen everything the game can throw at someone and knows that a season never runs perfectly smooth no matter the talent on hand.
Best of all, he knows the team inside out. He has worked with players in the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues before they ever suited up at Port St. Lucie and he knows how to get the most out of youngsters. Don't blame Jauss for Manuel's mistakes.
It's all well and good wanting to start fresh in Queens, but I don't think that you necessarily have to have a manager coming in from the outside to steady the ship.
I think it's important for the new general manager to have a new and unbiased take on the franchise, but unless you can really land a stud manager like Torre, I think an in-house option really could work wonders.
Jauss is respected by the players and I haven't heard anything to suggest that management are unhappy with his performance. Yes, the coaching staff—and the team as a whole—failed in 2010, but there's only so much of the blame that can fall on Jauss. He didn't run the club, didn't make the on-field decisions, and didn't swing the bat.
Jauss knows what it takes to win and with the right support from the top of the organization, there's no reason why he won't succeed. I don't know who the Mets are going to choose at Omar Minaya's successor and I don't know who the club will peruse in free agency, but don't expect a miracle turnaround overnight.
The Mets don't have a whole lot of depth in talent at Triple-A and many of the successes in the organization came at the lower levels in 2010. Yes, Lucas Duda turned around his nightmare start in the bigs, and yes, Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia are studs, but the team needs more pieces than that to compete regularly.
Say what you want about the first half of the season, even when things really clicked at home, the team wasn't able to really pull away from the pack. Don't expect to see much more out of Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana than you have already seen, and don't expect guys like Angel Pagan to be able to give more than what they did in 2010.
This team needs a little time to get back on the ground and find its identity again. It's been buried over the last few years and I don't believe an outsider will be able to correct this problem.
Bobby Valentine or Backman might be able to do it better than most, but I think it's Jauss, given the right GM above him, who can drag the Mets back to respectability.
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