I don’t dispute that notion, and also think Melvin is a significant upgrade over Manuel, especially in the handling of pitching department. However, had the Mets acted more decisively this offseason, and gave Melvin the job then, they would have had the option of also hiring the excellent Bryan Price, who was Melvin’s pitching coach in Arizona. Price resigned rather than stay with the team that (unfairly, I felt at the time) fired his skipper. He is now indispensably serving as Dusty (Devourer Of Young Pitchers) Baker’s pitching coach in Cincinnati.
Rather, if the Mets really want to change the culture of this team, energize the fanbase and start getting fannies in the seats (which only winning games will do), the answer is simple; Ken Oberkell.
Yes, I am one of the most ardent supporters of Bobby Valentine you will ever find. But putting him with this team — players he didn’t pick nor have any emotional investment in — seems as irrelavant as it is unlikely. Promoting Wally Backman to the job seems as far-fetched, as it took the Mets several years to let him back into organization as a minor league skipper, let alone the top job.
Oberkfell was a 16-year MLB third baseman who played with Hall-of-Famers, MVPs and a certain Gold Glove first baseman, and helped the St. Louis Cardinals win a World Series ring. That should serve notice to any of the Mets’ current veterans who might say “Obie-who?”. He has managed many of the young Mets when they were coming up (David Wright in particular has a special affection for the man he calls “baseball daddy”). He has had Jose Reyes, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, Ike Davis, Bobby Parnell, Josh Thole in the m,inor leagues, has an excellent reputation amongst his peers, a very good minor league managerial record, and has worked very well with pitching coach Dan Warthen and hitting coach Howard Johnson over the years.
Be creative, for once.