On Sunday, Buck Showalter announced that he would not be returning as the manager of the New York Mets. Later in the day, Mets owner Steve Cohen confirmed that Showalter was being fired. Considering how the 2023 season went for the team, not exactly a huge surprise so far.
However, many baseball fans took note of another name that was linked to the news as reported by the New York Post's Joel Sherman: David Stearns, the incoming president of baseball operations. The Mets are set to announce Stearns' hiring on Monday.
Immediately, the suggestion was that Showalter was fired at the behest of Stearns. Upon taking the job, Stearns, previously the president of baseball operations of the Milwaukee Brewers, would handpick his own manager.
“Makes sense to let Stearns pick his own manager.” Metsmerized writer Mike Mayer noted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Most fans seemed supportive, even though Showalter was a popular figure with the fan base. “The correct decision by David Stearns and Steve Cohen. Buck was pivotal for 2022 but this team needs a modern voice.” noted one user on X.
There was however, speculation from some about how much Stearns was involved in the decision, or whether Showalter being shown the door was a foregone conclusion.
“Wow… I’m curious whether this is bc Stearns wants to hire his own manager or if Buck was always meant to be a 2-year bridge to this new regime.” a Mets podcaster wondered. “I’m probably in the minority but I thought he did a fine job in Queens.”
It always made sense for Stearns to be able to pick his own person to run the Mets' clubhouse. Saddling him with a manager not of his choosing would make for an awkward start to his long awaited tenure in Flushing.