5.9k Share this
Buck Showalter, as the Mets and their fans are learning, believes there are wins in the details.
For two weeks, the seriousness of purpose has been overt with the Mets. Too often in their history, especially their recent history, the Mets had played with a glaze of unpreparedness. I remember, for example, a situation early in Mickey Callaway’s first season as manager in 2018. After a game against the Braves, I asked him why he played the infield in in a certain situation. Callaway wore the look of a student who had not prepared for a test as he struggled at first to even remember the scenario and then alternated between flummoxed and bedraggled in explaining why he did it.
As a young Yankees beat writer, I remember covering Bucky Dent and Stump Merrill as managers. I was so inexperienced that I had no idea how nonsensical their replies about strategy were until … Showalter replaced Merrill to begin the 1992 season.
If you asked Showalter why he played the infield in, you better have empty pages in your reporter’s notebook. Because Showalter would not have one reason. He would have a litany, which would include variables for the rest of the game and the next day and what was available when and how he imagined the game playing out. It was three-dimensional thinking. And it was part of the unofficial PhD program that Showalter fashioned for any reporter who wanted to learn. He just forced you to see the game differently, to think about the game differently.