It’s easy to be positive when things are going well. When the New York Mets went 11–1 to start the season back in 2018, many of the things that were said then are being said again in 2022. Despite the fact that good April records often mean very little, there’s a new feel in Queens, New York. The Mets have a competency about them that hasn’t been felt in years. Coming off of a year that was filled with controversy, from Francisco Lindor’s thumbs down to the crowd to two general managers being fired, it was imperative that the Mets find the right person to lead the team in ’22. Buck has shown the Mets that they didn’t make a mistake in choosing him.
On April 17th, the Mets faced off against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the sixth inning, Dominic Smith tagged up on a sacrifice fly. Following the play, the Diamondbacks planned on appealing the umpire’s call that Smith had stayed on the base until the ball was caught. Just as Arizona lefty Oliver Perez was going to appeal, J.D. Davis took off from first. This caught Perez off guard, and nearly everyone on the field looked confused. Everyone except J.D. that is. The reason why he knew what was going on was because of Buck Showalter.
As many have said, nobody’s going to know the rules better than Buck. The second Perez took a step towards second base, the appeal play was negated. “It’s something we talked about in the spring. We go over a couple of rules every day,” Showalter said after the game. “We couldn’t get the phone call quite in time to make sure we hadn’t left early. So it’s something we talked about. I gave the sign to [third-base coach] Joey [Cora], and we took off from first base so we could get the run, I’ll trade the out for the run every time.”
This moment tells you everything you need to know about Buck as a manager. He is prepared for every situation, and he makes sure his players have the same awareness that he does. It wasn’t that long ago that a Mets manager batted the team out of order. Now the team is prepared for any situation that’s presented to them.
As previously mentioned, last year was full of controversy for the Metropolitans. One of those controversies involved an altercation between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil. Things didn’t improve much after that incident. Luis Rojas seemingly lost control of the clubhouse and the year ended on a sour note after losing first place. Just a couple weeks into the ’22 campaign, Lindor has expressed his happiness with the team on multiple occasions. After getting hit by a pitch in the face in Washington, he was proud of his teammates for standing up for him.
“I’m super proud to be a New York Met and to be with this group of guys here. I respect them a lot. I admire them and I’m glad I’m sharing the field with them every day.” This is an element that was clearly missing from the ’21 team. Obviously there will be moments where Buck isn’t looked at as fondly as fans are looking at him now. Fans will disagree with decisions he makes, just as fans have always disagreed with managers. One thing you know you will get with Buck is a level of respect and professionalism that is expected from a team looking to win. The respect and professionalism that the Mets and their fans have been searching for.
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