Lost in all the hoopla of game 1 of the World series was some news out of Mets camp. These are only rumors at this point but are expected to be announced as fact right after the series.
The juicier story was reported by Jon Heyman of si.com. Heyman reports that the Mets have talked VP of scouting Sandy Johnson out of retirement. Apparently the Mets went through great efforts to keep Johnson working and some are thinking that this is part of the contingency planning for in case the team decides to fire general manager Omar Minaya.
Other reports link former San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers to the Mets as a prospective assistant GM. I also read somewhere that former Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has also been linked to the Mets.
Regardless of the Towers and Ricciardi rumors it seems that the Mets are preparing themselves for the possibility of replacing Minaya. I don’t think that will happen in the offseason (if they would fire him in the offseason it would have happened already) but it certainly looks like they’re losing faith and want to prepare for the possibility of a change at the general manager’s position (possibly during the 2010 season) if Minaya’s offseason moves don’t work out.
The second bit of news was reported by Minaya’s good buddy Adam Rubin in his article in today’s edition of the New York Daily News. Rubin reports the hiring of Chip Hale as third base coach. Hale had served as third base coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks the last few years before being fired as a scapegoat for the D-Backs bad performance this year. But the more important revelation came later in the article.
A couple of weeks a go the Mets shook up their coaching staff by relieving bench coach Sandy Alomar Sr. and first base coach Luis Alicea of their positions with the club. It was also announced that third base coach Razor Shines will no longer coach third but will remain on the coaching staff. After these moves were made it was thought by most people in the know that Shines would be the new bench coach. But Rubin says that the Mets may be talking to former D-Back manager Bob Melvin about the bench coach position. Rubin says another source told him that the team is considering other names from outside the organization as well.
So while ownership appears to be preparing for a general manager change it also appears they are preparing for a possible field manager change as well by possibly hiring a bench coach with managerial experience. Is it possible that by this time next year we’ll see a change at both positions? It certainly looks like that’s what’s being prepared for.