Reigning NL Manager of the Year Buck Showalter will not return to the New York Mets next season, he told reporters prior to Sunday's season finale. He managed the team's final game (PHI 9, NYM 1). , and Stearns will apparently bring in his own manager.
"I wish things could have gone better this season because Mets fans deserve that. It's not the ending I wanted, but I still love the city and the players," Showalter said Sunday. "... I was honored to get a chance to manage a second New York team. I'm proud of what the Mets did. We won close to 180 games in two years. Especially last year, as much fun as I've ever had in the game. It reminded me of why I always loved this kind of work."
Mets owner Steve Cohen released the following statement Sunday, making it clear Showalter was fired:
"We are heading in a new direction, with a new President of Baseball Operations and we let Buck know we'll be parting ways. We will begin the search for a new manager immediately. Buck is a generational manager, and we value what he has done for our team, including leading us to a 101 win season and postseason berth last year. The commitment and heart that Buck brings to the game will be felt by our organization for years to come. We wish Buck all the best in the next chapter of his career."
"This is not a reflection on Buck. Buck did everything we wanted him to do," Cohen said following Sunday's game. "Obviously this season was a disappointment, but it's not Buck's fault. It spread across the organization." Cohen also stressed that the new hire would be Stearns' decision to make.
Showalter, 67, led the Mets to a 175-147 record in his two seasons. He was named 2022 NL Manager of the Year even though the Mets blew a 10.5-game division lead and had to play in the Wild Card Series, during which they were eliminated in three games by the San Diego Padres.
The Mets entered this season with an MLB record $377.1 million payroll for competitive balance tax purposes. They were expected to contend for the World Series, understandably, but the club underperformed so much in the first half that they sold at the trade deadline. Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Mark Canha, Tommy Pham, David Robertson and others were dealt for prospects.
Showalter is not solely to blame for the disappointing 2023 season but, as manager, he certainly bears some responsibility. With Stearns set to take over,. Counsell is in the last season of his contract and has been noncommittal about his future.
This was Showalter's 22nd season as an MLB manager. He has a career 1,726-1,664 (.509) and has guided several teams out of a rebuild and into contention. He has never won a World Series, however.