NEW YORK — Mets manager Buck Showalter has an impressive résumé after 20 years in the dugout.
He has been named American League Manager of the Year three times. The first came during the strike-shortened season of 1994 with the Yankees, who had the best record in the AL.
His second award-winning season came 10 years later with the Rangers, who surprised the league by winning 89 games and finishing third in the AL West. The third came in 2014, when he guided the Orioles to the AL East title.
There’s still one thing missing from Showalter’s résumé — a World Series ring. Showalter took teams to the postseason five times. The closest he came to that elusive ring was in 2014, when he guided Baltimore to the American League Championship Series against the Royals, who swept the series.
“You like [the World Series title] to be the end game, but it’s not going to define my life,” Showalter said during his Zoom press conference on Tuesday. “But I can tell you this — it does wake me up every day now. … [General manager] Billy [Eppler], [team president] Sandy [Alderson] and [owner] Steve [Cohen] asked me why I want to do this again? [Winning the World Series] is the quick answer.
“[I want us] to be the last team standing — not once. … I understand the job description. The job description isn’t to be competitive. … It’s to be the last team standing. That’s the focus. It’s how to get better every day and see where each day takes you.”
Showalter is inheriting a Mets team that underachieved in 2021. New York finished in third place in the National League East with a 77-85 record, 11 1/2 games behind the World Series champion Braves. The Mets expect Showalter to turn things around starting in 2022.
“You appreciate his ability to really drive his clubs,” Eppler said of Showalter. “It seems like he squeezes every single ounce of ability out of those players. … Everybody was in the right spot at the time they needed to be there.”
Said Alderson: “Buck is going to be a great addition for us, a great addition in what already has been added to the Mets organization over the last part of 2021. We look forward to the ‘22 season.”