Mark Teixeira calls Buck Showalter the ‘smartest man in baseball’

As someone who has played on teams influenced by two of the three finalists for the job, Mark Teixeira has something of a unique perspective on the Mets’ managerial search.

The former All-Star first baseman began his career with Texas, just as Buck Showalter had arrived on the scene as manager. Teixeira concluded his career with the Yankees, with Joe Espada as the team’s third-base coach for his final two seasons.

Showalter and Espada are two of the three finalists, along with Matt Quatraro, in the search for Luis Rojas’ replacement. Callback interviews that will include team owner Steve Cohen are slated for this week. The Mets are expected to name a new manager either this week or next.

The 65-year-old Showalter, who has managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers and Orioles, is considered a strong favorite to get the job over Espada and Quatraro, the bench coaches for Houston and Tampa Bay, respectively.

“I think Buck Showalter is the smartest man in baseball, and that is not hyperbole,” Teixeira told The Post on Monday. “When you sit down and talk to Buck about the game, he is just so sharp looking at it from all different angles and his record speaks for itself and there is not a more prepared manager as well. You take his intelligence and his preparation and I think he’s a great manager. Just look at what he’s done with so many franchises, building them up from the bottom.”

Mark Teixeira called Buck Showalter the “smartest man in baseball.”
Getty Images (2)

Showalter guided the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Orioles to the postseason, but never reached that level with the Rangers, who never finished higher than third in the AL West in his four seasons.

Web Search Engine

Teixeira spent four seasons in Texas with Showalter, during which time he came to appreciate the manager’s approachability and manner of running a clubhouse.

“Every manager says they have an open-door policy, but Buck truly does,” Teixeira said. “Buck is not somebody who will walk through the clubhouse all day long kind of bothering guys, but that door is open and any time you need something you go in there and talk to Buck and he’s going to do whatever it takes to make the team better.”

As an old-school manager, Showalter may not be as well-versed in analytics as the other candidates, but Teixeira doesn’t view that as a significant obstacle to overcome.

“I didn’t think that until I saw what Dusty Baker has done with the Astros,” Teixeira said. “Any smart baseball guy like Dusty or Buck is going to realize there is absolutely a place for analytics. At the same time, the 40-plus years of experience Buck has in professional baseball, he is going to rely on that, too. I think meshing those two together like Dusty has with the Astros is a really good place.”

Espada, 46, has spent the past four seasons as Houston’s bench coach. He worked with new Mets general manager Billy Eppler with the Yankees as a special assistant in 2014 (Eppler was the assistant GM) before joining Joe Girardi’s staff as the third-base coach the following season. Teixeira retired following the 2016 season.

“We always had a veteran team with the Yankees and we all loved [Espada],” Teixeira said. “It’s because he is willing to put the time in with the young guys, but he’s also smart enough to understand when you have to back off the veterans. When a veteran says, ‘Hey, this is kind of the way I want to do this,’ and Joe says he trusts you. He’s good enough to be able to handle both.

“He is one of those guys, the new school — if you want to call it that. He is the right way to go about managing or being a coach of the new school: Aaron Boone or Alex Cora or A.J. Hinch, these types of guys. I see Joe Espada, once he gets a job — because he will get a job soon, whether it’s with the Mets or somebody else — I see him having that type of success.”

Artmotion U.S.A

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button