In an opinion piece for the Daily News, columnist Bill Madden basically says:
- It will take at least a three-year, $10 million deal to lure Bobby Valentine to manage the Mets, so ‘you can forget about that.’
- He feels the Mets are ‘hesitant’ to move Wally Backman from Low-A to the big leagues, ‘without getting a better feel for how he’ll act under tougher conditions.’
Instead, Madden suggests the Mets hire Lee Mazzilli, who he feels was essentially made to be a scapegoat in Baltimore.
“Maz absolutely deserves another chance in the big leagues,” O’s broadcaster Mike Flanagan told Madden. “He had us going in the right direction and then he got blind-sided, like all of us, by the Rafael Palmeiro thing.”
Mazzilli’s name has not been mentioned to me much by people close to the team, but I suppose he’d have to appear some place on the list.
It’s so difficult to judge his work based on the situation he was involved with in Baltimore. I got to talk with Mazzilli often back in 2007 and 2008, when he was working for SNY. He loves baseball, and certainly has opinions about how to manage a baseball team, and he was never shy in sharing them. But, again, I have no idea how that translates in to an actual dugout.
In looking back in my notes, the people in Baltimore I talked to back then all said he was ‘creative,’ in terms of how it utilized his talent, but also a bit paranoid and snippy when dealing with reporters, which is more or less exactly how insiders described Willie Randolph. However, perhaps Mazzilli working IN media, working for SNY in a newsroom for two years, and seeing it all from the inside out, maybe that gave him a different perspective on the expectations of reporters and how to deal with them… much like Joe Torre said it did for him.