This afternoon at Citi Field, the Mets introduced Carlos Mendoza as the 25th manager in club history in a broadcast on SNY. There were a few parallels with the first manager to helm the team on SNY, as Willie Randolph took the helm of the Mets after being bench coach for the Yankees, which is the same immediate path Mendoza took.
Mendoza spoke of his career path, from a kid in Venezuela to a prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization, to a coach in the Yankees system, to now the manager of the Mets. Mendoza was appropriately emotional at places, thanking his family, mentors, and new club for the opportunity.
One of his first responsibilities will be to help club president David Stearns build up a new culture for the Mets. “Culture is not just your tradition, it starts with the people you come into contact with every day...Culture is driven by us,” said Mendoza.
When discussing the things he was excited about, he mentioned the roster he’s inheriting, twice mentioning that the team won 100 games not too long ago and still has many of those players at its core. Mendoza also specifically shouted out a trio of fan favorites, saying “I can’t wait to meet and have deep conversations with Gary, Keith, and Ron.”
Unfortunately, both Stearns and Mendoza relied on a lot of boilerplate terms like “preparation,” “attention to detail,” and “culture.” Mendoza echoed Stearns’s anticipation of competing in 2024 from his own introductory press conference. Stearns said that what helped him select Mendoza was his willingness to be a partner. “We’ve talked about the partnership that these type of jobs require,” said Stearns. “We’re going to have to have the relationship, bond, and trust to work through that.”
As for what fans can expect to see on the field from his club, Mendoza said, “It starts with connections and relationships, so the players can trust me and know I have their backs. It comes down to preparation, attention to details...play[ing] hard every day and hav[ing] fun.”
In terms of his coaching staff, the only confirmed returning 2023 coach is Jeremy Hefner, returning as a pitching coach for the fifth straight season.
Mendoza spoke with both Ozzie Guillen and Luis Rojas before and right after taking the job. Former Mets manager Rojas helped him get the lay of the land, and Guillen, the first Venezuelan-born manager in the majors and the first Latinx manager to win a World Series, told him to be himself.