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Ron Darling Mets General Manager Fiasco

The smoke started when Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote an article naming four people “off the beaten path” who the Mets should consider to be their next General Manager.  In compiling this list, Sherman included Ron Darling because “[h]e He is smart, hard-working, personable and passionate about the Mets.”

Clearly following up on Sherman’s idea, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News asked some questions to Darling at a TBS event to promote their coverage for the 2018 postseason.  In the article, Darling showed his interest through two key quotes:

I would be disingenuous if I didn’t say that if someone wants to sit down with me and talk about putting a team together I would absolutely take that meeting.

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I know a lot of things would have to change with my family to take that task on, but everyone who loves the game wants a chance to put a team together, and I’m no different.  I would prefer that to managing a team. The day-to-day stuff (involved in managing) would not be my favorite. But the behind the scenes stuff… I would be more qualified for those personal relationships away from the field.

With the intrigue created by two articles being published, Darling had to address the rumors during last night’s game, and he seemed strong in his intentions to continue with his broadcasting career.  Specifically, Darling said, “I work for three different networks. I don’t have time to work as a general manager, nor do I have probably the skills to do it.”

With Darling giving differing accounts, it is difficult to ascertain what his true ambitions are.  In both circumstances, it is quite possible he is giving the response he believes he thought he should provide.  Taking the accounts together, they are not necessarily contradictory.  After all, Darling could honestly have real interest int he General Manager job while also admitting to himself (and Mets fans watching the game) he ultimately does not have the requisite skill set to do the job.

What we do know is this has become an issue over the way the Mets are handling this search.  Specifically, as noted in Mike Puma’s article in the New York Post, the Wilpons seem unable to determine exactly which style of general manager should led the organization.  At some point, the Wilpons are going to have to reach some form of a consensus in what may prove to be an unexpected power struggle.

The question is whether the power struggle and battling ideology would ultimately lead to the Mets considering or hiring Darling.

Here’s what we do know.  The Wilpons seem to like to surround themselves with people they know, like, and have previously had dealings.  It is why when it came time to replace Jim Duquette, they lured Omar Minaya from Montreal.  It’s also why they brought Omar Minaya back heading into this season.  It’s why we see Terry Collins being given a real and not ceremonious role in the organization and his gaining more influence as the year has progressed.

This is the sort of environment where not only does a Darling get brought up as a possible candidate, but it is also the type of enviroment where he may get serious consideration.

If you play if out, you could see the narrative.  Darling is a Yale graduate.  As we have seen with John Lynch with San Francisco, former players and commentator can transition to the front office and be successful.  As an aside, it doesn’t hurt Lynch was Kevin Burkhardt’s former partner on Fox.  Having been around the team daily since 2006, Darling is well versed in the roster and its needs.  He’s media savvy and respected by all.

Really, the narrative writes itself.  The question is whether the Wilpons really go there.  Right now, it’s likely they won’t, but sadly, at this point, we can’t rule it out.

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