I don’t care what is happening. The Mets could be coming off a World Series appearance. The Mets could have traded everyone away in Marlins fashion. It doesn’t matter. It’s always good to see Mike Piazza with the Mets.
He’s back as a special instructor. He is there to work with Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. It makes sense to have a Hall of Fame catcher work with a budding All Star and prospect. Terry Collins intends gave Piazza more latitude than just working with the catchers. For example, Piazza took the time and the initiative to talk with Yoenis Cespedes about being a superstar in New York.
With his appearance at Spring Training, it did get me thinking about when and if Piazza would ever manage in the big leagues.
Right now, the Mets manager is Terry Collins, and there is no reason to believe that’s going to change soon. Collins received a two year extension. He supposedly wants to manage these next two years and then retire. The question them arises as to who the next Mets manager will be.
One trend that never seems to go away is hiring a former star to lead the team. Robin Ventura manages the White Sox. Paul Molitor manages the Twins. Ventura had no managing experience. Molitor had experience as a minor league instructor.
Piazza only has experience as the hitting coach for Team Italy. He has been well regarded in his work as the hitting coach. He has also worked with catchers and ran instructional clinics. This year has been his first year back at Spring Training with the Mets in two years. Most likely, this stint is the Mets inviting their Hall of Famer to spend time with the team. Who’s to say it can’t be more.
At one point in time, Piazza stated he envisioned returning to baseball in some capacity. He has always kept in touch with the Mets. As of right now, he’s enjoying his time, but he wants to let this team get ready for the season. He’s not overstaying his welcome. He seems content with a few days in Spring Training for now. Maybe with young children that’s all Piazza will ever want.
Two years is a long time. If Piazza wants to return to the Mets in a full time capacity, the door should always be open. No, they shouldn’t hand him a manager job. Still, there’s always room for a person with Piazza’s baseball acumen and ability to handle New York. He may just want to be a special instructor.
No matter what that future role may be, it’ll be great to see Piazza in a Mets uniform imparting his wisdom to the next generation of Mets players.