Buck Showalter, all business, not yet ready to reflect Inauguration Day sentiments – The Mercury News

WASHINGTON, DC – Buck Showalter on Thursday managed a game for the first time since September 30, 2018. Much has changed in the 1,285 days between his final time in a major-league dugout, when he led the Orioles to a 47-win. One last win before being knocked out by Baltimore. But Showalter just isn’t ready to embrace the emotions of his first Opening Day in four years.

The Mets ended Showalter’s four-year hiatus as captain last December, when they hired the 65-year-old to lead the expensive club of billionaire owner Steve Cohen.

“I haven’t had a chance to do tug of war, or whatever. I’m just not there,” Showalter said. “Maybe later. The grandson flew in tonight. A lot of my family is here. So that’s cool. But that’s about the limits of it. Right now we’ve got a lot of things going on trying to stay on top. Look forward to getting a game or two under my belt and getting into the routine. I try to keep in mind how different it is to what we’re doing now. It’s been a while, a while It is done.”

Expectations are high for Showalter’s Mets; He knows it, the players know it, the front office knows it. After an exciting offseason that received star players, he ended spring training on a low note, his best pitcher with a scapula injury and being unable to make his debut until June at the earliest. A series of injuries followed—Max Scherzer’s hamstring tightness, Taijuan Walker’s knee pain, and Brandon Nimmo’s stiff neck.

What was Showalter’s reaction to his first real taste of the Mets? The captain saw the positive side as soon as he took over.

“I’m surprised it took so long,” Showalter said. “I told everyone, when one happens, you always know something else is coming. It’s part of it. Everyone’s dealing with it this spring. No one wants to hear you complain about it and we Not going. It’s part of the gig.”

“It’s like I told the coaches, that’s why we’re here and robots aren’t running the game. Your relationships, and what ifs and what things prepare you for, and all the things that go into it, and, I’m not the culture. Wanted to say, but just the atmosphere that you put through these things.

The atmosphere Showalter has created for the Mets’ first game of the year is all-business. He didn’t really need to address the team before Opening Day, as he said: “They were talking so well there that I was fine. I’m done. He handled most of it. He did all that. Said what I would have said.”

It took Mets players less than a month to adapt to Showalter’s detail-oriented, hyper-focused management style, which garnered him three Manager of the Year awards, one for each team he managed. Is. So no, he won’t be considering the start of his 21st season as Major League Baseball captain just yet. He will come later. For now, he’s got one task: to end the Mets’ 36-year World Series drought.

Nimmo absent from opening day lineup

Brandon Nimmo did his best to convince the Mets that the tightness of his neck was behind him. Even after not featuring in the Mets opening day lineup, he went back on the field and went through his drills—throwing, running, moving flyballs, hitting the cage—in an effort to give Showalter a better idea of ​​what he was doing. where he was there.

Nimmo managed to avoid the injured list to start the season, but he also avoided the Mets’ first lineup of the year. On the positive side, the tightness of Nimmo’s neck mostly seems to be behind him. He must appear in the lineup before the end of the Mets’ four-match series against the Nations.

“It means a lot to me, Opening Day does,” Nimmo said. “But you have to adopt a mindset of 162. We obviously want people to be available for as many games as possible out of 162. And so you have to keep that in mind. But there’s something special about Opening Day.” Would love to be a part of it. But you have to keep in mind the longer term.”

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Taijuan Walker (pain in right knee) is expected to make his first start of the year, as scheduled, against Phillips in the first match of the series on Monday. After just 1.1 innings on Tuesday, he was dropped from his final spring tune-up, conceding six runs on four hits.

Walker said that after a knee operation in January, the pain in his knee in that outing had resumed, and he didn’t want to push himself. He has since changed his delivery mechanics and says he feels better in his bullpen.

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