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Former Mets manager Buck Showalter sounds off on load management

Legendary manager Buck Showalter has been around the game for a long time, leading five organizations over 22 seasons. 

Showalter has seen it all, including being told to give a player the day off due to having too good of a game the day before. 

In an appearance on “Foul Territory,” Showalter mocked the “load management” concept in sports. 

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“It’s funny how guys get penalized now for playing too much. First thing I look up in the column is games played. Do you post up? Do you post up? And these guys posted up, man,” Showalter said when discussing Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, two players he used to manage. “They’re hard to find nowadays. 

“I love when those guys come in about their load management,” Showalter said, seemingly referring to members of the front office. “We had a guy that had a triple and two doubles, and they came in and said he probably needs a day off because he ran too much around the bases. So, what do you want me to tell him? Don’t get any hits so you can play the next day? I didn’t quite understand that. 

“I said, ‘OK. You go out there and tell Brandon Nimmo that he’s not playing today because he did too well last night.'”

Buck Showalter and Pete Alonso

Showalter and New York parted ways after a disastrous season for the Mets, one year after being named the NL Manager of the Year. New York hired former Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza to be its next manager in November. 

While Showalter doesn’t appear fond of load management, the veteran skipper said he was receptive to analytics in the game. 

“They present a lot of things to you, but sometimes it’s a lot different in the dugout in the eighth and ninth inning when you know what’s going on mentally with a guy, emotionally with a guy,” Showalter said. “You know things that are going on and off the field. There’s so many factors that figure into it. 

Buck Showalter speaks with the media

“So, the best guys that I’ve dealt with are receptive to the other part of it. They bring something I can’t bring, but the coaching staff brings something that they can’t bring, just from your experience. So, the best organizations, like Texas – I think you saw a great example. Their general manager went to an Ivy League school, but he played the game. And their manager, there’s a great relationship there.” 

Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training next week as the 2024 MLB season creeps closer. 

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