Buck Showalter Credit: SNY

In the industry where so much reporting has become, “Who can tweet it the fastest,” the human element has largely taken a back seat. While it’s hard to fault reporters for the growing nature of this business, as they attempt to navigate their jobs in the age of sports journalism in 2023, it’s a reasonable conversation to have.

That conversation was brought to the forefront by Buck Showalter, who managed his last game for the New York Mets on Sunday. Prior to Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Phillies, an emotional Showalter announced that the organization would be moving in a different direction. 

This doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. The 67-year-old Showalter, who was named the 2022 National League Manager of the Year, oversaw a huge September collapse from last season’s ballclub and just endured one of the more disappointing seasons in franchise history. Showalter went 175-147 in his two seasons at the helm, and New York will look to move in a new direction after David Stearns will be introduced as the club’s first president of baseball operations come Monday.

During his impromptu announcement, Showalter chided reporters as they quickly tweeted that he would not be returning as manager. During his heartfelt announcement, he revealed that general manager Billy Eppler and the Mets organization gave him the option of stepping aside or being fired as a result. Showalter cited that new leadership wanted to go in a different direction. And the Mets made sure to clarify that he was indeed fired.

“Just want to let y’all know that,” said Showalter, who is by all means transparent with the media. Even though his interviews didn’t make much sense during the earlier portion of the season.

“I got a lot of things here I could say, but I did want to make sure I got some things out there,” he added. “You know, they have…just like before, I talked to some of the players today, trying to hit everybody. I talked to the coaching staff, just to give them a heads up for what’s coming.”

Showalter, who had his head in his hands, likely racing through the emotions of what could be his last day as an MLB manager, looked up. He was befuddled to see that the Mets beat reporters were tweeting away at the news he was announcing, as it hadn’t been about a minute since he revealed he would not be back in 2024.

“You guys are more interested in tweeting this out and being first,” said a frustrated Showalter. “So, who got first? Who won first? You didn’t.”

Some could see it as an old-school manager chiding q new-age media for being on their phones. But Showalter has a fair point here. This could be the end of the road of his MLB career. He was informed he was going to be fired prior to Sunday’s game and used his pregame presser as an opportunity to beat the Mets to the punch.

He did just that. But he was also upset to find out that his words found their way to social media almost instantly.

CBS’ Kate Feldman also brought up a fair point here, that Showalter scolded reporters for reporting the news.

And Feldman is largely right; all of the Mets beat reporters were simply doing their job. Showalter is mocking that the attention from his heartfelt statement has been shifted to being transcribed to social media. But he’d have to be naive to think that wasn’t going to happen.

Maybe Showalter was merely observing the absurdity of the profession, in which everyone feels the need to be first. They can be worried that the likes of Jeff Passan and Ken Rosenthal might outscoop them if they were intently listening to Showalter.

This is certainly an argument where both sides hold merit. But you can understand Showalter’s frustration, being that he was the one who informed the media that he would be let go. And right after that, the Mets’ backseat drove his announcement and made sure it was known that he was fired.

Perhaps these instances won’t occur as often under proper leadership. But alas, the Mets are the Mets.

[SNY on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.