Mendoza is the 25th manager in Mets history and president of baseball operations David Stearns talked about what made the Venezuela native the perfect fit for the organization at this time.
“We prioritized finding a manager not only who can impact and lead our team in the dugout but also shape an environment throughout our organization, and I firmly believe Carlos has the ability to do that,” Stearns said to open the news conference while sitting to Mendoza’s right. “Carlos’ upbeat, positive personality, his genuine care for people, his baseball knowledge, experience in this city, his sincerity all shone through throughout this process, throughout our time and made him the right person for this job.
“I’ve talked about before how big these jobs are. We ask our manager to communicate with a wide swath of people from the clubhouse to the front office with the media to ownership. Carlos has those communication skills, he has the leadership ability and I’m thrilled to get to partner with him and have him here with the Mets.”
Mendoza echoed a lot of Stearns’ sentiments regarding their partnership, saying he learned a lot from his time as the Yankees’ bench coach in regards to those connections with various people in the organization.
He said he learned to use every resource available, and to have sit downs and tough conversations while in the Bronx, especially when things aren’t going well.
“When David talks about a partnership, it’s trusting each other, having each other’s back, good or bad, and having conversations that are going to be tough,” Mendoza said. “But at the end of the day, because of the trust and respect we have for each other, we’re going to move on and accomplish great things.”
Mendoza added that Stearns’ vision and expectations for this Mets team were just some of the conversations the two had and they are on the same page that this team will compete in 2024.
Following Buck Showalter’s firing at the end of the 2023 season, the Mets held their managerial search that included talks with Craig Counsell, Mark Kotsay, amongst others, but after the team talked to people to learn more about the candidates, Mendoza was brought in for the next stage that helped Stearns figure out the 43-year-old, first-time manager was the right fit.
“For me, the next stage was ensuring I felt a connection to the person who was going to be our next manager,” Stearns explained. “We talked about the partnership that these jobs require. We’re going to be on the phone a lot together. We’re going to deal with real highs and probably lows together, and we’re going to have the bond and trust to collectively work with that. The more time Carlos and I spent together, the more we both felt comfortable that we have the ability to do that together.”
After a 101-win season, the Mets faltered in 2023 to finish below .500. The fans’ appetite to see a winner in Queens is something Mendoza understands after being a part of the Yankees organization for six seasons, but he believes they can make it happen and he’s prepared for the challenge.
“We like our team. There are some talented players coming back from winning a 100 games not too long ago. We are excited about the group of position players we have in the upper levels. So, yea I’m excited,” Mendoza said. “There are high expectations and the fans are going to let you know. They expect you to win and to win championships. I go back to relationships and building that culture in that clubhouse with players and people you work with so they can trust you.
“You are going to go through some ups and downs and I’m ready for this challenge. I’m ready for this new chapter and I can’t wait to get going.”