Joe Girardi headlined the hot names throughout the Mets' managerial search, but New York ultimately went in a different direction and hired Carlos Beltran.
Before the Mets zeroed in on Beltran, a first-time manager, the Phillies went all out for Girardi. Philadelphia introduced Girardi, the former Yankees manager from 2008-17, last Monday.
Back at Citi Field in New York for Monday's press conference with Beltran, Van Wagenen explained why the Mets did not continue to pursue Girardi -- more so revealing that Beltran's overall strengths and all-around potential, despite the inexperience, outweighed other candidates' experience.
"Well, I think, as I said earlier, there were a lot of qualified candidates that brought different things to the table," Van Wagenen told SNY's Steve Gelbs. "I thought that we considered all of those candidates and their strengths and ultimately it was Carlos' strengths that won the day. It was less about where other candidates fell short and much more specifically about what Carlos' leadership brings to our team, what his leadership brings to the organization and we had a great deal of confidence in that."
Girardi managed the Yankees for 10 seasons, but has a different style and personality as a manager than the Mets felt from Beltran.
"A lot of people say I'm extremely intense. Yeah, that might be right. I'm focused. I'm focused on the job always at hand," Girardi said last Monday. "I think there's something that you can do when the media is an outlet: You can send messages to your fans, that sort of thing. I think it's important. ... I grew up playing against the Phillies and managing against the Phillies, and I understand how important it is here. I'm not just going to give you things off a whim, but I'm going to be extremely honest with you. I might not do as much storytelling as other managers, but I'm going to tell you the truth all the time."
Van Wagenen broke down five reasons why the Mets chose Beltran over Girardi and the other candidates to reportedly be in the mix, amounting to New York's decision to take a chance on the organization's former star outfielder from 2005-11.
"When we put all this together, Carlos' experience, combined with his personal attributes, will give him instant credibility in our clubhouse with the players," Van Wagenen said. "It will give him instant relatability to the players in our clubhouse. Carlos has lived what our players are living right now. Carlos has traveled where our players hope to travel over the course of their careers. He has faced and he has overcome adversity, amidst the highest of high expectations and the most intense pressure in sports."