Steve Cohen: Buck Showalter, Billy Eppler ‘absolutely’ remaining with Mets through 2023

Steve Cohen Mets Team Golf League
Steve Cohen (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

QUEENS — Mets owner Steve Cohen didn’t miss a beat when asked about confirming the notion that manager Buck Showalter and general manager Billy Eppler’s jobs were safe through the 2023 season.

“Absolutely,” he said. 

The man known for being a shrewd businessman while building upon his billions of dollars in wealth continues to preach — and practice — patience with his leadership group despite the Mets entering Wednesday night’s play seven games under .500 and 16.5 games out of first place in the National League East. 

“I’m a patient guy,” Cohen said. “Everybody wants a headline. Everybody says ‘Fire this person, fire that person.’ I don’t see that as a way to operate… I know fans want something to happen. I get it. But sometimes, you can’t do it because you have a long-term objective.”

Buck Showalter Mets
New York Mets manager Buck Showalter walks back to the dugout after making a pitching change in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, June 8, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Cohen’s backing of Showalter aligns with what Eppler had teased on Tuesday afternoon, imploring that the veteran skipper is “the guy to get us back on track.” But the richest owner in baseball’s leadership structure has taken a beating in those headlines he alluded to as of late. Fingers have mostly been pointed at Eppler for building a $344 million roster chock full of holes and Showalter for his lineup construction and bullpen usage.

“It’s been incredibly frustrating. I watch every game, I see what’s going on,” Cohen said. “If you asked me if I expected us to be in this position at the beginning of the season, the answer is no. Hopefully, we can right the ship. We have quality players. For some reason or another, they’re not jelling. 

“It’s kind of weird, it’s very strange to me. I don’t know if the players are anxious or if they’re pressing… I assume it’s a little bit of that.”

But his vote of confidence for Showalter and Eppler became a tad murkier when looking beyond 2023. Granted, it boils down to how the Mets finish off the second half of their season. If things remain in their current state and they remain in fourth place for the rest of the season, a shake-up could be more likely.

“Fourth place is not the goal,” Cohen said. “Anytime you end up in fourth place, to sit and do nothing is probably not a great place to be. I don’t know what the answers are, but we’ll figure out what went wrong and then figure out how to fix it… I don’t care if we’re 16.5 or 14.5 or 18.5 [games back], it’s terrible. It’s not what I expected.”

Billy Eppler Mets
Mets GM Billy Eppler (Joe Pantorno/AMNY)

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