LADY AT THE BAT: The Mess That Is The New York Mets

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Mess That Is The New York Mets

As a Yankee fan living in New York these days, I don't have much to complain, worry or feel bad about. With the exception of a (real or imagined) battery feud and a stale soap opera about a promising young right-hander, I have nothing to feel really bad about these days.

But I'm not just a Yankee fan. I'm a baseball fan. What is happening over in Flushing with the New York Mets is just plain sad. Earlier in the season, I laughed and gloated with the best of them. Now I truly feel for this team and all of their fans. Injuries galore, an unassisted game-ending triple play, a badly-handled front office firing and a GM who seems not to know what is going on in his own organization.

This GM, Omar Minaya, is no doubt being suffering the effects of something the Mets subscribe to called a collegial management style. Former Mets GM Steve Phillips described this management style recently:

The Mets don’t necessarily believe in the chain of command,” Phillips said. “They believe in one of their core values, in what they call a collegial organization. What that means is people down the ladder can go to people up the ladder, and people up the ladder can go down the ladder to any level and have conversations, share thoughts, ideas. …

“It sounds nice, but it’s not functional. Because what ends up happening is it tears apart the fabric of the organization and its structure.” []

I worked for many years at a company who also held to the collegial management style. It was a lot of fun, until I became a supervisor. I was undermined constantly, and when I complained about it, I was told, as Steve Phillips was told, that I had an ego problem.

I don't agree with a lot of what Steve Phillips says, but he is dead on when it comes to this. The Mets need to scrap this collegial garbage and put a chain of command in place. If they had a chain of command, perhaps this mess, injuries included, wouldn't be as bad as it is.


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