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Brodie Van Wagenen - His First Year Starts with a Bang

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  • Brodie Van Wagenen - His First Year Starts with a Bang

    Drew's Sig

  • #2
    IMO, it's time for Brody to have his own thread instead of being buried on the 4th page of a "who's gonna succeed Sandy" thread that was started when Sandy "retired"'s an interview that the Post's Steve Serby conducted with the new GM: GM Brodie Van Wagenen thinks New York can be Mets town again soon

    By Steve Serby

    New Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen signs up for some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.

    Q: You said you told the Wilpons not what they wanted to hear, but what they needed to hear. What did they need to hear?
    A: They needed to hear that there was a lack of confidence in the organization. There was a lack of belief that they could win. And I wanted to change that narrative.

    Q: You used the words fearless and relentless at your press conference.
    A: I think that you can’t be afraid to win, and you can’t be afraid to fail. You have to be able to go after anything in life with passion and conviction. And the only way to do that is to be relentless, because you’re gonna face roadblocks, you’re gonna face adversity, and you can’t quit.

    Q: How do you feel about competing or being in the shadow of the Yankees?
    A: I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for the work that Brian Cashman’s done. I think the Yankee organization had been able to sustain success over a long period of time. I was here in New York when the Mets were one win away from the World Series in 2006. I was here in New York when the Mets went to the World Series in 2015. And I think that this town becomes a Mets town when the Mets win.

    Q: When will this be a Mets town again?
    A: I hope in 2019.

    Q: What’s realistic?
    A: I think we can win in 2019.

    Q: Win how big?
    A: Win means nobody beats us.

    Q: That’s putting a lot of pressure on yourself.
    A: I don’t think you show up any day at the office where you don’t think you can win.

    Q: Why are you confident this can be a win-now team?
    A: I think there’s stars and talent in place that have winning mindsets, and I think there’s an ownership group that’s committed to giving me the resources to surround them with the best-in-class talent.

    Q: There’s pressure to deliver for a delirious fan base.
    A: I come with the mindset from a job where there are no points for second place, and so, I believe that our goal should be to win, and if the fan base understands that we are giving every ounce of our effort to do so, that hopefully they’ll be pleased with our results.

    Q: How do you deal with stress?
    A: I eat (chuckle).

    Q: Then you have no stress, I guess.
    A: I have three different stages of stress.

    Q: What are they?
    A: Fat, skinny and in-between.

    Q: Where are you now?
    A: In-between.

    Q: Why doesn’t New York scare you?
    A: I’ve worked here for the better part of the last 17 years, and I feel like this city and this fan base just wants people to do what they say.

    Q: What have you learned about Mets fans?
    A: They want better. And I hope to be able to give ’em better.

    Q: Why are you the right man for this job?
    A: I feel like I understand people, I can inspire people, and I can build an organization that is reliant on process and good decision-making to yield results.

    Q: How do you inspire others?
    A: Tell ’em what they can be, tell ’em what they need to get better, and give ’em the opportunity to do both.

    Q: Give me a scouting report on you, using adjectives.
    A: A high-motor … meaning that I run fast and hard at all times. That I am compassionate. That I am confident. And that I am willing to make sacrifices.

    Q: What is your definition of a championship culture?
    A: People that understand their roles on the team, they’re willing to accept those roles, and they’re willing to do them to the best of their abilities.

    Q: Where does your confidence come from?
    A: Work ethic and humility.

    Q: You ooze confidence.
    A: I feel like I’m passionate and I’ve got good energy, and I just don’t believe in a defeatist attitude. I’m gonna bring that every day.

    Q: You strike me as a guy who believes you would have been successful in whatever you did.
    A: There are certain things I wouldn’t have been successful in (laugh). I think I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses, but I wake up every day with a belief that I can do something better.

    Q: Are you more like your mother or your father?
    A: I’m a blend. My mother’s tenacious, and she instilled the belief that I could do anything. And my dad reminded me that I’m never as good or never as bad as everybody else tells me.

    Q: Describe the ideal Brodie Van Wagenen baseball player.
    A: Players that are accountable, and players that understand their strengths and weaknesses and are willing to maximize their strengths and willing to work on their weaknesses.

    Q: Describe your negotiating style.
    A: I think that I want to see the other side’s perspective, and I want to be able to value players appropriately, and I want to be able to reward people fairly for their compensation, and in doing so, I feel like there should never be winning or losing a negotiation, everybody should be able to looking to create something fair and reasonable.

    Q: Tell me about your very first negotiation.
    A: My first draft negotiation was with Mike Rizzo, scouting director at the time of the Arizona Diamondbacks and now the GM of the Nationals. And we had two first-round picks that I was working with him that year, and one went really smoothly, the other one was a little more complicated, so I saw at the same time that we could see eye-to-eye and then literally the next transaction we could be at odds with each other. It was a learning experience on that front.

    Q: What made the Red Sox a championship team?
    A: They had great talent, they were healthy, and they played as a unit.

    Q: What do you remember about the Mets’ last championship team in 1986?
    A: I was a Dodger fan in L.A., so I followed the Dodgers-Mets rivalry in close. It was obviously a phenomenal team that worked together and had personalities, but they all were striving in the same direction.

    Q: Who were your favorite Dodgers?
    A: Kirk Gibson … Orel Hershiser.

    Q: Where were you when Gibson hit that Game 1 1988 World Series walkoff home run?
    A: I think I was at high school football practice.

    Q: What did you play?
    A: I was a quarterback.

    Q: No offers?
    A: (Chuckle) Well, I had the chance to play football and baseball at Princeton, but figured I’d try to play baseball in the Pac-10 at the time.

    Q: What is your definition of leadership?
    A: Bringing people together … respecting their opinions … and empowering people.

    Q: Who are leaders and executives in any sport you admire?
    A: Bob Myers, Golden State Warriors. Theo Epstein. I think Theo has done an incredible job of building the culture. Clearly he has set up systems to maximize performance and maximize potential, but he’s able to create consistency from the lowest levels of his organizations to the top, and has them rowing in the same direction.

    Q: Anyone else?
    A: I’ll give [49ers GM] John Lynch the kudos for someone else that has had to go from a position outside of an organization, and cross lines to go be a GM.

    Q: Inspirational sayings you’re fond of?
    A: “Just once in his life a man has his time. And my time is now, I’m comin’ alive [St. Elmo’s Fire].”

    Q: Why did you and Jeff Wilpon click?
    A: We’ve done deals together for a long time. I think when Brian Schneider got traded to the Mets from the Nationals, that was sort of our first interaction on a more personal level, and we’ve sort of built it from there.

    Q: Who’s a better golfer?
    A: Jeff Wilpon. I’m a bad golfer.

    Q: How bad?
    A: 13 index.

    Q: It’s not that bad.
    A: He’s scratch!

    Q: Ever run into Brian Cashman in Darien, Conn.?
    A: I do. My middle son and Brian’s son Teddy are the same age, they’ve been in school together and played in the same Little Leagues, but Brian and I have always had a good relationship, and he reached out to me and offered me luck.

    Q: Not too much luck, you’re in the same city.
    A: Right (smile). Different league.

    Q: Boyhood idol?
    A: Mickey Mantle. … He could do it all. He could run, he could hit, he could throw, he could hit for power, and he did it with a smile and he did it with New York.

    Q: Favorite Stanford baseball memory.
    A: Winning the conference championship on the last day of the season … on the road at Arizona State.

    Q: Why did you and Astros manager A.J. Hinch click?
    A: We first met on the USA team the summer before we started in college. And then we were part of the same recruiting class. We spent a lot of time together and understood that we both had similar outlooks on life. We had ambition, we had work ethic, and we wanted to be able to share it together.

    Q: Describe former USC pitcher Randy Flores.
    A: Great baseball mind, great competitor. He threw me a changeup that I got out in front of and dislocated my shoulder and ended my career.

    Q: But you’re still friends with him to this day.
    A: Yeah, I had to money off of him by representing him (smile).

    Q: Michael Jordan.
    A: Tremendous work ethic.

    Q: Athlete Direct.
    A: We were a sports content business, where we were creating a platform for athletes to have a voice directly to their fans — ironically far before social media became a vehicle for that. Modal Trigger Brodie Van WagenenNY Post: Charles Wenzelberg
    Q: Jay-Z.
    A: Incredible listener.

    Q: Late sports agent Mark McCormack.
    A: Pioneer … visionary … and somebody that understood the value of long-term relationships and loyalty.

    Q: Tell me about your father-in-law Neil Armstrong.
    A: Incredible grandfather.

    Q: Is walking on the moon on your bucket list?
    A: No. No (smile). Never wanted to fly. I’m more comfortable with my feet on the ground.

    Q: Did he tell you stories about what it was like to walk on the moon?
    A: Neil was an incredible kind and intelligent man, and through the course of the 20 years that I knew him, he shed [shared] all sorts of insights and perspectives, but he was a grandfather to our kids.

    Q: Roy Halladay.
    A: The ultimate competitor that was the first player in the clubhouse every day, the last player to leave. He never relented. He was a relentless player whether he had his best stuff that day or didn’t have his stuff at all, he was still gonna find a way to compete and still gonna find a way to win.

    Q: New Canaan Cannons.
    A: I retired from the New Canaan Cannons two years ago, but it’s a 28-and-over adult league baseball team with a lot of diehard Mets fans on that team, so it was a way for me to stay connected to the game and remind myself of how hard the game is, and not to take for granted how difficult it is for the players I represented at the time.

    Q: Why did you retire?
    A: I got old … hamstrings started blowing out.

    Q: How would you describe your wife Molly?
    A:Smart … powerful … beautiful … and my rock.

    Q: Since you’re such a good negotiator, how did you get Molly to say yes?
    A: She ignored my phone calls for a long time. I was fearless and relentless (chuckle).

    Q: Describe your daughter Piper.
    A: She’s poised, she’s graceful, she is a great sounding board, and she’s just always done a great job of not worrying about the past or the future, she lives in the present. Modal Trigger Brodie Van Wagenen poses with his family, (l-r); daughter Piper, Brodie , wife Molly, and son Jack at Citi FieldN.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg
    Q: Your son Jack.
    A: Jack has a sparkle in his eye that is infectious to everybody around him, and he inspires me to overcome anything.

    Q: Your son Rafe.
    A: Rafe is thoughtful. He is intelligent. And he challenges me to be the best I can be.

    Q: Other than this interview, what has been your best baseball moment?
    A: Todd Frazier’s Home Run Derby win in Cincinnati, and then Ryan Zimmerman’s walkoff home run opening night at a Nationals Park.

    Q: Books?
    A: “Good to Great,” and “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.”

    Q: What did you take from “Mindset”?
    A: That you always have to push yourself for growth mindset, and don’t allow yourself to be content in what you know. Challenge yourself to learn what you don’t know.

    Q: Three dinner guests?
    A: Mickey Mantle, Sandy Alderson, [late MLB players’ union chief] Michael Weiner.

    Q: You like Graeter’s ice cream Cincinnati.
    A: Black raspberry chip is my go-to. It’s got the thick chocolate chunks.

    Q: Favorite New York City restaurant?
    A: La Esquina’s my Number 1.

    Q: Traffic on I-95?
    A: Can’t beat it. That’s a war I won’t win.

    Q: Who do Jeremy Guthrie tweets keep you awake at night?
    A: Because I don’t turn my phone off at night, and his alerts come in at all hours of the night, and his content used to scare me, ’cause I knew I’d have to react to it the next morning.

    Q: Favorite movie?
    A: “Good Will Hunting.”

    Q: Favorite singer/ entertainer?
    A: I say my life is better because of Ed Sheeran (smile).

    Q: Favorite meal?
    A: Burritos.

    Q: What do you think of the New York Post’s back page?
    A: Creative.

    Q: What is your message to Mets fans?
    A: Have hope, have optimism, and celebrate the successes. Don’t dwell on the failures.

    Q: When you introduce yourself to your players together in spring training, what will you tell them?
    A: I’m gonna tell them that I’m committed to giving them everything that they need to succeed, and I’m willing to put in the same effort that they put in to achieve that goal.


    • yogi8
      yogi8 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Jeff for the post, it was a great interview. BVW seems to be spontaneous and confident...the anti Alderson. He mentioned that his work ethic is one of his strengths, that resonated with me. I never felt that over the past 8 seasons.

      He doesn't seem to have the resume and experience of Chaim Bloom, but work and confidence along with personality can close that gap quickly.

      Where I disagree; Good Will Hunting....good movie, not my favorite. thank you. Three dinner guests....sorry can't make it, busy watching Law and Order reruns.

      Welcome aboard Brodie

  • #3
    Great interview. Brodie seems like a good guy and very confident. He’s very different from Sandy - who I always thought was focused on budgeting more than anything else. Hopefully the 44-year old has a few decades here of success and brings us home a World Series trophy 🏆


    • #4
      Not at this time. The Mets rotation closed the season from mid July with a 32-18 W-L and a 2.93 ERA. That included the Matz contribution of 1-5 and 4.90. Callaway and Dave Eiland are gold.


      • NY FANG
        NY FANG commented
        Editing a comment
        what are you replying to?

      • yogi8
        yogi8 commented
        Editing a comment
        Not there now, but it was a comment by Saxon about Callaway following the same path as Willie Randolph

      • NY FANG
        NY FANG commented
        Editing a comment
        hate when things move around... makes it so confusing lol

    • #5
      GM Meetings Are Just Creating More Questions For The Mets

      by MATT MUSICO

      November 8, 2018

      Let’s start by saying this: it’s good for any big-league general manager or executive in charge of baseball operations — especially one that’s new to the job — to have an open mind with regard to potential roster decisions. Furthermore, what is actually said publicly to the media is likely only a small snippet of what’s actually going on behind the scenes.

      Brodie Van Wagenen’s first official event as the New York Mets’ general manager at the GM meetings sounds a bit confusing based off what he said the week before during his introductory press conference. Here are some of the things we’ve heard from him on both ends of the spectrum:
      • He wants to build a culture within the organization that’ll allow them to win right now and also win in the future. One would imagine that involves locking down an elite core group of players. While he can’t be involved in the actual contract negotiations, BVW said he wanted to keep Jacob deGrom for the long-term. A week later in California, Van Wagenen shared that he hasn’t ruled out trading deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, and has shared with other teams that they’re open-minded about anything.
      • During that initial presser with the media, BVW also said he was planning on being “in” on every free agent. Heck, he even liked an Instagram comment that had Manny Machado penciled into a hypothetical lineup and are investigating options at the top of the relief pitcher market. But when asked about payroll this week, he was pretty vague, saying he and ownership haven’t had concrete discussions about the actual budget and target payroll figure (sound familiar?). Judging from payroll estimations for 2019 and where the club settled in for Opening Day over the past two seasons, they’re going to need to be super-creative in order to make multiple significant splashes.
      • The Mets need to address their catching situation, that much we know. Van Wagenen also noted that New York’s current crop of backstops are getting some interest around the league, meaning it’s possible Travis d’Arnaud gets tendered a contract and then get traded, per the New York Post‘s Mike Puma. Being a jaded Mets fan, this sounds more like “We might just keep Travis, not make any real additions, and hope he stays healthy.” I’d be happy to be wrong here, especially since they’ve shown some initial interest in Yasmani Grandal.

      Did Van Wagenen necessarily make any mistakes with his recent comments? Not at all — he didn’t flat-out say yes or no to any question posed to him, effectively remaining in the middle on all potential issues the Mets must address. After all, he’s only been in his new post for a little over a week — he does need some time to assess everything at his finger tips. The two things that caught my attention the most, though, were the comments about deGrom and Syndergaard, along with the non-committal nature when it came to the payroll level.

      It was annoying enough to hear the Will they or won’t they?” rumors about New York considering to trade two of its top starting pitchers leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline. Following BVW’s introductory press conference, it seemed rather definitive that these guys weren’t going anywhere. Thinking this was the case for about a week was clearly too long, though, so now we’re right back to where we were towards the end of June.

      With regard to the payroll questions, this is a movie we’ve seen way too many times before. Before actually seeing what transpires, this sounds awfully similar to offseasons in the recent past. The idea of being aggressive and making significant upgrades would be communicated publicly immediately following the conclusion of the regular season, only to see the front office’s actions not back up what was initially said.

      I want to hope that things will be different, but as many people have said since last Tuesday: words are great, but action is better. Van Wagenen could very well be doing some posturing as he gets his feet underneath himself. The question probably shouldn’t be if the Mets will be active — he was hired for a reason and with his background of being an agent, one would imagine he’s predisposed to be more akin to making deals. Based off what’s been said thus far, though, the question is: How exactly are they going to do this?

      Who knows.

      Drew's Sig


      • #6

        Drew's Sig


        • #7
          Originally posted by yogi8 View Post
          Not at this time. The Mets rotation closed the season from mid July with a 32-18 W-L and a 2.93 ERA. That included the Matz contribution of 1-5 and 4.90. Callaway and Dave Eiland are gold
            • NY FANG
              NY FANG commented
              Today, 11:16 AM
              what are you replying to?
            • yogi8
              yogi8 commented
              Today, 04:38 PM
              Not there now, but it was a comment by Saxon about Callaway following the same path as Willie Randolph
          • .
          lol...that was because Dru had merged everything pertaining to GM status to the Sandy Quits thread, and I was stating that was as illogical as tying anything that Calloway did to the Willie Randolph gets fired thread...

          and since then, Dru has split things back up and deleted my sarcastic comment...

          so because of the splitting of the thread and the deletion of my comment, it probably looked to Fang like you were off your meds
          Last edited by saxon; 08-Nov-2018, 08:26 PM.


          • #8
            Originally posted by saxon View Post
            lol...that was because Dru had merged everything pertaining to GM status to the Sandy Quits thread, and I was stating that was as illogical as tying anything that Calloway did to the Willie Randolph gets fired thread...

            and since then, Dru has split things back up and deleted my sarcastic comment...

            so because of the splitting of the thread and the deletion of my comment, it probably looked to Fang like you were off your meds
            Wait, yogi has meds??????

            Does he share?


            • saxon
              saxon commented
              Editing a comment
              don't know about Yogi's meds, it was a figure of speech...however, you don't want to deal with me when I'm off my meds (coffee only...but I can be hostile without it)

          • #9
            Doc. just discontinued my BP med. which was at the smallest dose already, my reading yesterday was 130/77...not bad for an old guy. lol

            I used up all the good stuff the Doc. gave me after he cut off my toe. The rest of the stuff is eye drops and I don't share those.