In between fielding hysterical calls from Chris Russo loyalists vowing to boycott WFAN this morning, Joe Benigno-Gazingo has tackled the subject of former Mets C Gary Carter and his future employment prospects. While mentioning Carter’s ill-advised campaign for the managerial job while Willie Randolph was still on the hot seat, Benigno blasted the Hall Of Fame backstop for his refusal to accept a job managing the Mets’ Eastern League affiliate in Binghamton in 2007.
“You’ve got to pay your dues..” raged Beningo. “I know he won a World Series, but you can’t just walk into a major league manager’s job. I didn’t get started on radio that way….Minko didn’t get his start that way.”
Though Benigno might be correct in claiming Carter turning down the B-Mets job hurt his chances of managing the big league club, he neglected to mention Carter had already managed the Mets’ St. Lucie farm club in 2006, after having led the organization’s Gulf Coast League squad to a 36-17 record the previous season. Prior to that, Carter was the Mets’ Minor League catching coordinator in 2004, and served as a roving minor league instructor in 2003.
If Beningo wishes to characterize Carter as a me-first, insufferable camera-hog, I’ll not debate the point. If the broadcaster simply thinks Carter is unqualified to manage in the big leagues, that’s a legit opinion, too. But it’s borderline slanderous to insist —as Benigno has, loudly —- that Gary Carter believes his glittering playing career entitles him to a big league manager’s gig without working his way up the ladder. I’m hardly suggesting Carter should’ve replaced Randolph ahead of Jerry Manuel, but in terms of dues paying, Carter’s time in the lower reaches of the minor leagues compares favorably with Benigno’s stint at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.