NYCSportsNation was fortunate enough to speak with former front office executive Adam Fisher On the 2020 New York Mets.
Fisher has an extensive baseball acumen, as he worked in the Mets front office beginning as an intern in 2003 all the way until 2017 in which he was the senior director of baseball operations.
In September 2017, Fisher moved on from the Mets to accept a position with the Atlanta Braves as their assistant general manager to John Coppolella.
Currently, Fisher works as a contributor/analyst with SportsNet New York (SNY) and gives his opinions on current MLB topics from a front office perspective. Also, Fisher predominantly spends his time as the executive director of 78 Youth Sports, located in Brooklyn. 78 Youth Sports is a non-profit organization that offers organized youth sports to those who live in Brooklyn and in the surrounding area’s near prospect park.
Adam shared many insights into current Met topics, including how he views Luis Rojas’s fit as a manager, how he views the Mets chances in the NL East, and if he has any interest in rejoining a baseball front office.
NYCSportsNation: How do you feel about the hire of Luis Rojas and all that has come with it?
AF: Luis Rojas was someone that was tagged as a future ML managerial candidate when he was hired as a coach in the low minors and it is a nice thing for the organization to see that come to fruition after he slowly worked his way up the ladder. Obviously, the whole situation with Beltran is unfortunate for many reasons. However, it speaks to Rojas’ strengths that they felt comfortable pivoting to him. I think it makes sense to go with an in-house candidate that is familiar with the organizations’ players and processes.
The biggest thing that stands out with Rojas is how many players like him and enjoy playing for him. You hear that from people up and down the organization. He is intelligent and personable, grew up around the game, thinks it is important to communicate positively with his players and made a good impression as a strategist in the interview process. These are all things that will help him be successful and have likely already helped him navigate a very unique situation following Beltran. He is untested with the media and we know that is a big part of managing in New York and something that makes it different than other cities.
We’ll be able to see relatively quickly how he handles this area. Summing up, of course, he has plenty of challenges ahead of him, but I do like the choice and think he has the tools to be successful.
NYCSportsNation: How would you rate Brodie’s second offseason thus far as Mets General Manager?
AF: I would call it a status quo off-season. Of the moves, I really like the Betances signing. Certainly, there is injury risk there, but he has the big-time upside to really help the bullpen. I say status quo because they did what they needed to do to remain competitive, but they didn’t really put themselves over the top with a move like say signing Anthony Rendon, or making one of the trades Brodie explored for Francisco Lindor or Carlos Correa, or even signing a few more proven relievers – which I can understand since those deals often don’t work out – see Jeurys Familia. They get durability with Porcello, but less quality than Wheeler. They made a small upgrade with the fourth outfield spot in Marisnick. The bullpen has a little more depth now by bringing back Brach and better health from Gsellman.
Ultimately, the team’s success is going to rest on repeat performances from their better players and particularly Edwin Diaz having a better season and getting closer to his potential. So really after this off-season, things continue to rest heavily on pieces that were already in-house.
NYCSportsNation: With the team assembled to this point, how competitive can the Mets be in a difficult and much improved National League East?
AF: Games obviously aren’t played on paper and that is why they play them. But it is tough to see them overtaking the Braves as things stand currently. You are talking about an 11-game win gap from last season and the Braves made enough moves to remain around that level despite losing Josh Donaldson. So things would really have to go right for the Mets and wrong for the Braves for things to swing like that. I think that you are looking at competing for a Wild Card. And that is very much in their wheelhouse.
I have said throughout the off-season that I think that they are the third-best team in the Division behind the Braves and Nationals, but I am starting to hedge with the Nationals since we don’t know the added impact that losing a player of Rendon’s caliber will have on the rest of the club. That is a major, major loss that is worth keeping an eye on obviously. Perhaps you could say the same thing about Donaldson with the Braves, but they have more margin for error than the Nats and had won the division previously before he came on board. The quality of the competition in Divison is going to make things harder, but with an improved bullpen performance, the Mets should be right there for the Wild Card.
NYCSportsNation: Are there any other moves that you would want the Mets to explore before spring training begins?
AF: The roster looks pretty set to me at this point. The extra moves that they could have made are likely in the rearview mirror. So I think you just continue to add minor league depth up the middle, in the pen, and in the rotation.
NYCSportsNation: Do you have any interest in rejoining an MLB Front office? Is there anything you miss working in a front office
AF: Time away from working in a front office has been good for me. Particularly the travel was really starting to wear me down. I have little kids and I was constantly on the road. It is great to get a chance to be home and frankly, be a more active participant in their lives. They now have hardly any memory of my being away all the time, which is refreshing. But I do really miss the action and the competition. That is the big draw for me. So I am not ruling out a return at some point it was the right opportunity, but I am not particularly looking to get back in at the current moment.
NYCSportsNation: How has your time at SNY as a contributor from transitioning from a front office perspective to a media analyst perspective?
AF: Anything new comes with challenges obviously and it takes some time to get used to being on TV. But SNY is a great place to work. Really a good group of people from management on down. And getting a chance to be an analyst and talk about the game has made my transition away from working in a front office much less of an adjustment. I still get to be around the game and there is never a dull moment covering both the Mets and Yankees. I look forward to another interesting season, particularly with all of the challenges that MLB is facing with the Astros scandal. It is really unfortunate for the game, but in a strange way, I expect that it will pique fan interest.
NYCSportsNation: I know you have done a lot of work with 78 Youth Sports in Brooklyn. If you want to promote what you are doing and how anyone interested in youth sports in the Brooklyn area can do to participate.
AF: Being on TV is a second job for me. Day-to-day, I am the Executive Director of 78 Youth Sports, which is a non-profit youth sports organization based in Brooklyn. We have leagues, clinics, and travel teams in baseball, basketball and flag football and we are one of the largest youth sports organizations in New York City.
I am also the baseball league commissioner and right now I am in the midst of making rosters for about 100 youth baseball teams, something like 1300 kids playing mostly in Prospect Park. I feel fortunate that this opportunity was available to me and that I get a chance to give back to the community. If you live in Brooklyn in any of the communities around Prospect Park and are interested in getting involved in these sports, you can find us at 78youthsports.org.
You can follow Adam on Twitter at @adamgfisher, and you can see Adam on many of SNY’s baseball-related shows, including Baseball Night in New York.