The odds still favor Mets manager Mickey Callaway being dismissed during the 2019 season. He deserves better than that and here’s why…
When I looked up Mickey Callaway‘s name on Baseball Reference, I expected to find that he was making errors as a player in the Mets infield or outfield, you know, the team with 27th worst fielding stats in baseball. Nothing there.
I switched over to pitching stats for this season, thinking that with all the calls begging for his release, and as a former pitching coach, I would find Mickey Callaway’s name among those contributing to a team staff that allows almost five runs a game (4.82). You know, the team that has a batting average against of .258, a full eight points over the league average. (ESPN.com) Couldn’t find him there either.
Totally puzzled, I thought to myself maybe he’s the guy who was in charge of revamping the Mets during the offseason. The Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz deal? No, that was Brodie Van Van Wagenen. Jed Lowrie or Jeurys Familia? No, that was Van Wagenen too.
You get it, Mickey Callaway is not associated with any of the above. He does not play for the New York Mets. And it’s about time my good friends in the New York media and elsewhere catch on to that.
Mickey Callaway – The Good Soldier
In fact, the only valid criticism of Callaway is that he’s a good soldier. He’s being run over by a micromanaging general manager. A GM who has the gall to place a call to someone in the trainer’s room during a game, with instructions to “Get him out of there”, a reference to when Jacob deGrom was reluctantly removed by Callaway. Fittingly, Van Wagenen, with full knowledge he was skirting MLB rules, denied it ever happened. The good soldier fell on his sword backing him up.
We can ask ourselves why Robinson Cano is still being written into the Mets lineup every night. Is that Callaway’s doing? Or does it come down from on high by those writing ridiculous checks every month to pay Cano’s salary?
Brodie Van Wagenen will tell you with a straight face that Mickey Callaway is not instructed to use Edwin Diaz to register three outs, preferably in the ninth inning. Even though, by that time, the rest of the Mets bullpen has left the game in shambles for Callaway to manage.
Sparky Anderson Puts Managing In Perspective
Sparky Anderson, now residing in the Baseball Hall of Fame, put managing in perspective best when he said, “Baseball is a simple game,” he said, via Baseball-Almanac.com. “If you have good players and if you keep them in the right frame of mind then the manager is a success.”
The 2019 Mets have some very good players and pitchers. So why are they nine games under .500? Does it have something to do with Sparky’s idea you have to “keep them” in the right frame of mind? Does a grown man making millions of dollars need to be led by the hand (of a manager like Callaway) to play as hard and as well as he’s expected? Lord help us if baseball has reached that stage.
Remember The Pythagorean Theorem?
What about luck? Can a team that is underperforming like the Mets be plain unlucky? It could happen, except today all is there in plain sight for everyone to see. Thanks to Bill James, there is now a stat called the Pythagorean record for team performance.
It can tell you when teams were a bit lucky or unlucky. Using the expected win percentage against a teams actual win percentage developed by James, most teams fall within three or four games either way. According to stats provided by ESPN, the 2019 Mets should have only one more win and one less loss than their current record (37-46).
So it ain’t luck, my friends. This version of the New York Mets is underperforming and simply not playing well. Or, to put it in the vernacular, they suck!
And all of that suckiness occurs on the field.
To solidify the point, name one decision that Mickey Callaway has made (on his own) that cost the Mets a game this year. Just one. And your answer can’t have anything to do with the Mets bullpen, where Callaway faces a daily eenie-meenie-minie-mo selection of awaiting disasters to choose from.
Now, is there a manager out there who might be a better “fit” for the Mets? Probably. But precisely what does “better fit” mean when it comes to the Mets? An in your face Billy Martin type? The cerebral Joe Maddon type? The stoic field “general” Joe Girardi type?
Mickey Callaway does not miss the cutoff man. He does not jog to first base. And he doesn’t throw a hanging slider on an 0-2 count. Just saying…
Updated 6/29/2019 2:45 p.m. EST With This Comment From A Reader, A Member of The NY Mets Facebook Group Page
Richard Thomas Henle I have always said this but also in the case of Terry Collins who brought a below 500 team mid-season to a World Series and never got the credit, he did get credit every time they lost a game though, be it the media or so-called fans. Manager will blow games make a bad call just like umpires do. But at a point, you realize the team is the problem, the personnel the over your head manager and bosses. You all realize that over the last 75 games the NY Mets have the worst record in ⚾️. Now that’s gotta rest on a lot of people, more than Mickey just like in Terry days he is the scapegoat. With the exception of two or three players, this whole team has not played to what we were told was their potential, and some have been here a few years of not playing to potential, the love affair with the starting pitching is over, the love affair with hanging in it and then making a move and maybe we make a run is over it worked in 2015 but then we allowed things to change we pinned hopes on big contracts for power hitter (Cespedes) and starting making third and fourth tier player signings like Neil Walker and Cabrera, we again got burnt on a veteran trade and contract, with Cano, and yet the veteran we let go, Bruce, he has quietly hit 22 home runs and knocked in 50 while Cano has a third of that.