The drums beat louder every day for the Mets to fire Mickey Callaway. But the NL Standings tell what this team has done to itself…
It is said that Mickey Callaway made consecutive errors in judgment that cost the Mets two games this week when he removed Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard from games in which they were pitching well. The inditement charges Callaway with stupidity in not knowing how unreliable the Mets bullpen has become.
Callaway, in desperate need to please everyone these days, later admits to the mistakes, and moves to an earnest but useless self-defense in which he promises he always learns from his mistakes.
Nowhere in any of the print or radio talk does anyone put forth the names of anyone who would dare take on the job of managing the Mets one-third thru the season. Maybe that’s because there isn’t anyone, save for a Jim Riggleman band-aid the Mets would force into the job.
Lost in everything is the fact that Mickey Callaway, and all MLB managers for that matter, can only play the cards they are dealt with. He can advise only – if asked – on all personnel matters. The Mets bullpen is what it is, and so are the Mets as a team.
Getting close now to the point of this piece, just who are these 2019 New York Mets? Well, borrowing from former NFL coach, Bill Parcells, who quips that you are what your record says you are, the Mets are 29-32 before completing their afternoon game against the Giants.
At first glance, everything looks okay with no reason to panic. 5.5 games behind the Phillies and only four behind all National League teams for a Wild Card spot. Why can’t the Mets make up those games with 100 or so left to play? It’s still early, right?
Mets Fans – Don’t Shoot The Messenger, but…
Let’s play with the numbers. And let’s begin with the real hope of the Mets which is to make the Playoffs as a Wild Card team. Four games behind look very doable until we realize the Mets have to climb over five pretty good teams to get there.
Pittsburgh, Arizona, San Diego, St. Louis, and Colorado are all ahead of the Mets, and each of them also has 100 or so games remaining in the season. Games they can win, just like the Mets can win theirs. Playing catch-up, even in June, is not an easy task.
This doesn’t even consider the Washington Nationals, who seem to have found themselves, and the Miami Marlins, who are on a tear winning 12 of their last 17 games. Don’t look behind, someone may be gaining on you. (Sachel Paige)
Mets: Crunching The Numbers
Ignoring what other teams might be doing at the same time, here is the plight of the Mets in raw numbers. To reach the modest total of 85 wins this season, The Mets need to finish with a record of 56-45, a winning percentage of .555. This will not win a Wild Card slot.
To reach 90 wins, the Mets need to go 61-40, a .603 winning percentage. That’s a full 21 games over .500. This would all but assure the Mets finishing as a Wild Card Team. It could even mean a shot at the NL Division title since the Phillies are on a pace to win 91 games and the Braves 87.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The real question is whether or not the Mets team, as currently constructed, is capable of playing .600 baseball (winning six of every ten games they play) from here on in?
Mets Fans: Before You Answer, Let Me Ask…
Will Robinson Cano play more or less than 75 of the remaining 100 games? And if he manages to play more, will he contribute more than he has thus far?
Will Noah Syndergaard find that elusive and devastating slider from the past?
Will free-agent bound Zack Wheeler be traded at the deadline to avoid getting nothing in return when he signs with another team for next season? And if he is traded, who will replace him in the starting rotation?
Will Michael Conforto find a way to increase his pedestrian batting average (.251) to get on base more with singles to keep the line moving? (half of his 46 hits are for doubles or home runs) At this pace, Conforto will finish with a paltry 122 hits for the season.
Will Jed Lowrie play in more than 40 games for the Mets this season, and if he does what can be expected from him?
Will Mickey Callaway be fired before the All-Star Game or at the end of the season?
Will Keith Hernandez, in frustration, break another SNY-TV camera with a pen before the season is over?
Yes or no. Will Brett Baty, the Mets first-round draft pick graduate from high school before he reaches the age of 20?
And last but not least, will Brodie Van Wagenen run out of hair gel before or after September?
It’s Not How You Start, But Where You Finish
Ask the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers. Or the 1986 Chicago Cubs. They know. Ask Tiger Woods, who has fallen behind in his last two appearances on the PGA circuit. He knows how difficult it is to come from behind when so many other professionals are out on the course at the same time.
Not with my heart, only with my head, do I say this Mets season is lost in terms of making the Playoffs.
I can guess what your heart says. What I’m wondering is – what does your head say?