Hey fans, it’s only 114 days until pitchers and catchers. I know, the World Series doesn’t even start until Tuesday and technically the season is not over yet. Well here’s the news today fans, it is over here in New York and the “Fat Lady” has sung and left the building.
Both New York teams will look to the 2018 season with great expectations. The Yankees will look to power their way into a World Series that they just missed out on this year. Being that close was like dangling meat in front of a hungry lion. They can taste it and will go at this 2018 season with only one goal in sight, a World Series Championship.
In Queens, the Mets will look to heal, regroup and feel out their new manager, Mickey Callaway. He will have a mighty task before him in putting “Humpty Dumpty” back together again. As my nysportsday.com colleague Joe McDonald wrote the other day, Callaway needs to surround himself with a coaching staff of his choosing to get this ship righted. Here are a few names that should be considered as the new pitching coach. Mike Maddux, who has had that role with the Rangers and recently the Nationals. He was let go both times because of a house cleaning and not his ability to work with pitchers, both young or veterans. Maddux is one of the best, is available and would be a good choice for this club.
Then there is Jim Hickey, who has guided a plethora of young talented arms down in Tampa Bay and another one of the best that is now unemployed. He would also be a good fit. Hickey had great success in Tampa with Joe Maddon and looks like he could be joining his old boss in Chicago with the recent release of Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio. To me, Bosio is not a candidate for the Mets’ vacancy.
Now here comes a wild thought. In McDonald’s article, he wrote about the need for a former manager to be Callaway’s bench coach. There is someone out there who would be perfect. Someone who was not only a winning manager but also a very good pitching coach. That would be former Red Sox skipper John Farrell. Always remember, managers in Boston are not always let go because they can’t do the job. Terry Francona and Farrell are good examples of that. The Boston and Cubs’ connection with Theo Epstein, could get in the way of Farrell coming to the Mets. That is, if he even wants to be a pitching coach. Then again, maybe he would want a fresh start in a new city with a very good staff of young arms. To me he is the one person the Mets should seriously go after. He would fill two very important positions and bring a winning attitude to this sometimes confused and uninspired clubhouse. Callaway would benefit tremendously having someone like Farrell to guide him through what could be a tough start as a new manager.
Sounds easy right?
Last year, the Mets were slow to make any moves in the off season and were left in the dust of many teams who improved their clubs. They wanted
filet mignon” but were only willing to give up chopped meat in exchange.
This year they have to act sooner with a well thought out plan. The good players, coaches and organizational people will be gobbled up fast and it has become a very fast paced world of high tech communication. With deals being made in some cases at the last seconds before a deadline, as in the Justin Verlander trade to Houston this year, the days of getting together in a room at the winter meetings to consummate deals are gone.
Callaway would have a good chance of succeeding in this city with the help of people like Mike Maddux or John Farrell. But he will need his GM Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons to get off of the local and ride the express into the off season of deals and acquisitions.