History just keeps repeating itself for the Mets.
Every decade, they seem to hire that lightweight, who means well, but just can’t cut it in New York.
It’s looking more and more like Mickey Callaway is that guy.
Look, I’m not saying Callaway is a bad guy or a bad baseball man, but it’s obvious he’s not a fit for the Mets. After tonight’s 6-4 Pirate win, the Mets have lost seven in a row and are now 14 games under-.500.
Pretty soon you are expecting a Terry Collins billboard to go up outside Citi Field, asking, “Miss me yet?”
But as much as we wanted Collins to be shown the door none of his teams were this bad, just slip sliding away the season. They always fought and always played hard to old No. 10’s credit.
You wonder if that’s happening with Callaway. No matter how positive the neophyte manager stays, it seems to be falling on deaf ears. In some ways, he’s the 21st century version of Jeff Torborg, who wanted to treat the team like a family and pretty much was tuned out when the ballplayers listened to him like little kids.
Callaway isn’t a bad person and throughout baseball, he’s considered a great guy. But you don’t need a great guy to win games. Sometimes a jerk does it better, especially in New York. Leo Durocher, Billy Martin and Bobby Valentine made their livings winning games and being hated for it, but that doesn’t matter in the end.
“Nice guys finish last,” was Durocher’s motto and Callaway is now proving it in 2018.
The Mets have been here before. In 1982, Frank Cashen begged Earl Weaver to come out of retirement and when he didn’t, The Bowtie tapped the Earl’s pitching coach George Bamberger to manage. Reluctant, Bamby disinterest showed and was gone from the Mets early next season.
In 2002, after firing Valentine, Fred Wilpon decided to go the other way for his new manger and hired nice guy Art Howe after he “lit up the room.” It didn’t work and after two very poor seasons, he was let go.
If all of this has a familiar ring to it, well the Mets hit the trifecta with Callaway. A pitching coach, who nailed his interview and wanted to treat the players like his own kids.
What a double play combination. Bamberger to Torborg to Howe. Every Met fans dream.
Sure, you can defend Callaway, saying the pitching hasn’t been bad and some injuries were unfortunate and not his fault. But that was Collins issue last season and at no time did the players start loafing it for Collins.
He stood tall among adversity and came out on top.
But now, the Mets look like they picked the turkey of the rookie crop of managers. Mickey seems to be more Mouse then Mantle. Look, Philly, Washington, Boston and the Yankees all have their growing pains, but none of their managers have gone through swoons like Callaway.
If history is an example, then there is some good news. Generally, these lightweights wash out sometime in their second season, so Callaway will be gone sooner rather than later.
But that’s the bad news too, because we have to deal with him for another year.
“Miss me yet?” Yes, Terry we do.