McDonald: If Mickey Callaway Comes Back, He Will Need A Better Bench Coach

Ah Mickey Callaway. Should he stay or should he go? Just by the record, the future of the first-year manager needs to be discussed, even though, there was a report over the weekend which points to him coming back, no matter who is sitting in the general manager’s chair.

And it makes sense, because the Mets 46-64 record is not entirely Callaway’s fault. Heck, you could bring back the ghost of Billy Martin and not be much better. The Mets are a bad team, no matter who is managing the team. A new general manager needs to make his own decision on Callaway, who may intend to keep the former pitching coach

Be that as it may, there have been times during the year where the manager’s greenness as come across and some silly mistakes opened the team up to ridicule. But what did you expect. He’s a rookie, who never did this job before. It’s was bound to happen.

As the rookie manager’s go, Callaway not much worse than say Aaron Boone or Dave Martinez in terms of making mistakes. Only the team personnel prevented their mistakes from becoming as glaring as Callaway’s gaffs. When you win, you are forgiven, no matter what you did in the game.

But Callaway does not have that luxury. Instead it seems like every mistake is making the situation worse and worse and nothing gets swept under the rug.

Part of the reason why is that Callaway was put in this situation without a sounding board in the dugout. Last year, I asked then-GM Sandy Alderson about an experienced manager as the bench coach and he said it didn’t matter, which was proven by the hiring of Gary DiSarcina.   

Not this isn’t a slight on DiSarcina, who seems to be doing an okay job as bench coach, but he was never a manager either and can’t play the role of sounding board, because he never lived it either. Remember the bench coach needs to compliment the manager by filling in his deficiencies in the dugout. Terry Collins was not very good with Analytics, so he had Bob Geren. Joe Torre for all his years of experience wasn’t a great in-game manager, so Don Zimmer took that role.

Here you have two guys who are very similar. They both believe in analytics and both have similar philosophies. And to make matters worse, both Callaway and DiSarcina are career American Leaguers, so both have to learn the league.

No matter who is running the front office next year, be it John Ricco, Omar Minaya, Jeff Wilpon, Saul Katz or someone else, they need to right this mistake. An experienced former National League manager is a must for the dugout to help Callaway through the managerial hiccups.

A guy who would be perfect for the role would be someone like Terry Collins. Of course, there’s little chance of that happening, but if they can get someone of his ilk to take the job, then Callaway may make fewer mistakes next season than we saw in 2018.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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