NY Sports Day
Jeff Moeller

Moeller: Callaway Was The Wrong Call

Andy Esposito/NYSD

Somewhere, Jerry Manuel must be laughing.

The former Mets’ skipper, who ran the club from late 2008 through 2010, certainly his share of laughs during his tenure. Manuel was known for his loose clubhouse approach among players and his lite approach with the media.

It was a complete 360-spin from stern predecessor Willie Randolph.

But Manuel burned his bridge with poor game day decisions and poor handling of players and pitchers.

Through it all, Manuel, he kept his inimitable style and enjoyed a good relationship with the media.

He wasn’t regarded as an astute baseball man, but proclaimed love for his players.

Sound somewhat familiar?

History does repeat itself, especially with the Mets.

Remember Art Howe? Howe wasn’t as jovial as Manuel, and the Wilpons finally admitted to making the mistake of hiring him at the end of his two-year run.

Before Howe, there was Bobby Valentine, who had his share of laughs, yet also towed the line. After Howe, entered Randolph.

You get the picture and notice the pattern.

Still, the Mets needed a change from the Sandy Alderson-Terry Collins regime, but the Wilpons made the wrong call.
Over the past few days, everyone has been reminded about it.

This time, the Mets tuned the rudder the opposite way from their typical manager and GM.

These days, you wonder what happened to a Randolph-Valentine type. At least, Manuel would have kept it lite.

For the final few months of the season, Mickey Callaway could make Howe and Manuel look good.

Even though the Mets vehemently deny it, some – if not a large majority of his calls –are being dictated by GM Brody Van Wagenen.

It’s likely beneficial as Callaway continues to look like he is over his head in several situations.

Why can’t you use your closer for five outs instead of four outs?

Huh?

Callaway has to be told to trot out again in front of the media Monday to formally apologize to a reporter.
The clown show rolls on.

In his defense, Van Wagenen’s overall signings and acquisitions grade to a “D” at best. His bullpen looks like a version of an overworked summer legion team.

Callaway should survive the year, but he will need a second-half, full-fledged Disney type revival beyond a two-year stay. Van Wagenen’s position also should be closely scrutinized.

The manager likely will finish with less wins than Manuel and even Bud Harrelson’s two –year run (1990-91, 145 wins, 129 losses), but he will pass the immortal Joe Frazier (1976-77, 101-106) and Jeff Torborg (1992-93, 85-115).

This weekend, the Mets will remind everyone of yesteryear by honoring the ’69 team. Their last World Series appearance was just four years ago, and it currently feels like 50 years ago.

The current regime will have to budge to attract Joe Girardi or Dusty Baker.

History needs to repeat itself, and Manuel can still chuckle over the current state.


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