With the ax coming down on Mickey Callaway today, the question in everyone’s mind is where do the Mets go from here?
Over the past two years, Callaway showed that he was a very nice guy and the players in the clubhouse generally liked him, but he lacked the in-game management skills, which showed some glaring mess-ups and mistakes.
It was a tough decision to say the least and that’s why it took four days to come to this decision in Queens.
“We want to thank Mickey for his consistent work ethic and dedication over the last two seasons and I’m certain these characteristics will serve him well in his next opportunity,” Mets Executive Vice President & General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “A decision like this is never easy, however, we believe it is in the best interest of the franchise at this time.”
Don’t shed too many tears about Callaway. He’s going to make $900,000 next year not managing the Mets and will probably be a hell of a pitching coach for some club.
Instead you have to concerned about the future of the franchise, which is going to completely shaped by this hiring. Based on this decision, the Mets will either take a step forward to the playoffs or regress into mediocrity.
And sure, Van Wagenen can go out and hiring another manager with no experience, but you may have the same problems as you had with Callaway. Make no mistake, in-game blunders are the cost of doing business with inexperience, as much as Callaway made his errors, so did Aaron Boone, Alex Cora and Rocco Baldelli. The only exception is that those teams were talented enough to win despite those errors. The Mets were not.
Instead, Van Wagenen should focus on experience. There are a number of successful major league mangers on the market and the Mets should focus on them, instead of looking for at the rookie route.
Obviously, the most sexy name is Joe Maddon, who was let go by the Cubs, but he will command a large salary and is rumored to go to the Angels. It will probably take a large Wilpon check to get him to Queens, and the Mets may not have the stomach for that.
Joe Girardi is also out there and the way he was let go by the Yankees after coming a game within the World Series, may motivate him to take the Mets job just to stick it to Brian Cashman and company. At the same time, the tightly wound Girardi probably will be the same manager in Queens as he was in the Bronx. If he couldn’t relate to the Yankee clubhouse led by Aaron Judge, will be have more success with one led by Jacob deGrom and Pete Alonso?
It may behoove Van Wagenen to look another former Yankee manager in Buck Showalter. The 63 year-old is a three-time Manager of the Year for three different franchises. Before the Orioles went in the tank in 2018, he had the Birds playing very competitive baseball. Plus, he checks all the boxes. He has worked for difficult owners in George Steinbrenner and Peter Angelos. He has managed successfully in New York. He makes more out of less and can work well with the media.
And let’s not forget, Fred Wilpon likes to have a baseball man, which he can talk about the game with. It worked with Terry Collins and Callaway. It will work with Buck as well.
Of course, he will come with a price tag higher than Callaway, but will cost less than Girardi and Maddon, so you have that.
We shall see how all of this plays out, but for my money Showalter should be the man for the Mets.