Alright! With the firing of Mickey Calloway by the Mets this afternoon, the hot stove league is officially open in New York baseball. Who will they hire? Who will turn them down and who will be left wondering around at the winter meetings looking for a broadcasting gig with one of the networks?
All of that will play out as the leaves change colors and winter turns to spring but none of what happens in the front office of the New York Metropolitans will bring them immediate winning results. Call me nuts but I believe Calloway gave them the best chance to bring their loyal fans a winning competitive team. More than anyone they may hire. Why? Let me give you something to think about.
Callaway as a first time manager contrary to reports in the media and fans calling into the sports talk radio shows, did not make bad moves. Example, he would bring in a bullpen guy to hold a three or four run lead and the guy would stink up the joint. According to sources he was told to use certain pitchers in the pen and was told who to play and where in games and many times had to maneuver his lineup as per the analytic departments instructions.
This is normal today with many teams who will have the lineup on the managers desk when he gets to the ballpark. Baring an injury that’s going to be the lineup that day. Do you think Buck Showalter, Joe Maddon or some other experienced manager is going to sign on to that? And do you think the Mets will pay any of these big names the two or three million dollars they will demand?
What the Mets have just done is waist two years of player and manager development. The time spent on the field, on a plane, in a hotel, going to dinner, in the dugout, batting practice, spring training and in the clubhouse over a two year period is something you have to work on over a long period of time. A new manager experienced or not, will have to start from scratch.
The Mets players liked playing for Callaway. It doesn’t matter if a bunch of fans or certain members of the media that don’t have a clue what it is to be a professional ballplayer feel about him. To be able to get the respect that Mickey had from his players was something special in sports today. He was the one who moved them to have a sensational second half and just miss making the playoffs by three games after being eleven games under 500 at the Allstar break.
He was the one who encouraged them to never give up. When I would get to the ballpark three to four hours before the start of the games, I would see him interacting with his players, throwing BP and working with them. That clubhouse was always fun to go into. They are a bunch of young kids with exceptional skills who needed a leader to show them the way. Mickey Callaway was that guy and now the Mets let him get away.
The Mets just took a step backwards. They succumbed to the pressure of the fans and media who never gave this guy a chance.