It’s time to fire Mickey Callaway.
Now, that’s not the hottest take out there – in fact, this is just one of many columns you’ll see written in the next few hours that makes this same “bold proclamation.”
However, I was one of those guys supporting Mickey. Even through the losses to the Reds and Brewers at the beginning of the month and the pathetic showing against the Padres, I still wasn’t sold on the idea that the Mets needed to make an immediate change. After getting swept and one-hit by the Marlins (one-hit by committee, no less) it’s time for Mickey to pack his things and return to the pitching coach ranks.
The lovable loser that Callaway had become, is no longer so lovable as the Mets sink deeper and deeper below .500.
After being in the top 5 overall for batting average earlier in the season, the Mets have dropped to 16th. The Mets team pitching ERA has improved slightly to 4.54, 12th in MLB – still not good enough for a rotation as strong as the Mets have.
Three out of four of Noah Syndergaard’s most recent starts have been quality starts, including the complete game shutout, where he had to provide the game’s only run with his second solo home run of the season. Today, Noah pitched 7 innings, giving up only 2 runs on 5 hits, but the Mets lost the game, because they were shut out.
It’s not just what can be shown in the stat book however, even though that is damning enough. SNY TV posted the following on their twitter saying that “Listless. No energy. Something Missing. Pathetic. Something needs to change” were many of the comments overheard from “several veteran evaluators, executives and former players” said after the Mets 2-0 loss on Saturday.
That was the game before the Mets were one-hit on Sunday.
So, if it’s a given that Mickey’s days are numbered – and lets hope they are, in the immortal words of President Josiah Bartlet, “what’s next?”
WFAN’s Sal Licata said on Twitter, “Buck, Backman, Girardi.” He added “or bust” on a later tweet.
I’m not sure I agree entirely. Wally Backman is a fan favorite, because of his hard-nose attitude both as a player and a manager, but he really wore out his welcome in the Mets organization when he was the Manager of the Las Vegas 51’s. The fact that he had trouble finding a job after his departure there is also very telling.
Buck Showalter would be an interesting choice. The middle of the road between the three options laid out by Licata. Showalter also has a hard-nose attitude, but it comes with a quality MLB managerial record and a lot of respect across the league.
Joe Girardi, however, is a bit of a no-brainer. He doesn’t have a job, he knows the New York media very well, having been manager of the crosstown Bronx Bombers, whom he led to a World Series victory in 2009 and he has National League coaching experience, having coached the (then) Florida Marlins in 2006 – while collecting the NL Manager of the Year award along the way.
Robin Ventura, Jim Riggleman and Dusty Baker are some other names that have been bandied about as possible replacements, but I think, if the Mets decide to go outside of the organization, rather than promoting Riggleman, I think Licata named the three top candidates.
The reality of the situation, however, is that the Mets foresaw this as a possibility and that’s likely why Riggleman was brought in. Riggleman is well respected across the league and also possesses a rougher exterior than Mickey Calloway, despite his mediocre MLB managerial record. There’s no way to know how much things would change under Riggleman, were that to happen, however, if Riggleman’s body language and longer conversations with Callaway are any indication, the managerial styles might be quite different.
Regardless of who steps into the still burning hot seat after Callaway’s departure, it’s time for him to go. Last season’s mishaps could be easily explained away as “on-the-job training” or “rookie mistakes”, however, it’s his sophomore year and such performance is no longer tenable.