The Mets New Manager
The Mets did not make the right choice in naming their 21st manager in franchise history.
Rather than go with an established winning manager like Ron Gardenhire, Ron Washington or Eric Wedge, they named Mickey Callaway as their new manager Monday afternoon after New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweeted the Mets made their decision to hire the Indians pitching coach Sunday evening.
This hire shows the Mets are not serious about winning. It’s about paying a manager that would come in cheap, and it’s about finding a manager that would agree with everything Mets general manager Sandy Alderson tells him to do. This has nothing to do with hiring a manager that is competent enough to win now or finding a manager that can handle the New York market, and that’s why this is discouraging.
Did the Mets Want a ‘Yes Man’?
I thought the Mets would hire a yes man or go cheap. I love the concept of Mickey Callaway. Great job.
— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) October 23, 2017
Some think Callaway can be a Yes Man and some think he will not. But, the idea the Mets wanted a guy they can control seems consistent.
The only good thing about this hire is that his name is not Kevin Long (who is upset with the hire) or Manny Acta or Robin Ventura. Other than that, it’s hard to come up with one good thing about the hire. To say he was hired to keep the starters healthy is a reach. There’s nothing he can do if Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler continue to be injury-prone. He is not a miracle worker.
The Mets extolled Callaway’s communication skills as a reason to why they hired him. They also talked about his ability to work with the pitchers. That’s all well and good, but competence over a salesman is always the way to go when it comes to managing or coaching.
When has a pitching coach had success as manager? Callaway’s job will be tough enough as it is working with the pitchers, which is one of the reasons why he was hired. How is he going to have time to work with other players? For anyone that cites Bud Black and John Farrell as examples of success, keep in mind Black’s managerial career record is 736-788 with a wild-card playoff appearance to show for it and Farrell only won a championship in his first year with the Red Sox because the players hated Bobby Valentine so much that they wanted to show he was the problem in his one forgettable year there.
The Pitching Coach Perception
It’s hard to believe everyday players are going to have respect for a pitching coach turned manager. The perception of pitching coaches not being good managers still exists. Unless he leads his team to the World Series or to a World Series championship, it will continue to stay.
There is also this perception the Mets hired Callaway since he was cheap and he would do whatever Alderson wants. The Mets ownership was not paying top dollar to get Gardenhire, Washington or Wedge to manage their team, and the Mets general manager does not believe in the importance of a manager having impact in games. This is where perception becomes reality whether it’s fair or not.
Alderson can give this rhetoric about Callaway being a hard worker, great communicator and an organizational guy, but at the end of the day, he was hired because he wouldn’t mind if the front office interfered with his plans to his job. That’s the same reason Terry Collins was happy to take the Mets managerial job until he finally got tired of Alderson’s nonsense.
The Mets should have been better off just admitting a manager would not make that much of a difference in the way they operate their business rather than put on a dog-and-pony show about Callaway’s attributes as manager.
To be fair to Callaway, he deserves a chance to prove himself. But New York can not be served as a place for a manager to learn on the job. Not when Mets fans want their team to get back to the playoffs next year. That’s where a guy like Gardenhire or Wedge would be valuable. Both have been through the pennant race wars. Both have been there to handle the ups and downs of a day-to-day team. Both have the gravitas since they won with a small payroll.
What the Mets needed was a manager that knows what he is doing, not a manager learning on the job. It would have been interesting what would happen when Mets went that route.
It’s strange to why Wedge, Gardenhire or Washington was not qualified for the job, but a guy like Callaway is? The Mets were better off hire Long since he has all the attributes to please ownership and management. What difference would it make hiring Long instead of Callaway?
It would have been nice if the Wilpons would tell Alderson that they wanted an experienced manager and they were going to pay up to get that guy. But the Mets are run like a small-market team, and that’s what the hiring of Callaway was about.
The Mets have put themselves on the spot with this hire. It will be interesting how this works out.
The pressure will be on them to make this work, not Callaway.
They have put themselves in a position to succeed or fail with this managerial hire.
We won’t know what type of manager Mickey Callaway is for a while, but I like the thought process from the #Mets on why he was the choice.
— Wayne Randazzo (@WayneRandazzo) October 22, 2017