Following a disappointing 2017 campaign as manager of the Mets, Terry Collins days were officially over. This news did not come as shocking because Collins was on the last year of his contract, and it seemed that the clubhouse needed a new leader. Sandy Alderson began the difficult journey of replacing Terry Collins, and after doing extensive research, conducting many interviews, and discussing it with the Wilpon’s, Alderson eventually named Mickey Callaway as the 21st manager in New York Mets history.
Coming off his World Series run as pitching coach of the Cleveland Indians, Callaway seemed to be a great choice as the new manager for the Mets because he had a lot of experience dealing with pitching staffs. It appeared as if his involvement with the Indians proved to be a considerable factor in the decision to hire Callaway because of the Mets slew of up-and-coming star pitchers.
As the start of the 2018 season approached, more and more spotlight was shown on Callaway because the Mets signed big name free agents Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce, as well as Adrian Gonzalez and starting pitcher, Jason Vargas. Mets fans and New York media were all over Callaway every day during spring training and the days leading up to the season asking him questions about how he would structure the starting lineups, put together his starting rotation, and handle the pressure of being a manager in a New York market. As expected, Callaway reacted smartly by becoming friendly with the media and giving out the information that everyone wanted.
Although Mickey was good with the fans and media, this certainly did not translate to the performance of his team on the field (of course, this coming after the Mets usual exceptional early-April start). After the Mets first 14 games where they went 12-2, they followed that up with a horrible 27-53 record into the all-star break. However, due to an exceptional pitching staff which was highlighted by a historic season by Jacob deGrom, the Mets went 38-30 in the second half of the season, which let them finish with a record of 77-85.
After the Mets disappointing season, they hired agent Brodie Van Wagenen as the new general manager. The number one issue with the team that Van Wagenen created was its inept bullpen. Players like Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, and Robert Gsellman are all performing well below expectation. Out of these three, Diaz is by far the most surprising. Last season, Diaz was considered to be one of the best closers in all of baseball, now he is one of the worst. On top of his lackluster performance, Mickey Callaway is not helping by misusing him. Callaway refuses to use him outside of the ninth inning, which has been seen to be ridiculous by analysts and Mets fans. Callaway has also recently faced much ridicule for his actions inside of the clubhouse.
The Mets recently fined Callaway for getting into a verbal altercation with Tim Healey of Newsday. Healey told Mickey Callaway that he’d “see him tomorrow” and chaos ensued. Apparently, telling someone that you’ll see them the following day is cause for a verbal argument nowadays. After the statement was made, Jason Vargas got involved by threatening to knock out Healey.
In the next few weeks following this incident, the Mets issues have yet to solve themselves. Their bullpen is still very weak, prompting Callaway to move career starter, Steven Matz, into the bullpen for the first time in his career; he is even debating whether or not to keep Edwin Diaz in the closer role. All of this speculation and poor decision making is seeking to kill the Mets from the inside. Amid all this drama is Mickey Callaway and Brodie Van Wagenen. A few days ago, it came out in an article by the NY Post that Van Wagenen threw a chair during a heated meeting with his coaching staff after a disappointing loss where the Mets bullpen blew another game. Although all of these events seem to be unrealistic for a team to go through in such a short period, it is never impractical for the Mets.
The first thing the Mets must do to get on the right track is the firing of Mickey Callaway. It is clear that he is unfit to be running this baseball club, and a change of scenery could be highly beneficial to a lost Mets club. Hopefully, Brodie and the Wilpon’s will open their eyes and make a move that would help this organization. The fate of the Mets season is in the front office’s hands; however, the question that remains is whether they have the guts to do it.