Good…now hire Joe Girardi.
Even though they didn’t make the playoffs this year, 86-76 and 3rd place in the NL East is still a big improvement from 2018. And of course, who isn’t excited about the breakout season’s J.D. Davis, Pete Alonso and Seth Lugo had? Plus, there’s a good possibility of back-to-back Cy Young’s for Jacob deGrom. That said, I place most of the blame for us not making the playoffs on Edwin Diaz and Mickey Callaway. Diaz was a disappointment all season long and Callaway’s in-game decision-making at times was not only head-scratching, but atrocious. But Diaz is signed for next year and thus, most likely isn’t going anywhere soon. While Callaway, after two straight season’s of not making the postseason, could be let go, esp. since he wasn’t Brodie Van Wageman’s hire in the first place. And if Callaway is let go, to me the Mets search for a new manager starts and ends with Joe Girardi (if he wants the job), a proven winner, a guy with plenty of experience, know-how and a New Yorker tried and true.
How does an All-star reliever fall this far? And how does Mickey Callaway still trust using Diaz in key situations? From this point forward Familia’s my set-up man and Lugo is my closer.
Steven Matz retires 14 Braves in a row on only 79 pitches and Callaway takes him out of the game. And yes, Seth Lugo might’ve blown the game anyway, but there was just no conceivable reason to take out Matz so early, esp. when there was no Lugo was pitching 3 innings and your closer situation is so up in the air. Yet, the idiot that is Mickey Callway said he’d ‘100%’ do it again.
I just don’t see any turnaround to this team. They’re 5 games under .500 as I write this and 9 games out of first place. The bullpen for the most part sucks. Why Robinson Cano is hitting No. 3 in the lineup while batting .230 is beyond reason. Cespedes gets into a freak accident and is done for the season. Dominic Smith is coming back down to earth. The starting pitching is maddeningly inconsistent. And if they’re going to be sellers soon, they might as well try to get the best trade possible for Zack Wheeler. That said, Sunday’s incident with Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas just highlights, once again, the bleak attitude that this team has dealt with for 30-plus years. And since ownership and the new GM aren’t going anywhere soon, why not just let Mickey finish the season, fire him afterwards and hire Joe Girardi.
This is the type of situational managing that you like to see. Sure, Rosario is your starting shortstop and he’s been hitting well all year long. But he also strikes out a lot and with the Mets behind a run with two runners in scoring position in the 7th inning, the scenario screamed for putting up somebody with a batter chance of putting the ball in play. And even with the risk of hurting Rosario’s ego, Callaway made the right move by pinch-hitting him with McNeil and it paid off.
Mickey Callaway referred to the rotation as the Mets strength yet again before Tuesday night’s series opener against the Giants, and he indicated how important it was for the starters to get on a roll of excellence to carry the team.
A few hours later, Noah Syndergaard was on an excellent roll and the Mets manager was removing him from the game, the latest evidence that even nearly 1 ¹/₂ years into the job, Callaway still has trouble making decisions under stress. You know who agrees with that assessment?
Because after what turned into a 9-3, 10-inning loss, Callaway first gathered his players to express in Syndergaard’s word “remorse” about the decision while taking responsibility for the loss and then publicly conceding, “I’d like to have that [decision] back.”
That might be true about the Wilpons and Brodie Van Wagenen when it comes to their choice to stick with Callaway as manager. Three days after removing Jacob deGrom over the ace’s objections and going to a sketchy bullpen that would end up blowing the game, Callaway did the same Tuesday with Syndergaard with the same results. This is the Robinson-Cano-not-running-out-balls-twice of managing. Once, you are not crazy about it, but the second time reaches inexcusable.
Honestly, while I was surprised when Callaway came out to pull Syndergaard last night, I thought that with Lugo having pitched so well of late, we’d be ok. Well, not only was I wrong, but with Gary Cohen reminding us that the Giants one strong point was their bullpen, I just knew that the Mets were likely going to lose. What’s also disturbing tho is Callaway’s lack of being aware in the moment and that’s the biggest reason to ax him.
That 9th-inning meltdown by Edwin Diaz was not only shocking, but it took away all the feelgood moments from the game. Including a solid, 7-inning start from Noah Syndergaard, 2 HR’s from Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith proving once again that somehow, someway, the Mets need to find a way to keep him in the starting lineup. Of course, if the Mets can come back today and get a split of this series, it’d erase the bad taste in my mouth.
Listen, the Mets knew what they were getting in Robinson Cano and that included his well-earned rep for not hustling at times. Sure, you had every reason to think that with age, maturity and possibly wanting to show leadership with a new and younger team, that Cano might change his loafing ways, but that hasn’t always been the case and he deserved to be benched the other day for lack of hustling on those two plays. Going forward, maybe Cano really will ‘get the hint’ and change his lackadaisical ways…or maybe not.
The Mets’ new general manager is intent on keeping the old manager.
Mickey Callaway will meet with new GM Brodie Van Wagenen this week, at which time he will be told he’s still the Mets’ field boss.
“I fully support him,” Van Wagenen said Tuesday at his introductory press conference at Citi Field. “One of the themes I have discussed so far today and will be a calling card of this new regime is a culture of positivity. [Callaway] has enthusiasm, he has energy and I want to embrace that to inspire players.”
Callaway arrived last October on a three-year contract and guided the Mets to a 77-85 record in his rookie season. On the final day of the regular season, the former Indians pitching coach received a vote of confidence from team COO Jeff Wilpon, who said he hoped the new GM would retain Callaway.
Hey, injuries cost us more than anything last season. And while Callaway does have some in-game management issues to work on (maybe a new bench coach could help?), he did well enough in 2018 to deserve another year.
Yeah, a bunch of injuries have contributed greatly to the Mets miseries this year, but how much of it is the rookie manager’s fault? From the early season lineup card fiasco to his inability to run with a consistent lineup (not to mention that I always hated the decision the bat the pitcher in the 8th spot) to the constant mismanagement of the bullpen (should Jeurys Familia have even been brought last night, having thrown 28 pitches the previous night?), the Mets are a game above the woeful Florida Marlins and maybe it’s time to put some heat on the manager.