On the Mets hiring Mickey Callaway

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While it’s always unfortunate to see another man lose his job, changes had to be made after the Mets’ disastrous 2017 season. They entered the season as World Series contenders, and finished it with a 70-92 record, good for fourth in the National League East, behind the lowly Braves. The season began with high hopes for our “historic” starting pitching, and ended with this very position being maybe our biggest weakness entering the offseason. Out of playoff contention by mid-July, a trade deadline fire sale – which helped to replenish some of the farm system that had grown weak in recent years (due largely to promotions and trades) – signified 59 meaningless baseball games to finish off the year. And so, it makes sense that Terry Collins was packing his bags come September.

T.C. is a true baseball man, a guy who has dedicated his life to this great game. He led us to a World Series appearance, and a Wild Card appearance after that. And at the height of the team’s success, he seemed to be wildly popular in the clubhouse. But, after a lost season, it seems that fans (and maybe management, too) had grown tired of his ultra-traditional ways, his questionable bullpen management, his tight-lipped comments to the media. In the hiring of his replacement, the Mets had a tough job to do – they had to find the anti-Terry Collins.

Sunday, October 22nd, marked the dawn of an exciting, new era for the New York Mets. Mickey Callaway, the anti-Terry Collins, was named the team’s 21st manager.

I am extremely excited for Callaway’s tenure and think that he is the perfect man for the job. Callaway is only 42-years-old, making him the fifth-youngest in all of baseball. In his introductory press conference, Callaway breathed an air of confidence and charisma, of youth and rejuvenation. As seen with A.J. Hinch and the Astro’s, bringing in a young manager to grow with his young roster is a common, and often successful tactic.

Callaway’s strength is clearly pitching, as he served as the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians for the past five seasons. The Indians posted an MLB-worst ERA in 2012. Callaway arrived in 2013, and in the five ensuing seasons, they have led the MLB in ERA, strikeouts, and WAR. He was instrumental in the development of their star pitchers, helping each overcome hiccups and slumps, whether they were month-long or season-long. Of course, one can hope that Callaway will have a similar effect with guys like Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Robert Gsellman. During his press conference, Callaway stressed durability for pitchers, something that the Indians have largely experienced, while the Mets have most certainly not.

In Cleveland, Callaway helped control in one of the most talented and well-run bullpens in recent memory. His use of Andrew Miller as a “fireman” has truly revolutionized baseball, as teams are no longer concerned with saving their best reliever for the ninth inning. Bringing in your best relief pitchers in the most important moments, regardless of the inning, is increasingly popular and oft-succesful. As Mets fans, we should expect to see Jeurys Familia earlier than the ninth inning quite a few times.

Overall, the hiring of Mickey Callaway represents a strong culture change for these Mets. The great Terry Francona’s endorsement of him only makes me more excited for what’s to come. “He’s wise beyond his years,” Francona said about the Mets new manager. ““He is confident — and when I say confident, I mean confident enough to collaborate with others. He’ll take information and sift through it and take what he wants. He’s very good.”

One Response to On the Mets hiring Mickey Callaway

  1. Hal Markowitz says:

    great article

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