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Blame Sandy Alderson, Not Mickey Callaway

In a scathing article from David Lennon of Newsday set to take Mickey Callaway to task for the Mets recent poor play ultimately concluding that under Callaway’s 57 game tenure as a manager, the Mets are, “A lot of talk, accomplishing nothing.”

Really, it was full of quick barbs and cheap shots like this gem:

So after two more losses, one lousy run scored in the last 24 innings and a pair of Little League-quality blunders in Sunday’s sweep-completing 2-0 loss to the Cubs, we’re wondering what Mickey Callaway has planned next for the Mets.

A how-to seminar on the basics of baseball? A weeklong retreat to restore all of this depleted self-esteem? Maybe a clubhouse visit by Tony Robbins?

This is just emblematic of how Callaway, who is in a no-win situation is now fair game for mocking, ridicule, and blame.  What is interesting is these downright insults really overlook what Callaway has accomplished in his brief tenure.

Jacob deGrom has gone to a level we had never seen him pitch.  For a Mets organization who looked at Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo as enigmas, Callaway has helped turn them into terrific relievers.  Speaking of enigmas, the Mets have recently seen Zach Wheeler and Steven Matz turn a corner.  It that holds true this rotation will be every bit as formidable as we all hoped it would be.

Offensively, Brandon Nimmo has gone from fourth outfielder to a terrific lead0ff hitter who leads all National League outfielders in OBP and OPS.  Amed Rosario has been making continued strides.  After beginning his career hitting .245/.275/.371 with a 27.6% strikeout rate, since May 1st, Rosario is an improved .274/.291/.415 with a 16.4% strikeout rate.  It may not seem like much, but it’s a stark improvement.

We have also seen the Mets go dumpster diving for players like Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, and Devin Mesoraco.  Somehow, these players have been much improved with the Mets than their prior stops, and they have salvaged their MLB careers.

The obvious question from here is if all this is true than why are the Mets 27-30 and in fourth place after such a terrific start?

Much of that answer, i.e. the blame, is attributable to the Mets front office.

Despite time and again facing the same injury issues over and over again, the team AGAIN mishandled a Yoenis Cespedes leg injury, and they are having Jay Bruce and Asdrubal Cabrera play poorly through their own injuries.  What’s hysterical about this is Sandy Alderson actually utter the words, “Honestly, sometimes I think we’re a little too cautious with how we approach injuries.”

He’s also made a number of blunders with the in-season managing of this roster.

Consider this.  After short start, the Mets designated P.J. Conlon in a series of roster moves to help bring up three fresh arms including Scott Copeland.  After Copeland pitched 1.1 scoreless in his only appearance, the Mets called up Jose Lobaton and his -0.6 WAR for the intended purpose of allowing Kevin Plawecki and his .198/.282/.288 split against left-handed pitchers at first base to face Mike Montgomery

Meanwhile, a Mets organization loses Conlon as the Dodgers claimed him, and a Mets organization who has been wringing their hands to find a second left-handed pitcher in the bullpen, looked on as Buddy Baumann get lit up for four runs on three hits and two walks in the 14th inning of a game the Cubs had not scored a run in over three hours.

The front office’s decision making gets worse and worse the more you look at it.

For some reason, they insist on keeping Jose Reyes on the roster.  This, coupled with the aforementioned Gonzalez and Bautista signings, is emblematic of an organization more willing to trust in done veterans reclaiming their past glory than giving a young player like Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Peter Alonso, or even Gavin Cecchini (before his injury) a chance.

This was one of the reasons why the Mets signed Bruce to a three year deal this offseason.  No, this was not insurance against Michael Conforto‘s shoulder.  Three year $39 million deals are not that.  Rather, this signing showed: (1) the Mets wanted a Cespedes-Conforto-Bruce outfield for the next three years; and (2) the team did not have any faith Nimmo could handle playing everyday at the MLB level on even a limited basis.

Now, the Mets what looks to be an injured $39 million albatross in right, who doesn’t even know to call off a back peddling second baseman with a runner on third.

That’s bad defense, which is something the Mets actively welcome with all of their personnel decisions.  Really, the team has spent the past few seasons looking to plug non-center fielders in center while playing players out of position all across the infield.

Despite what the Lennon’s of the world will tell us, the poor defense and lack of basic fundamentals isn’t Callaway’s doing.  No, it is the result of an organizational philosophy.

The Bruce signing has such short and long term implications.  With his salary, will the Mets bench him instead of Nimmo or Gonzalez when Cespedes comes back healthy.  Will the organization let his salaries in future years block Alonso or Dominic Smith at first base?  Mostly, will his escalating salaries be another excuse why the team rolls the dice and gives a player like Jason Vargas $8 million instead of just going out and signing the player who really fills a need?

Sure, there are plenty of reasons to attack Callaway.  His bullpen management has been suspect at times.  Lately, he’s been managing more out of fear than attacking the game to try to get the win.  Really, this is part of a learning curve for a first time manager in a new league.

It’s a learning curve that could have been helped by a long time veteran National League manager.  Instead, Sandy Alderson thought it best to hire a Gary Disarcina to be the bench coach because who better to help a young first time manager in a new league than a player who has spent his entire playing, front office, and minor league managerial career in the American League?

Really, that’s just one of several examples of how Alderson has set up both Callaway and this entire Mets team to fail in 2018.

7 thoughts on “Blame Sandy Alderson, Not Mickey Callaway”

  1. Five Tool Ownership says:

    Blame Wilpon and Katz!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nationals-journal/wp/2016/07/02/nationals-exceed-international-spending-pool-sign-dominican-ss-yasel-antuna-for-3-9-million/?utm_term=.beec938fa125&noredirect=on

    THEY BETTER PICK A YEAR and BUST IT UP?

    Go sign 3-6 Latino prospects with Intl money…. then sign zero the next two years after the penalty

    If the fans saw how the Mets are getting KILLED by teams in their division WITH THESE BUST UPS, BETTER SCOUTING South of Miami and elsewhere?

    BUT DO THESE LATINO KIDS WANT TO COME HERE!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Those were the old rules. No is permitted to exceed pool money anymore.

      1. Blu2MileHigh says:

        I am sure they had warning, like one more year and if that is the case, they probably said, “we do not trust our scouts for the better ones go elsewhere for higher pay” “we have fewer resources overseas so we know much less about these kids than other teams” “We are not paying for unknowns very often” “are are instead investing in the arcades near Citifield” ‘we are looking elsewhere to invest (it became Islanders and eGames franchise” “we have less cash for the SNY contract shifts profits to SNY”

        “you see we freaked out when the Yanks traded for Stanton”
        “we are far more interested in profitability than paying these teens”

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Mets have thrown money around in the IFA market. They just gave Mauricio a team record bonus.

          There are areas to kill the Mets. The Latin America market isn’t one of them.

  2. Scott McMan says:

    I thought last season Alderson had leaned his lesson and offloaded all the old washed up vets, but then he signs even more this season. These are not players that are going to take the Mets on a winning tenure. I don’t care how good Fraizer is defensively, as we can see, the aberration at the beginning is over and his average is going in the dumper.

    Then there’s Gonzalez, Reyes, Bautista, Bruce, etc…Why bother? Why does Alderson think that patching together all these players is somehow going to pay off? He has a lot of young talent, but if you don’t play them, they will never improve. I don’t think Smith has even seen a MLB field this season and if Reyes wasn’t so bad in the field now, he’d be at SS and Rosario would be rotting on the bench.

    What do you think will happen when Cespedes and Bruce are both back on the field? Of course, Nimmo will sit.

    It’s Alderson who decides who plays and Callaway just has to eat whatever the GM wants. Meanwhile, we have an ownership that could care less, as long as they are making a little money and Sterling Doubleday is raking in the cash. The Mets are a side business for them. The Mets got to the WS in 2015. In a Wilpon smoke and mirror world, that’s worth 10 years of doing nothing.

    I really tried to get into the team this season and I expected the SP’s to perform. Outside of Harvey, they have, but if I were them, I’d want off this albatross of a team.

    Meanwhile the Braves and Phillies rocket right by the Mets…again! And to top it off, the Yankees reload and make it look easy.

    Lets look at logic: Had the Mets signed Stanton, his presence would certainly pay off in profits for the team.

    Finally, I was very concerned about Conforto coming back from injury. I was afraid it might affect him at the plate and it looks like that is in fact the case.

    Start playing the young guys! How could they do any worse? They might surprise and given the chance to grow and mesh, could even win games.

  3. Scott McMan says:

    One thing I forgot to mention is, Callaway hasn’t even been managing for half a season and he’s already getting crucified in the press, while we had an inept clown managing for 7 years that couldn’t find his ass with both hands, but was treated like royalty.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Terrific point

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