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Mets Blogger Roundtable: Should Callaway Be On The Hot Seat

When a team disappoints, the manager will be on the hot seat. So far this year, the Mets are one game under .500, the organization had a meeting to discuss what was wrong with Mickey Callaway and to see if there are things the team can do to prevent a repeat of what happened last year. Considering how the team traded away all those prospects in a clear win-now move, it does not seem Callaway is going to stand on firm footing.

The question is whether Callaway should be on the hot seat. The Mets Bloggers offer their views:

Michael Baron

There’s no question about it. I never like to blame the roster or it’s issues on the manager, but the fact remains they have under-performed to this point in the season. The schedule has been rough, but that’s not an excuse for good teams. And the decision making in the dugout continues to be perplexing at its best, which only exacerbates the problems they have. I think there could be action taken if the Mets don’t come through what should be a lighter 16 games heading into Memorial Day over .500.

Tim Ryder (MMO)

Unfortunately, yes, I think he should be. His players appear to enjoy playing for him. But if the results aren’t there, despite his players’ support, he’s gonna have a hard time sticking around.

Joe Maracic (Joe Art Studio)

I never want to see someone lose their job but Mickey should be on the hot seat. Back to back seasons of starting strong then fading is not a good sign. He was a pitching coach and has been anything but creative handling the staff.

Mark Healey (Gotham Baseball)

Should he be? Yes, this team was built to get off to a fast start and should have, despite the injuries. I like Mickey, seems to be a good man who the players seem to like. But that sounds like how people described Terry Collins for the majority of his tenure. Will he be? Hard to tell. Brodie didn’t hire him, and Jeff Wilpon is reactive, so if the team starts creeping toward being 10 games under, a change will be made.

Here’s the rub for me; the heir apparent is Jim Riggleman, who is the living embodiment of a retread. Not much winning in his background, but a get along, go along persona that will fit right in with an organization that thinks scripting the lineup is the way to run the day-to-day. Think a more assertive, more veteran type of skipper is needed in New York, esp a team that has a perception of not being “all in” financially. A guy who can get more out of players, a guy who has the confidence to walk into his office, see a lineup on his desk, and choose to write up his own if he feels it will be a better one.

Metstradamus (Metstradamus Blog)

He will be, but he shouldn’t be. I think he should get the season and I think that’s probably going to be it for him. But this team started struggling when it stopped hitting. The players that stopped hitting were Brodie’s acquisitions. They may come out of it and when they do, everything will be fine again. Callaway hasn’t been the best, but we’re living in an age where front offices are taking more of a role in how a manager does his job and makes more decisions than ever. More of what makes a manager successful these days is having a good bench coach. So a manager does less and less, right? Then why now, when we look at fall guys, do we still look at the manager? And if Callaway goes, who replaces him long term, assuming Riggleman is the interim for the season? Is it going to be Joe Girardi or Buck Showalter or Wally Backman? Can you picture the Wilpons hiring a strong personality like that? Okay, so Callaway’s long term replacement is probably going to be somebody else just like Callaway. So my quesion is: what’s the point? Fire Callaway if you want. It won’t do much. This is the way we’re going in baseball now. GMs and team presidents are the stars of the show now. The only question is how long are they going to get away with using managers as scapegoats before people pull back the curtain and realize that front offices have most of the responsibility these days anyway?

Greg Prince (Faith and Fear in Flushing)

The hot seat is a terrible concept, but Mickey Callaway hasn’t been much of a manager.

James Schapiro (Shea Bridge Report)

To me, it seems like too many fans judge managers mostly based on whether or not they look like Lou Brown from “Major League.” I’ve seen a lot of people saying things like “Mickey has no fire” or “this team isn’t hungry enough,” or things like that, but I think the simple truth is that we hit a bunch of offensive skids (Robinson Cano, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Jeff McNeil to an extent, Todd Frazier, J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo) and not many teams could overcome that. To me, the manager barely matters at all, and in terms of actual managing, I’d say Mickey has been pretty much solid so far. If there was someone else who could make the team better, I’d say sure, go out and get them — but I don’t think the manager is where our problems are coming from right now, and our problem certainly isn’t some ridiculous 1950s-style intangible, like “not wanting it more,” that could be fixed if we just brought in a guy with a beer gut and a mustache who cursed a lot.

Greg Prince (Faith and Fear in Flushing)

Lou Brown was an analytics pioneer. Knew exactly how many wins the Tribe would need to take the division.

James Schapiro (Shea Bridge Report)

Oh, believe me…the moment the Mets call the California Penal League and sign a big arm with no control who doesn’t realize he needs glasses, Lou Brown is the guy you want.

Until then, though…

Mets Daddy

There are many and varied valid criticisms of Callaway. Personally, I find his willingness to just burn pinch hitters late in game to be a bizarre move, especially when the front office routinely gives him short benches. But when you look at it, this is the team the front office gave him.

There’s no amount of managing Callaway can do to make Cano younger, or to make players who are playing through injuries, like Nimmo, play better. Also, when a team buys into Chili Davis‘ offensive approach like the Mets seemingly have so far, you begin to realize this is more a problem of design than execution.

When looking at Callaway, you do see a team continuing to play hard, and you do see the team pitching well. These are two areas which could be attributable to Callaway. You also see a manager handling the bullpen much better than he did last year. Taking a long term view, the real strength of this team is the pitching, and it has been Callaway and Dave Eiland who has taken them to the next level.

What the Mets need to do before even considering putting Callaway on the hot seat for the inherent flaws in this roster, is they need to figure out who they can hire to keep Eiland around even if they fire Callaway. Short of Girardi, is there really anyone? Of course, the next step is to figure out why Girardi would make this team his last stop or how exactly the Mets plan to pay him.

No matter what the Mets decide with Callaway, this great group of fans and bloggers aren’t going anywhere. You should do yourself a favor and follow the links to their sites to read their great analysis of Callaway and all things Mets.

13 thoughts on “Mets Blogger Roundtable: Should Callaway Be On The Hot Seat”

  1. LongTimeFan1 says:

    The problem with Callaway is roster management and kiss-ass support of his players when asked questions about them

    He’s been a little tougher on his players of late and ought to continue that track publicly. He should realize, the portion of the fan base that are interested in Q & A, aren’t stupid and can read his bull a mile away and know when he’s covering up.

    We want honesty and authenticity, sharp, accurate analysis of the player and team, not the crap that Callaway’s largely pulled since he got here.

    This team is talented enough to win and Callaway should be pushing them to focus and play the game right pitch by pitch. It’s all about preparation and execution, at the plate, on the mound, on defense and on the bases.

    The struggling offense in particular can and should be fixed by following Chili Davis’s very intelligent plan and M-O. Put the ball in play, use the whole field, cut down with two strikes, keep the line moving,, look for pitches to drive, stay disciplined, capitalize on situations, exploit the opposition.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Davis’ approach hasn’t worked with the Cubs or Red Sox, so I’m not sure why it would work here.

    2. oldbackstop says:

      Totally agree with this. An interview with Callaway is like a PR interview, all rah-rah and blue sky. Makes me miss Terry. Some guys need a kick in the ass, not a series of warm fuzzy hugs that don’t mean anything, because it is all Callaway ever says..

      1. metsdaddy says:

        If you’re judging a manager by his postgame interviews, you’re doing it all wrong.

  2. David Klein says:

    Oh god that loon Healy is still in Backman’s back pocket. Wally can’t even get a minor league managerial job he has to go to Indy ball. Lol

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It wasn’t Mark who brought up Backman here.

      Next time you call someone a loon, I recommend you do something crazy like reading what was written.

      1. David Klein says:

        He’s been in Backman’s pocket for over a decade and not hard to read between the lines:

        1. metsdaddy says:

          He didn’t say it here, and Mark has been quite forthright he knows Wally will never be under consideration for the job.

          But I guess we can’t let facts get in the way

  3. oldbackstop says:

    BTW, is there a serious commentator that thinks Girardi will take over this team? Maybe in the winter, but it will be Riggleman as interim.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Literally no one said Girardi would be hired as an interim manager

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Except you. Why would you try to tie Eiland into staying if you think he would wait through an interim manager and winter search?

        At the very least, write with clarity.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I didn’t say Girardi would be hired, quite to the contrary, and I couldn’t have been more clear about that.

  4. Oldbackstop says:

    If the Mets are swept this series, dropping them into a tie for 4th in the win column and 4 games under .500, I predict Riggleman will be the manager on Friday.

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