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Stop Criticizing How Mickey Callaway Handled Amed Rosario’s Hustle

In Sunday’s game against the Dodgers, Braves manager Brian Snitker pulled Ronald Acuna Jr. from the game due to Acuna’s not hustling. More specifically, Acuna hit what he apparently thought was a homer in the third inning, and when it didn’t go out, he was left standing on first. Acuna then compounded the problems by getting caught stealing.

After the game, Snitker was widely lauded for how how he handled the situation. The same could be said for Acuna who was said to handle it maturely. You can be cynical and say these are the things a team can do when they are up six games in the loss column in the division, but being fair, this was a big game against the Dodgers.

For some reason, people took this moment to criticize Mickey Callaway in his handling of Amed Rosario. First up was John Harper of SNY who said Snitker handled things much better than Callaway:

Then, there was Matt Ehalt of Yahoo who didn’t use the opportunity to necessarily criticize Callaway. Instead, he thought it was interesting to compare how the Braves handled the situation to how Callaway and the Mets “Went out of their way to avoid saying they benched Rosario.”

Revisiting the moment, in the eighth inning of the July 13 game against the Cardinals, Rosario hit what appeared to be a routine fly ball out. However, it turned out to be anything but routine as the ball dropped between JT Riddle and Brian Anderson. Instead of standing on second, Rosario was at first. In terms of the game, it didn’t matter much as Tomas Nido flew out to end the inning, and the Mets won the game 4-2.

Going back to that point in time, the Mets were 10 games under .500, and they had the second worst record in the National League. All season long Robinson Cano‘s lack of hustle was an issue amongst fans and talking heads (something Ehalt alluded to in his tweet). At that time, it at least felt like Callaway could be fired for a season which had gone very wrong.

Initially, Callaway couched it as Rosario getting a scheduled day off. For some reason, the real reason was told to SNY. That was Rosario was being benched for a lack of hustle. Why the different messages is anyone’s guess. If you want to get on Callaway and the Mets for that, you absolutely should as the constant mixed messages has been an issue for the team.

If you’re going to criticize how Callaway handled Rosario, you should stop while you’re ahead. If you have been paying any attention, Rosario has blossomed this year.

At the time of the incident, Rosario was having a bad year hitting .263/.301/.413. Since that time, Rosario is hitting .367/.404/.555. He’s been a 3 DRS at shortstop. With Jeff McNeil‘s injury, he has stepped into the leadoff role, and he has hit well. When J.D. Davis had to be removed from Sunday’s game, Rosario played three innings in left, and he played them well. Ultimately, since the incident, Rosario has not had another “hustling incident,” has blossomed as a player, and he has been everything this team has needed.

Of course, this is all just garbage narratives.

The truth is likely Rosario had a bad moment in a brief career, and really, it wasn’t all that bad a moment. It was a routine fly ball which never should have dropped. Almost every single Major Leaguer would have been standing on first in that moment. Actually, almost every single Major Leaguer would have been sitting in the dugout.

Rosario has always been noted for his hustle and for his drive to be a better player. He didn’t need to be benched to be driven to be what he is now. Callaway didn’t need to deliver a message for Rosario to suddenly start hustling all the time like he does on 99 percent of plays. Mostly, Callaway doesn’t need to handle Rosario the way Snitker handled Acuna because they are two completely different players on two very different teams.

Callaway has his faults. How he’s handled his team and the development of his players like Rosario isn’t one of them. In fact, Rosario has never really been a problem in terms of his drive. We should all just move along and stop rushing to make criticisms of Callaway for everything that happens. Save your criticism for something he actually does wrong.

And while we’re at it, maybe start giving him some credit for the things he does well. Same goes for giving Rosario credit for the things he did well which led to this breakout. Mostly, just stop pushing agendas and narratives.

3 thoughts on “Stop Criticizing How Mickey Callaway Handled Amed Rosario’s Hustle”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    Cano was the problem. Rosario might be the first symptom.

    1. Paul Schwartz says:

      WTF does that mean?
      Cano was getting hot when he got hurt and as the writer points out NO ONE would have been on second base on that routine fly ball that a little leaguer could have caught.
      Rosario has hustled ever since he’s here and guess what — he’s apparently becoming the player we thought he could be.
      He made a mistake, a small one, owned up to it and has been lights out ever since.
      This kid can be as good as Conforto, Alonso, McNeil and Davis.
      And have you noticed — we’ve got 5 good young hitters to go with 5 good starters.
      Now if Wilson is as good as he’s looked and Brach and Familia are fixed, this could be an incredible 6 weeks.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Rosario has always hustled and worked hard. His ever getting maligned on those fronts was plain stupid.

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