Mickey Callaway came to Flushing, Queens to manage the Mets with a lot of fanfare. A successful pitching coach, many thought Callaway would be the man to finally lift the spell that had been cast upon the pitching staff of the New York Mets. Injury after injury befell the staff that held so much promise at the beginning of their careers. Callaway came to New York with the understanding that when this roster was completely healthy, they had the potential to compete. As we all know however, things can never exactly be that easy for the Mets.
After an 11-1 start, Callaway was seen as a genius, and it appeared like he was pushing all of the right buttons. The wheels began to fall off slowly for this team, and then all of a sudden, it seemed like most of our starters were on the disabled list. This of course is no fault of Calloway’s. The team now finds itself in an offensive drought for the ages, as they have fallen off the face of the Earth. Sure, he is responsible for making in game decisions, but how much of this epic fall from grace that this team has experienced can we blame on the new guy in town?
The injury bug has yet again bitten the Mets, beyond the point of mercy. It must be something in the water with the way the Mets accumulate injuries. Either way, we can’t blame the manager for a finger injury here, or a plantar fasciitis there. A total of 12 different Mets have made the injury report this season, which is astronomically high for this point in the season.
Callaway also can’t be blamed for the underperformance of key players. Jay Bruce, for example, has completely failed all expectations. His three home runs and meek 15 RBIs is not what the Mets had in mind when they signed him for three years during the offseason. In addition to the underperformance of guys like Bruce, holes in Calloway’s roster were bandaged by adding veterans like Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista that simply aren’t the players that they used to be. Mix those two ingredients, and you have a team that hardly ever scores more than a run during a game.
For all of these reasons, I don’t believe it is fair to cast a real judgement on how good of a manager Callaway is. They say that you can tell the true muster of a manager by the way he manages his team during bad times. It is really hard to tell when the bad times are going to stop for this team. Besides the starting rotation, which has a collective ERA below 3.00, there are no signs that show that this team is going to improve. With Callaway criticizing the New York media for being too rough on his players, there is more reason to believe that even more scrutiny will be placed upon him. This scrutiny however, is misguided, and he should not be to blame for the recent struggles of this team.