The seat on which New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway sits has suddenly become very warm. Just as it seemed that his team had begun to pull things together, even reaching the .500 mark again with a victory against the Nationals on Tuesday night. Callaway had needed that little stretch of winning games, considering that he had been involved in a meeting with Jeff Wilpon and Brodie Van Wagenen on May 10. According to Callaway, it was a meeting on how the team could “be better,” and his team responded with an 11-2 win. Flash forward to one week later, and Callaway has found himself in the same exact spot he was a week ago.
Finding themselves in the exact same spot is a great description of the New York Mets under Callaway’s tenure. After he struggled in his first season with the team, it seemed like this year he would be able to run with the new toys that Van Wagenen had gifted him. While there are still holes on this roster, it is certainly more to work with than what Callaway had last season. So far, the team has flat out failed expectations. The Mets most certainly have the talent, and they are only three games under .500, but something needs to happen for the team to build some momentum. The Mets have not had an extended good stretch of games under Callaway since September of last season, so it is becoming harder and harder by the loss to believe that another great stretch is going to come soon.
Perhaps this is exactly why the Mets hired Jim Riggleman during the offseason. After all, it was Van Wagenen who orchestrated the hiring of Riggleman as bench coach during the offseason. If Callaway were to be fired, you’d have to imagine that Riggleman would be the one to step up for the job. After all, he has done it with the Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, and Washington Nationals. Midseason firings have worked in the past, with some teams catching momentum, and as crazy as it sounds, even winning the World Series after firing their manager midseason. That is of course a rare scenario, and not something to be expected if the Mets were to let go of Callaway.
The main issue with Callaway’s style of management is that nothing remains consistent with his teams. In the beginning of the season, it seemed as if he was pushing all of the right buttons with the lineup, and that his squad had all of the answers in the batter’s box. Somewhere along the line, the batting approach changed, and the team batting average went from .255 in April to the lowly .225 that it sits at now in May.
It has been a short time for Callaway in the blue and orange. Coming from Cleveland to New York with no experience as the definitive leader of a team, Callaway faced a lot of pressure coming in. So far, this is pressure that he has been unable to handle. In the end, this and his inconsistencies might cost him his job.