We’ve already been through the let’s-get-serious sit-down and somber-vote-of-confidence stages. The Mets have continued to stumble. Inevitably, the question has moved along the scale from a whisper to a shout: should the Mets fire manager Mickey Callaway?
Tim Britton of The Athletic comes right out and answers it (subscription link), arguing that the club needs to make a change: “But if Callaway is not the problem for the Mets, he’s just as clearly not a part of the solution.” Joel Sherman of the New York Post portrays Callaway as a “nice guy trying gangsta” in panning the sophomore skipper’s recent attempts to drive production from the team. You won’t have to wade far into the deep reaches of Mets Twitter to find fans advocating for Callaway’s departure.
It’s exceedingly difficult to examine a manager’s performance from the outside. Callaway isn’t just operating on his own command; he’s following marching orders from the Wilpon ownership group and GM Brodie Van Wagenen. It’s worth bearing in mind that firing a manager can represent a PR move of its own. And what of the alternatives? As many have pointed out, the Mets have a ready replacement (at least a temporary one) in bench coach Jim Riggleman, but who’s to say he’ll be any more successful at squeezing value out of a roster that obviously isn’t without its flaws?
There have been suggestions at times that the Wilpons would rather not pay Callaway his salary while also ponying up for a replacement skipper. As we’ve discussed previously, that seems unlikely to drive a decision with Callaway earning only $850K for the year. The club already ate quite a bit more than that in cutting loose catcher Travis d’Arnaud. A replacement skipper may or may not cost much extra, depending upon whether the club goes outside for a big name or turns things over to Riggleman or another internal option, but that amount of money is a relative pittance for a major league club.
There are many angles to consider. At the end of the day, it’s a yes or no question. Where do you come down?
(Poll link for app users.)