A bleak season atop the Mets’ dugout continued Friday for second-year manager Mickey Callaway. His club opened the second half of the season with yet another forgettable performance in an 8-4 loss to the Marlins – the lone National League team with a worse record than New York’s. The Mets are an abysmal 40-51 after their latest defeat, but general manager Brodie Van Wagenen informed Tim Healey of Newsday and other reporters beforehand that he “absolutely” expects Callaway to stay on through the season.
“Mickey has done a difficult job very well,” said Van Wagenen, who added he’s “very satisfied” that Callaway “shows up to work every day with a passion to win and a desire to work and get better.” He also lauded Callaway for the way he has kept the clubhouse together during what “has not been an easy year for us.”
This is the second time this season that Van Wagenen has issued Callaway a public vote of confidence. The executive did the same back on May 20 in response to reports suggesting Callaway was on the hot seat. There have been some obvious changes to the Mets’ circumstances since then, though. For starters, while the Mets’ record was a subpar 21-25 when Van Wagenen came out in support of Callaway two months ago, they were still a manageable three games back of the National League East lead. But the Mets have continued their downward spiral dating back to then, having gone 19-26. They’re now an insurmountable 14 1/2 games back of the division-leading Braves and a potentially out-of-reach seven behind a wild-card spot.
Off the field, we’re only a week removed from Van Wagenen unleashing a tirade at the expense of the Mets’ coaching staff. Disgusted with another loss, Van Wagenen reportedly “lashed out” at the coaches, threw a chair and ordered Callaway to go conduct his “[expletive] press conference.”
It wouldn’t have been unreasonable a week ago to believe Callaway would lose his job this season. Now, if we’re to believe Van Wagenen, that’s not going to happen. Whether the Mets keep or fire Callaway, they have a multitude of other problems Van Wagenen will somehow need to fix in order for the team to escape the league’s cellar.