The Mets’ new manager
When Mickey Callaway was first brought on board, I thought he was the perfect hire in every way except for one big unknown: experience.
He seemed like a sharp enough guy to figure out the right tactical moves, but as it turned out, when it came to the heat of the moment… not so much.
There was really no way to predict that, one way or the other, before Mickey actually went out there and managed. So it was a risky hire, and in that respect, it didn’t work out.
Accordingly, I assumed that if the Mets were to replace Callaway this offseason, their main reason for doing so would be to get a proven, experienced in-game tactician.
Instead they just tabbed a guy who’s never managed or coached at any level.
I don’t have anything against Beltran for the final out in 2006, or for being hostile to the press for most of his time as a Met. He was a great player! But of all the manager candidates remaining, I had him pegged as probably the worst option.
Tim Bogar, Derek Shelton and Pat Murphy have way more experience. Eduardo Perez has a little more experience, and is 1000 times better with the media. After Maddon & Girardi signed elsewhere, I sort of figured we’d get Perez, because he’s loud and fun and analytics-savvy and is great in front of a camera. It would have been a gamble, and I wouldn’t have agreed with it, but I’d have understood it.
Picking Beltran, I don’t understand at all.
I don’t find Girardi at all likable, but he has proven he can do the job. That’s really what the Mets needed for 2020. If they weren’t going to get that, I’d have just as soon stuck with Callaway.
A) It’s dumb for the reasons you mentioned above — a new rookie manager to replace a new rookie manager is not going to solve the problems caused by the old rookie manager.
B) It’s dumb for PR reasons. Beltran was a good Met on paper but he wasn’t a productive or beloved Met. You never see his jersey at stadiums (unless someone’s wearing a 15-year old thing), he’s a right-wing evangelical which is an odd fit for Queens, New York, and his signature moment as a Met was one of the worst moments in franchise history.
C) It’s dumb because, just like any random fan pulled off a message board could have been a better in-game strategist than Callaway, any random fan pulled of a message board could have told you that Beltran was the weakest option being considered.
I don’t think there’s much existing hate, either, though.
Getting to the World Series in 2015 kind of put the 2006 NLCS firmly into the past for me. Plus, I blame that inning more on Heilman’s hanging change-up than anything else, and on Floyd missing a fastball down the middle, and on bad luck for Reyes hitting a line drive right at Edmonds. Jose Valentin failing to bring home the go-ahead run in the 6th was also big. I can’t be the only Mets fan who feels this way, can I?
I suspect Beltran will earn his love or hate from now on through what he does as manager. If he’s not a good manager, though, I do think things will get uglier than it would for a more beloved figure.
As for A & C, Callaway was just plain clueless in his role, with the real problems caused by Alderson and this year VanWagenen. No real comparison between him and Beltran. The only seemingly superior candidate was Girardi, who probably didn’t want the job in the first place, and would have added unrealistic high expectations to the mix if hired, and probably would have failed to meet them if hired.