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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Report: Mets owners meddling in Mickey Callaway’s managerial decisions

The New York Mets have lost five straight after being swept by the lowly Miami Marlins over the weekend, and they could soon be looking for a new manager if the current trend continues. But if the team’s ownership group plans to micromanage the next guy the way they have done with Mickey Callaway, immediate future success is anything but a certainty.

Ken Rosenthal took a deeper look into the issues that are going on behind the scenes with the Mets, and he learned from sources that owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon have essentially turned Callaway into a “puppet.” Jeff in particular is viewed as a “meddlesome presence” who involves himself in the day-to-day operation of the team, telling Callaway what to say to the media and how to set his lineups.

As an example, Rosenthal cites the fact that Jacob deGrom has a 0.43 ERA when Tomas Nido catches him but a 5.33 ERA when Wilson Ramos is behind the plate. Ramos is making $19 million over the next two years, which is probably why Callaway has been obligated to keep him in the lineup. Another example would be Callaway not benching the struggling Robinson Cano, who was acquired as one of general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s first big moves and used to be a client of Van Wagenen’s when he was an agent.

Obviously, that type of situation is not going to be attractive to managerial candidates. The Mets are 20-25 and in third place in the NL East, so their season is far from over. However, the front office issues are far more concerning than the record.

It was somewhat surprising that Callaway defended Cano over the weekend for not hustling, but it sounds like he’s being pressure by the team’s brass to do just that. A veteran manager probably isn’t going to stand for that, so perhaps it is the Wilpons who need to change their approach if they want to see better results.

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