Mickey Callaway was introduced as the 21st manager of the Mets. History isn’t on his side for former pitching coaches, but does that matter?
The New York Mets introduced Mickey Callaway as the 21st manager in the history of the franchise to the New York media on Monday afternoon. After spending the past five seasons as the Cleveland Indians pitching coach, Callaway worked his way to the top job in the dugout.
Over the weekend, Mets GM Sandy Alderson received praise for the choice he made for hiring Callaway from various people across the league. This move though is one that is rare as very few pitching coaches have become managers and very few have succeeded in the role.
How can Callaway be different from the rest? By being himself and worrying about his own task at hand which he did in his press conference. He didn’t just say the right things, he made an impression and showed the motivation and commitment to success just like where he came from in Cleveland.
Callaway joins a small group of pitching coaches to lead a big league team. As of now, he will be one of two active managers with a pitching background joining Rockies manager Bud Black.
The history though is not on Callaway’s side as the pitching coaches haven’t had success as managers. Some guys were interim managers such as Joe Kerrigan who finished the 2001 season leading the Red Sox. In the case of current Yankees pitching coach Larry Rotshchild, he was the first manager of the Tampa Bay Rays from 1998-2001 and didn’t have the resources available to succeed.
Others have seen success in the dugout such as Bud Black during his time with the Padres and now with the Rockies. In 2010, Black won NL Manager of the Year and led the Rockies to the playoffs this past season.
For John Farrell, who had a similar path to the dugout like Callaway as a former pitching coach under Terry Francona had two stops as manager with the Blue Jays and Red Sox. His 2013 Red Sox won the World Series and won back to back division titles in 2016 and 2017 before being let go earlier this month.
Bob Lemon led the Yankees to the 1978 title after taking over in the middle of that season and later the 1981 pennant. Former Giants manager Roger Craig led the team to the 1989 pennant along with winning the division in 1987.
Dallas Green also had success in the dugout as a former pitcher, leading the Phillies to the 1980 title. He was also the Mets manager from 1993-1996.
In 2018, Mickey Callaway needs to get the Mets back to where they were in 2015 and 2016. The expectations will be high with a talented roster as long as they are healthy. He needs to find ways to make his players succeed and put the best people around him on the coaching staff to work with him to reach that goal.
Every managerial hire will have opinions and what will and will not work but at the end of the day, it’s on the players who will be out there each game.