The New York Mets have looked like a completely different team since their hot start to the 2018 season. After getting swept by the Chicago Cubs, manager Mickey Callaway provided a quote that is sure to get plenty of criticism.
To put it plainly, Mickey Callaway and the New York Mets haven’t looked like much of a professional baseball team lately. They’ve found a number of embarrassing ways to lose in recent weeks, and Sunday’s events just add to that list.
The Chicago Cubs completed a four-game sweep of New York at Citi Field, winning the final contest by a score of 2-0 thanks to a steal of home and a sacrifice fly to the second baseman. This loss was their 11th in the past 15 games, and their current 27-30 record has them seven games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. The final National League wild-card spot doesn’t even seem possible right now — they’re 5.5 games off that pace, too.
Callaway feels like #Mets are putting a lot of pressure on themselves because “this is a tough place to play.”
“This isn’t Cleveland,” he said.#Mets
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) June 3, 2018
Well, this comment probably isn’t going to go over very well in the court of public opinion. Marc Carig of The Athletic said what’s probably on the mind of every Mets fan.
This smells of excuse making and it adds to the perception of a first-year manager who is in over his head. Also, not exactly good timing with a Subway Series looming. https://t.co/yzlaNqkv3k
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) June 3, 2018
Is New York a tougher place to play than some of baseball’s smaller markets? Well, of course — it’s one of those things that’s understood by the masses. Either way, using that as an excuse while times are tough doesn’t make much sense.
The players knew what they were signing up for. So did Callaway. This kind of comment rings hollow regardless of the circumstances, but this is even worse because the first-year manager has preached accountability since the day New York hired him.
Maybe he felt like he’d been hard enough on his team and they didn’t need a public tongue-lashing. Maybe Callaway knew exactly what he was saying and felt comfortable taking the heat so the focus is off the players to a degree.
Whatever the strategy was behind this — and there had to be, as Callaway has proved to be a rather thoughtful guy — it’s not going to look pretty for a little while.