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Online EasyAce

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Mickey dismantled?
« on: May 19, 2019, 05:33:24 PM »
After a weekend sweep by the Marlins, Mets manager Mickey Callaway's hot seat hits roasting temperature.
By Yours Truly
https://throneberryfields.com/2019/05/19/mickey-dismantled/


Mickey Callaway, looking here like what he might
be on Monday, a man facing a firing squad . . .


If you’re a manager, look at it this way: You have a pitcher who’s top of the line enough to be the league’s defending Cy Young Award winner. You don’t have any of the catchers to whom he threw to win that award. This year, you have one catcher with whom he has a 5.33 earned run average in five starts throwing to him, and another with whom he has a 0.43 ERA in three starts.

You have the data and you’ve seen it in live action. Who do you send behind the plate to give your ace, and your team, the best possible chance to win? Should be the proverbial no-brainer, right? Especially if you were once a well respected pitching coach who should know these things.

And your number one job as a manager, other than navigating assorted clubhouse personalities and tensions, is giving your players and thus your team the best possible chance to win. So you see your ace working to a 0.43 ERA and think to yourself, that’s the catcher who ought to be working with him if you want to win. Right?

If you’re embattled Mets manager Mickey Callaway, apparently, wrong. Even if the ace in question is Jacob deGrom. Even if his ERA with Wilson Ramos behind the plate is 5.33 but his ERA with Tomas Nido behind the plate is 0.43. They’re both new to working with deGrom but Nido’s apparently doing the better job with him. This isn’t the time to double down against the idea of a personal catcher especially for a defending Cy Young Award winner.

DeGrom is too team oriented to think about it, apparently, but the manager’s job includes thinking about things his players might not ponder otherwise. But Callaway insists, and I quote, “Things aren’t going well enough for anybody to demand their own catcher.” Even though deGrom hasn’t asked for one yet.

If he’s actually aware that deGrom is doing better with Nido behind the plate, Callaway ought to reconsider while he still has his job. Which too much speculation says he won’t after this weekend. The Mets pitchers overall have a 4.37 ERA with Ramos behind the plate and a 3.20 with Nido behind the plate. Which part of that difference doesn’t register when Callaway reads the data?

It’s rare for a theoretical contending team to face a must-win series against their division’s saddest sacks, but that’s just about what the Mets faced when they opened this weekend’s set with the Marlins.

And they got swept by the Fish. It might be a little too soon to say, “Season over,” but it’s not exactly unfair to say, “Season has only two fingertips hanging onto the high wire,” either.

On Friday night, even allowing that he hasn’t got the best bullpen in the league to work with overall, Callaway inexplicably left deGrom in to take a seven-run beating in five innings that shouldn’t have gone that far. He had nobody prepared when deGrom looked early enough like he didn’t have it that night. And his catcher was Ramos.

On Saturday, Pablo Lopez and two relievers one-hit the Mets, 2-0. Steven Matz returned from a brief injured list sojourn to work three and two thirds rusty innings surrendering both Marlins runs and three Mets relievers kept the Fish shut out the rest of the way.

Come Sunday, Noah Syndergaard kept the Marlins to a pair of runs they didn’t begin to pry out of him until the sixth, but Sandy Alcantara picked the perfect day to pitch a two-hit shutout with the Mets making it only too easy for the Marlins righthander. Nido caught Syndergaard for the first time this season. Syndergaard’s previous starts saw him throwing to Ramos and posting a 4.02 ERA with him behind the dish.

Calloway had another problem on Friday night when veteran second baseman Robinson Cano jogged up the first base line on a double play grounder in the seventh. Cano admitted he thought there were two outs, partially thanks to a scoreboard error he spotted as he left the batter’s box. The manager handled it not too far removed from the indulgent mother reassuring Junior that it wasn’t his fault he put his foot through the neighbour’s china closet, the china closet had no business being there.

You don’t want Callaway to read Cano the riot act, but you didn’t necessarily expect him to hand Cano a pass, even a veteran’s pass. If anything, you’d think veterans know enough to keep their heads in the game without the scoreboard’s help. Cano was apologetic after that game but, even so, Callaway needed to take a firm enough hand. Cano didn’t face anything like a benching the rest of the weekend.

And it bit Callaway in the wrong possible spot again come Sunday. In the top of the fourth, with J.D. Davis on first, Cano whacked a dribbler in front of the plate and stood there for the most part, arguing the ball was foul (it wasn’t) while the Marlins turned a 1-6-3 inning ending double play.

None of the foregoing, of course, could put anything into the Mets’ mostly feeble bats otherwise this weekend. They scored six times Friday night and those were the only six runs they’d score on the weekend. The Marlins’ pitching took care of them effectively enough.

But why wasn’t deGrom afforded the chance to throw to the catcher with whom he and the Mets’ staff overall, while we’re at it, are getting his best results so far? Nido isn’t much of a hitter and I get that, but if you think a catcher’s number one job is handling his pitchers and calling games, you should be thinking maybe Nido gives you a better chance to help keep the other guys at bay.

At least until you find someone who can catch as well as Travis d’Arnaud did last year while being able to hit the way Ramos once did. D’Arnaud became expendable this year with Ramos’s arrival and his own futile season opening, but last year the Mets’ overall ERA with d’Arnaud behind the plate was 1.85.

And if the Mets are going to be as inconsistent as they’ve been so far at putting runs on the board, they need all the help they can get at keeping the other guys from putting runs on the board.

“If you start allowing somebody to pick their own catcher, then Ramos is not going to start four days in a row and then Nido is going to catch deGrom. That is not something that is going to be helpful to our team,” Callaway said before Sunday’s game. “It’s better to throw to whoever is catching that day and just get it done.”

Uh, no it isn’t. If Jacob deGrom’s working better with Tomas Nido behind the plate, you run Nido out there every time you give deGrom the ball until or unless Nido begins to falter on the job. You don’t have to let every pitcher on the staff pick his catcher, but you give a defending Cy Young Award winner at least some respect enough to let him pick the guy to whom he’s most comfortable throwing.

It’s not exactly unheard of. Ordinarily a team might allow a pitcher a personal catcher on behalf of giving the regular catcher a little rest, and if there’s any fielder who can use it it is the catcher. But otherwise a team might notice a pitcher doing particularly well with one catcher as opposed to others on the roster and make sure that catcher and that pitcher are hooked up regularly.

The point is to win. And if that gives you the best chance to win, go for it. Yogi Berra didn’t become a Hall of Fame catcher by hitting alone. You can look it up: in all his years as the Yankees’ number one catcher, Yankee pitchers not named Hall of Famer Whitey Ford did better with him catching than they did with any other Yankee catcher. And almost all of them pitched better as Yankees than at other times in their career thanks to having Yogi behind the plate.

Nido also can’t help the Mets with other issues. They’re last in the league in defensive runs saved; they’re fundamentally lacking; and, Callaway’s modest response to Cano’s double play misadventures simply added to any perception that he’s not the motivator, never mind tactician, the Mets need. Especially after Junior thanked Mama by putting his foot through the neighbour’s china closet for the second time in three days.

Marry that to this former pitching coach’s inability to keep a defending Cy Young Award winner in a comfort zone and put three other starters into the best conditions to work well, not to mention mal-managing a bullpen that wasn’t exactly great overall but wasn’t exactly full of rag arms, either.

It’s the formula by which a manager whose team was expected to contend this season finds himself facing a possible firing squad. And if the Mets are rounding up the firing squad, they should be pondering who’s going to succeed the fallen. Possibly as soon as Monday. When the Mets come home to open a set against the equally sputtering Nationals, who have issues aplenty of their own.

Incumbent bench coach Jim Riggleman might be a sort-of consensus interim choice despite his less-than-stellar overall record, but currently-exiled Joe Girardi and Dusty Baker may be wishing and hoping. Just don’t cast your lonely eyes upon Mike Matheny or Buck Showalter. When push comes to shove, they’re too wedded to their Books.

The Mets need to think beyond The Books if they’re going to throw the book at Callaway. And, the switch.
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Offline EdJames

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 08:16:15 PM »
Cano has had issues with dogging it ever since I can remember seeing him play.

Joe Torre was a master at finessing the whole "personal catcher" isssue....  "Well, you know...."

Online EasyAce

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 08:32:51 PM »
Cano has had issues with dogging it ever since I can remember seeing him play.

Joe Torre was a master at finessing the whole "personal catcher" isssue....  "Well, you know...."
@EdJames
Maybe so, but when you see at the mound and in the data that you've got a pitcher/catcher combination working like as much of a charm as deGrom is working with Nido this season, you ride that combination. Especially since it's a smart idea to give your regular catcher (assuming he's not the one working like the charm) regular rest. (Show me a catcher who can catch 162 games a season and I'll show you a man who's going to need leg transplants after about eight years of it.) And as I wrote, it's not unusual for certain pitchers to have personal catchers when they work that well together. Just ask Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who probably extended Tim McCarver's catching career a decade by making McCarver his personal catcher until McCarver reached stick-a-fork-in-him time . . .


"The question of who is right is a small one, indeed, beside the question of what is right."---Albert Jay Nock.

Fake news---news you don't like or don't want to hear.

Offline EdJames

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2019, 08:37:35 PM »
@EdJames
Maybe so, but when you see at the mound and in the data that you've got a pitcher/catcher combination working like as much of a charm as deGrom is working with Nido this season, you ride that combination. Especially since it's a smart idea to give your regular catcher (assuming he's not the one working like the charm) regular rest. (Show me a catcher who can catch 162 games a season and I'll show you a man who's going to need leg transplants after about eight years of it.) And as I wrote, it's not unusual for certain pitchers to have personal catchers when they work that well together. Just ask Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who probably extended Tim McCarver's catching career a decade by making McCarver his personal catcher until McCarver reached stick-a-fork-in-him time . . .

Oh, I agree wholeheartedly!  deGrom should be working with Nido, until the performances say otherwise.

What I meant about Torre was that he was a master at skirting the controversies when the NY media would try to press him on it.  But of course, "Well, you know..." worked for Torre on a number of fronts!!

Online EasyAce

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2019, 08:44:19 PM »
Oh, I agree wholeheartedly!  deGrom should be working with Nido, until the performances say otherwise.

What I meant about Torre was that he was a master at skirting the controversies when the NY media would try to press him on it.  But of course, "Well, you know..." worked for Torre on a number of fronts!!
@EdJames
*laughing* It was almost as if Torre had learned a little Stengelese, sometimes.  wink777


"The question of who is right is a small one, indeed, beside the question of what is right."---Albert Jay Nock.

Fake news---news you don't like or don't want to hear.

Offline EdJames

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2019, 09:04:25 PM »
@EdJames
*laughing* It was almost as if Torre had learned a little Stengelese, sometimes.  wink777

Indeed!  I am sure that he learned a lot from The Old Perfessor.

"Well, you know.... Casey was Casey...."

Online EasyAce

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 09:15:12 PM »
Indeed!  I am sure that he learned a lot from The Old Perfessor.

"Well, you know.... Casey was Casey...."
Torre and Stengel had more parallels than people remember:

Another Look: Joe Torre and Casey Stengel


"The question of who is right is a small one, indeed, beside the question of what is right."---Albert Jay Nock.

Fake news---news you don't like or don't want to hear.

Offline EdJames

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2019, 09:25:01 PM »
Thanks @EasyAce , opened in a tab to read with the morning coffee!!

Offline EdJames

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 01:17:52 PM »
Torre and Stengel had more parallels than people remember:

Another Look: Joe Torre and Casey Stengel

Thanks again, that was an enjoyable article!

Offline SZonian

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2019, 12:58:23 PM »
Maybe Mickey is secretly a Phillies Phan?   :whistle:

But to your article, a no-brainer for sure.  Go with what is working and ride it as hard and as long as possible.

Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.

Online EasyAce

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2019, 01:07:31 PM »
Maybe Mickey is secretly a Phillies Phan?   :whistle:

But to your article, a no-brainer for sure.  Go with what is working and ride it as hard and as long as possible.
@SZonian
Strangely enough, these things have happened since I wrote:

* Since the Mets' brass gave Mickey Callaway the dreaded vote of confidence after the disaster last weekend, the Mets have won five of six.

* Since the Nationals's brass gave Dave Martinez likewise before they began a weekend set at home with the same Marlins who bastinadoed the Mets last weekend, they've won the first two of the set.

Maybe there do come times when the dread vote of confidence does something positive. I'm not expecting either Callaway or Martinez to survive long term, but right now they've got to be feeling, if you'll pardon the expression, relieved.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 01:08:54 PM by EasyAce »


"The question of who is right is a small one, indeed, beside the question of what is right."---Albert Jay Nock.

Fake news---news you don't like or don't want to hear.

Offline SZonian

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2019, 01:34:17 PM »
@SZonian
Strangely enough, these things have happened since I wrote:

* Since the Mets' brass gave Mickey Callaway the dreaded vote of confidence after the disaster last weekend, the Mets have won five of six.

* Since the Nationals's brass gave Dave Martinez likewise before they began a weekend set at home with the same Marlins who bastinadoed the Mets last weekend, they've won the first two of the set.

Maybe there do come times when the dread vote of confidence does something positive. I'm not expecting either Callaway or Martinez to survive long term, but right now they've got to be feeling, if you'll pardon the expression, relieved.
Just catching up and reading in the order in which the "mentions" were rec'd.  Noted. 

Phillies get whacked by the Brewers at home and now have a chance to whack the Brewers at their home...baseball is a funny game.
Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.

Online EasyAce

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Re: Mickey dismantled?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2019, 03:45:47 PM »
Make it six out of seven for the Mets----they just beat the Tigers, 4-3, even if closer Edwin Diaz had a bit of a dicey top of the ninth until he dropped strike three in on JaCoby Jones looking to end it.

The Nats are up 5-0 in the middle of the sixth with a rain delay at Nationals Park.

Classic Captain Obvious entry on the Nats' video scoreboard as the rain started hitting and the fans started scrambling and the tarp went over the infield:

ATTENTION: THIS GAME IS DELAYED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER.

Gee. How did they know?  wink777


"The question of who is right is a small one, indeed, beside the question of what is right."---Albert Jay Nock.

Fake news---news you don't like or don't want to hear.


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