Mets manager Mickey Callaway did not appear in control at any point Monday.
Not when he “got some feedback“ – presumably from upper management – that he should hold a second pregame news conference to better explain his clubhouse outburst the previous evening. Not when he watched from the dugout as his team surrendered four homers and 13 runs to the rival Phillies to fall to 37-42. Not when reports emerged that he’d been relayed specific in-game pitching change requests from general manager Brodie Van Wagenen – a boundary considered unusual to cross in baseball circles and one that puts his organizational standing under greater scrutiny.
To that last point, Van Wagenen instructed Callaway on June 1 to remove Jacob deGrom from the mound with the Mets playing in Arizona, according to the New York Post. The Post wrote that Van Wagenen did so while watching the game on his home TV. Other outlets, such as ESPN, also reported the general manager’s alleged intervention.
Though deGrom dealt with minor cramps at the time, the right-hander considered himself capable of remaining in the game. Instead, New York’s bullpen blew a 4-1 lead, and the ace was left visibly frustrated in the dugout and then in the clubhouse following the loss.
“I think that we got information from all parties and we made the decision to take care of our ace pitcher that’s going to be here for a long time,” Callaway told reporters concerning deGrom’s removal. “We all thought it was prudent at that point.”
Said Van Wagenen: “I am not going to get into the specifics of one game or another, but I can tell you that we do communicate with the training staff in the training room when there is a player that suffers an injury.”
In any case, the losses and frustrations continue to pile up in New York.
Who’s in charge of turning things around? Does Callaway have the kind of control he desires to be a successful manager?
“Yeah, I do,” Callaway told reporters after Monday’s game. “I do. Yeah.”