New Mets manager Mickey Callaway has already reached out to the majority of his players, and said he wants to connect with them on multiple levels.
"There is nothing such as a players manager per se," Callaway said on Mets Hot Stove on SNY. "I think that you -- to be a good manager you have to make sure that everybody in the organization knows that you care, and you do that on a daily basis, by showing them in caring about them. Not only as a player, and a performer, but as a person."
Regarding accountability, Callaway said it would be at times up to the players to police themselves.
"We all have jobs to do," Callaway said, "and if we can create this culture where guys are policing themselves, and the players inside that clubhouse are policing what is going on, then we are really going to have something special. You know, they could probably care less what I think about them half the time, but when their peers get involved, and they are all trying to do something special, that is when you see the real product come out."
Yoenis Cespedes, who spoke prior to last season about wanting to be one of the leaders in the clubhouse, had that desire impacted by the multiple injuries he dealt with. Cespedes will be back in 2018, and is one of the players Callaway has connected with.
"I got to sit down at dinner with Yoenis Cespedes the other day and we had a great conversation about hunting and what we like to do in the off- season," Callaway said. "And I'm really looking forward to this great group of talented young men, and trying to do something special with them."
Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter |
This is all great. Mickey Callaway has only been manager for a couple of weeks, and he's already personally reached out to an entire team. Building a personal relationship starts with one step, and in this case, it was a personal text message from Callaway to each player. How great is that? He didn't wait until everyone reported down to Port St. Lucie. He didn't wait until things settled in and he became accustomed to his new life. He hit the ground running, and knows that it's important to establish a relationship with his players.
On top of that, took it a step further with Yoenis Cespedes. They got dinner together! And, instead of solely focusing on baseball, they chatted about their personal lives, what they like to do in the offseason, and focused on things like that. Why didn't they just talk baseball? Because Callaway wants to get to know his players on a deeper level. He wants a strong relationship with each of them. He wants to know what makes them tick, what makes them happy, and he wants to show them that he truly cares about them.
Callaway now needs to build trust with a new team, and he's doing that both professionally and personally. By showing an interest in what they like. By listening to them.
The Mets have had communication issues in the past. And what Callaway has done so far shows promise. And on top of that? Callaway has said he'll treat everyone as equals. There won't be any preferential treatment from the manager, and that's a good thing. Players shouldn't be allowed to get away with certain things just because of their name -- we've seen how that's failed in the past.
We're starting from scratch. This is just a baby step from Callaway, but it's a baby step in the right direction.