The Mets will introduce Mickey Callaway as their new manager at a press conference later today.
In the next few weeks, Callaway and GM Sandy Alderson will be tasked with rounding out the team's coaching staff.
In early-October, when it was announced that Terry Collins would not be back as manager, the team also stated that Dan Warthen would not be back as their pitching coach. Callaway was a big-league pitcher and made headlines as a coach developing the amazing staff he worked with in Cleveland. Here in New York, he'll be inheriting a young staff that has the potential to be the best in baseball.
The point is, Callaway is a pitching guy with pitching credentials set to work with a team built on pitching. So, I expect him to pay a lot of attention to who gets hired to replace Warthen.
People with the Indians told me Callaway and manager Terry Francona had a near-symbiotic relationship as the two were notorious for game-planning together and essentially reading one another's minds during the game. Callaway is a thinker, believing that a pitcher's mental state, strategy, and confidence is as important -- if not more -- than his mechanics.
I have not heard any possible people he may endorse and encourage Alderson to hire, but I'd be willing to be bet he'll want a former player or teammate now in coaching, with whom he shares a similar approach to psychology and pitching.
Callaway's choice will also need to be someone capable of quickly earning the trust of the team's top pitchers, specifically Noah Syndergaard, Jeurys Familia, and Jacob deGrom, all of whom have been outspoken about Warthen's dismissal.
I'm sure Callaway is hoping to keep Kevin Long, who interviewed with Alderson for manager and was considered a candidate to replace Collins. In early-October, Alderson said Long would be back, but Long has since told reporters that nothing is official. And, given that Long was just passed over as manager for Callaway, it seems quite possible he could feel he needs to leave the Mets.
The Nationals and Phillies are still searching for a new manager, which Long might now feel compelled to pursue. Plus, just like the Mets, Red Sox, and Tigers, the Nationals and Phillies will also be hiring new coaches, all of which could be of interest to Long, who is regarded as one of the best at his job in baseball.
Aug 7, 2015; Kevin Long (57) prior to the game at Tropicana Field. Credit: Klement-USA TODAY Sports
First Base, Third Base Coach, etc...
Alderson suggested in October that bench coach Dick Scott, first-base coach Tom Goodwin, and bullpen coach Ricky Bones could be back in 2018, but all three men were given permission to talk this month with other organizations about new opportunities.
Also, it stands to reason that Callaway will want to bring in people to be on his staff -- especially bench coach. so my hunch is all three of these guys could be someplace else next season just as easily as they're again in Queens.
As he did when speaking about Long, Alderson announced in October that third-base coach Glenn Sherlock and assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler would also be back with the organization next season. However, also like Long, their respective contracts expire Oct. 31 and Alderson never identified to reporters what their their future roles might be...
My hunch is Alderson will address the above three men, including Long, during Monday's press conference. The New York media will certainly have questions about Long, who was reportedly one of the final candidates being considered for manager. There is no way this will not come up, at which point it will be surprising if Alderson punts on answering...
Bench coach will be interesting to watch, by the way. I wasn't impressed with Scott, and felt Collins struggled a lot without Bob Geren by his side. Geren left after the 2015 World Series to take coaching position with the Dodgers and be closer to his family in Los Angeles.
I've heard Alderson wanted someone with a connection to his new manager, who also has experience in New York and can speak Spanish. If this is accurate, Manny Acta and Sandy Alomar Jr. make an enormous amount of sense.
Acta, who speaks Spanish, was on Willie Randolph's coaching staff with the Mets back when the team won the NL East. Acta was also managing the Indians when Callaway debuted as a minor-league coach in Cleveland, so the two obviously have a working relationship.
Similarly, Alomar and Callaway both served together on Francona's bench in Cleveland, where Alomar bounced around from bench coach to first base coach. So, like with Acta, Callaway also has a working relationship with Alomar.
It's worth noting that reports indicated Acta was a finalist to get the job Callaway just won. It was also reported a few days before that, though the Mets were close to making a final decision, they might also interview additional candidates, with Alomar among the names being mentioned.
I'm sure the Mets have known for a few days that Callaway was getting the gig, so my hunch is that reports about interviewing Acta and Alomar were more about them and the coaching staff than they were about being hired for manager. I prefer Alomar to Acta, by the way, which you can read more about by clicking here...
In the end, I'm hoping Callaway's staff at least includes Long, Sherlock, and Alomar, and a thinking-man's pitching coach. In most cases, the coaching staff is not finalized until around the Winter Meetings in December. I'm sure this will be the timeline for Alderson and Callaway, as well, though I'm sure it will be touched on today with reporters at Citi Field.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!