If Sunday’s latest Mets embarrassment (both on the field and in the clubhouse) tells us anything, it’s that it is time for Mickey Callaway to go. Jason Vargas, too, while we’re at it.
Callaway, clearly rattled from a contentious news conference in which he had to explain his latest questionable managerial moves, cursed at a reporter who was just saying “so long.” Then had a moment to think about it and cursed and yelled at him some more. Then tough guy Vargas, who is among the most non-threatening pitchers to opposing batters, threatened the poor reporter, Tim Healey of Newsday (do they still have a newspaper?!).
To their credit, the Mets are not defending their jerks. They issued an apology statement, and Healey says Jeff Wilpon called him personally to apologize. Good for them.
The incident shows Callaway is not built for New York. Reporters here are notoriously tough, asking questions beat writers in other cities would dare not pose. The small-market Callaway (born in Tennessee with stops in Tampa and Cleveland before hitting the big town) is obviously not used to be called out for his incompetence. Expect him to be fired over the next few days. Brodie Van Wagenen inherited him, so he has no stake in his success or failure.
Ditto for Jason Vargas. Yes, he’s been pitching reasonably well as of late (a complete game shutout?!). But otherwise, the guy barely lasts five innings. Just dump him now and finally get Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman into the rotation, where they want to be, anyway. Of course, it was Van Wagenen, acting as Vargas’s CAA agent, who conned Sandy Alderson into giving Vargas a two-year, $16 million contract. So just for his reputation alone, Van Wagenen would like to see Vargas succeed. But that is in the past; he is now trying to build a reputation as a GM, and it is not going particularly well.
So let’s use this unfortunate event as an excuse to improve the team, a little addition by subtraction.