Remember when the Giants introduced Ben McAdoo as Tom Coughlin’s replacement as head coach and McAdoo showed up in a comically oversized suit jacket?
I would have fired him on the spot. If you can’t manage your wardrobe before the biggest public appearance of your life, how can you be expected to manage a room full of football players in the nation’s biggest media market?
It took less than two seasons for the Giants to conclude that McAdoo was the wrong man for the job, a Ray Handley for a new century. Even top organizations make mistakes. The best ones admit it and move on.
When John Mara fired McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese after a 2-10 start to last season, Mara said: “We agreed wholesale that changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team we expect to be. We also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes.”
Mickey Callaway wore a crisp white shirt to his introductory news conference. Open collar, no tie. It was a good look.
Still, it’s getting easier to imagine Jeff Wilpon — or whomever will be speaking for Mets ownership — stepping up to a Citi Field podium before the end of this disappointing season and announcing the end of the Sandy Alderson / Callaway regime.
As Mara put it back on Dec. 4: “It’s really been a perfect storm this season. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong so far. It’s just one of those things you just have to live through, and suck it up, and make whatever changes you have to make and go on.”
Again, transfer those words and sentiments to this Mets season. Talk about your perfect fits.
Monday’s 6-4 loss to the Pirates was the Mets’ seventh in a row and 14th in their last 15 home games. They are 31-45, which means they are 20-44 since an 11-1 start to Callaway’s rookie season as manager. The Marlins now have one more win than the Mets.
Much has been made of Callaway’s odd comments, such as when he said New York was a tougher place to play than Cleveland and seemed to suggest his players couldn’t handle it. He had another one on Monday, when he said of the Mets’ pitching in Sunday’s extra-inning loss to the Dodgers: “Other than the seven homers [allowed], we did OK.”
Was Callaway joking? We certainly hope he was.
But much more important than Callaway’s media persona are his inconsistent managerial moves.
Remember when Brandon Nimmo was going to bat third? Or Amed Rosario first? Neither lasted long. Is Seth Lugo a starter or reliever? Just because you have Jose Reyes on your roster doesn’t mean you have to keep playing him game after game after game, as Callaway has in the past week.
And Monday night’s lineup. If you put the Mets’ available players in a computer and asked it to spit out the top 1,000 batting orders, it’s hard to imagine this would be one of them. Jose Bautista second. Dominic Smith cleanup. Reyes sixth. Kevin Plawecki and Luis Guillorme as your corner infielders. Todd Frazier and Wilmer Flores resting.
Trailing 5-0, the Mets scored all of their runs in the seventh, three on Flores’ pinch hit homer. But the rally ended there.
As for Alderson, he built a roster with little depth and little margin for error. Just as he gets the credit for the 2015 World Series team, Alderson must take the blame for last season and this one. Remember, Reese had two Super Bowl rings when he was let go. Sometimes it’s just time.
The way this Mets season is going, we fully expect to see Peter Alonso at first base, Tim Tebow in leftfield and David Wright — if he’s physically able — at third base when the rosters expand in September.
What we don’t know is who the manager or general manager will be by then. We’re starting to know who shouldn’t be.