PHILADELPHIA — Brodie Van Wagenen denied allegations that he is calling the in-game managerial shots for Mickey Callaway and insisted that the only time he has contacted the field staff is for injury decisions, as the rules allow.
Van Wagenen addressed those claims, made by the New York Post, late Monday night in the wake of the Mets’ ugly 13-7 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. It was his second news conference in a span of 6 1/2 hours after dealing with the fallout from Callaway’s profanity-laced tirade at Newsday’s Tim Healey and Jason Vargas' threat to Healey that he would “knock him out.”
“No in-game decisions are ever called down to the dugout,” Van Wagenen said. “We’re not allowed to communicate with Mickey or his coaching staff during the game and we’re not doing that.”
Callaway also denied that the rookie GM is instructing him about strategy during games. When asked if he has the latitude to manage the way he sees fit, Callaway said that indeed is the case.
“Yeah, I do,” he said.
The report said Van Wagenen told Callaway to remove Jacob deGrom from the June 1 game in Arizona because of a hip cramp. The team’s bullpen imploded after he exited, and Callaway took the heat after deGrom said he was OK to continue after throwing 89 pitches through 6 2/3 innings.
Callaway was asked Monday if he was ordered by Van Wagenen to pull him.
“I think we got information from all parties,” Callaway said. “And we made the decision to take care of our ace pitcher that’s going to be here for a long time. We all thought it was prudent at that point.”
Van Wagenen explained that there is no wrongdoing in those circumstances and that it's just the standard protocol of checking on an injured player in the middle of a game for evaluation.
“I’m not going to get in the specifics of one game or another,” Van Wagenen said. “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. Anything that is health-related to a player’s status, we do communicate with them. But as far as performance-driven decisions in-game, that’s Mickey’s call and the coaching staff’s call.”