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Mickey Callaway: Getting fired 'certainly stings a bit'

Mets manager Mickey Callaway, shown here in the

Mets manager Mickey Callaway, shown here in the dugout against the Cleveland Indians at Citi Field on Aug. 20, 2019, had only nice things to say about his two seasons with the Mets. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

A day after being fired as Mets manager, Mickey Callaway admitted that he was “disappointed” to lose his job, which “stings a bit.” But he also found pride in his two-year tenure.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished together,” Callaway said Friday in a statement to Newsday. “Many players got better, our team improved, and the Mets are in a better spot today to be a World Series contender.

“I too am in a better spot because of this experience, and am excited about where my next landing spot will be in this baseball world.  These two years have humbled me, educated me, matured me, and motivated me all at the same time.”

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen flew to Florida on Thursday to tell Callaway in person that they were not bringing him back for a third season. Callaway’s contract runs through 2020, and the Mets will pay him about $1 million next year.

Callaway went 163-161 in two seasons with the Mets. His .503 winning percentage ranks sixth among the Mets' 21 managers.

As the Mets sort through what Van Wagenen called an “expansive list” of managerial candidates, a diplomatic Callaway praised Mets fans, thanked the Wilpons and his former bosses, and said he wishes the Mets “great success.”

“To be an on-field leader of a franchise in the greatest city in the world was one of the best teaching lessons I could have been given,” Callaway said. “The energy and baseball knowledge of the passionate Mets fans excited and challenged me every day.”

Callaway’s full statement is below:

“I would like to thank Fred, Jeff and the Wilpon family for giving me my first opportunity to manage a major league ballclub — particularly one of with such history as the New York Mets. I am grateful to Sandy Alderson and his group for giving me this first job and their trust, and thankful for the opportunity to work with Brodie and his team.

“While I am disappointed by the decision to move on, I am grateful to have been part of such a storied franchise. I am thankful for the hard work and support of my coaching staff, the players, and all of those working behind the scenes in roles that made our jobs and lives easier. I’m proud of what we accomplished together. Many players got better, our team improved, and the Mets are in a better spot today to be a World Series contender.

“I too am in a better spot because of this experience, and am excited about where my next landing spot will be in this baseball world. These two years have humbled me, educated me, matured me, and motivated me all at the same time. There are only 30 jobs of this kind in the world — so losing one certainly stings a bit. Yet I am filled with pride about some of the individual highlights of the last two years and that will stick with me.

“I wish the Mets great success moving forward. To be an on-field leader of a franchise in the greatest city in the world was one of the best teaching lessons I could have been given. The energy and baseball knowledge of the passionate Mets fans excited and challenged me every day. I consider myself lucky to have experienced that on a daily basis over the last two years.”

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