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New Mets Manager Mickey Callaway

Mets Coaching Staff: A Team of Collaborators

This week the NY Mets hired Mickey Callaway as their new manager. It’s a sign that the organization is focused on building a team of collaborators. A few years ago, there was a best selling book titled “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It documented how Abraham Lincoln filled his cabinet positions with former foes. But General Manager Sandy Alderson wants no conflicting personalities on the Mets coaching staff.

The goal is to build an organizational structure where the front office, manager, coaches and players are all on the same page. In the past, miscommunication on injuries and a lack of appreciation for analytics were barriers that stopped the flow of information. The flow should go in both directions. From the front office down to the field and from the playing field back up to the front office.

It will be up to new manager Mickey Callaway to filter through all the data coming from the front office. Then use it to give the team the best chance of winning that day’s game. Not to play favorite veterans or avoid second guessing by the media. Likewise, the Mets coaching staff will have to keep the front office updated on any player-level news that they might be unaware of.

Collaboration

Sandy Alderson was practically ecstatic at the press briefing introducing Callaway. He described the new manager as “collaborative” and “structural but adaptable”. Callaway’s former teammates spoke highly of him as well. Corey Kluber said:

He doesn’t think he’s got all the answers. Whether it be a scout or front office, analytical guy, he’s open to anything and everything.

One of the other candidates for the managing job was former player Mark DeRosa. He reinforced the collaborative narrative that the Mets were searching for when he spoke on WFAN:

I think they were looking for a collaborative-type effort. I think the sabermetrics is something that – I don’t think it’s an overriding thing, but I think they definitely want to integrate it on a much bigger level.

Mets Coaching Staff

Look for more of the same as the remaining Mets coaching staff gets hired. Kevin Long may or may not return as hitting coach after losing out on the managing job. Pitching coach Dan Warthen won’t be back and the bench coach job is also open.

Speaking about the open coaching staff positions, Callaway told the Daily News the new company line:

We’re looking for someone who’s going to be collaborative, someone who’s going to use all the resources, a guy that’s going to communicate with everyone in the room as much as they possibly can. And that’s going to help facilitate the culture that we’re trying to accomplish.

Bench Coach

Asked about hiring an experienced bench coach for the green Callaway, Sandy Alderson indicated he wants to avoid hiring someone too set in their ways.

The obvious answer is yes (have experience), the less obvious answer is no. The reason I say that is because what we have done is we have hired what I think is sort of a contemporary thinker in terms of strategy and a variety of different things that go into preparing for the game as well as managing the game. You could argue that having a seasoned manager would be a good idea but does that just dilute the sort of qualities that we just looked for in a manager. I don’t know the answer to that. We’re not going to simply find a bench coach that has managed before.

Pitching Coach

As for the new pitching coach, Alderson again repeated the organization’s mantra:

Again, in looking for a pitching coach, we’re looking for someone who’s professionally expert and at the same time fits in with the sort of collaborative approach that we’re expecting to build here.

With all the emphasis on collaboration and communication, if the Mets under perform again next season, it won’t be because everyone wasn’t pulling in the same direction.

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