Manager's Reward For League's Second Highest Win Increase Is Dismissal
Callaway Still Had One Year On His Contract With New York
New York Gained Nine Wins Under Mickey Callaway
His dismissal was probably justified, when you consider the thirteen additional losses the Pirates suffered compared to last season. Obviously that reduction in the win column cannot be solely placed on veteran manager Clint Hurdle, but it was probably time for a new leader in the Pittsburgh dugout.
Several other teams have also decided to dismiss their skippers, most of which saw fewer wins than the previous year. The Cubs bade farewell to Joe Maddon, whose club suffered eleven more losses and missed out on the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.
Also getting the boot was Brad Ausmus, who had managed just one season with the Angels. His dismissal, while seemingly a little quick, may have been justified by the eight loss increase from 2018.
Less justifiable, however, was the firing of New York's Mickey Calloway, the only ousted skipper whose team actually had an increase in victories. The Mets enjoyed nine more wins in 2019, second in the National League only to the fourteen boost by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The biggest increase overall happened in Minnesota, where the Twins rose 23 victories to put them over the century mark. Needless to say, Rocco Baldelli held onto his job as manager.
Less obvious was the fact that the skipper whose team took the biggest dip in the win column maintained his job, since the Red Sox lost 24 more games than they did in 2018. Considering Alex Cora led Boston to the World Series Championship last season, it should come as no surprise that the front office wants to keep him around.
The other American League team to lose a score more games than last year, the Seattle Mariners, also chose to hold on to their manager. Scott Service saw his club win 21 fewer times in 2019, mainly because of the trades of stars such as Edwin Encarnacion, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, as well as some key injuries to other regulars.
The latter two were sent to the Mets, a trade that probably contributed to the firing of Callaway. Both Cano and Diaz were expected to boost New York into favorites to win the N.L. East, but the pair underachieved.
To be honest, neither player could have turned the Mets into division champs, mainly because of their ages. That Callaway was able to keep New York in contention into September was an amazing feat in itself, something that should have convinced the front office to honor the third year of his contract.
Instead, his bosses listened to a few of the grumbling players, who expressed their concerns about Callaway's handling of starting pitchers. Teams often choose to take a player's side over the skipper, usually to their own detriment.