After two seasons at the helm for the New York Mets, manager Mickey Callaway has been handed his walking papers. Compiling a 163-161 record over that span, Callaway's crew failed to reach the postseason in either campaign. Despite a red-hot second half of the season, the Amazin's fell just short of the second and final NL Wildcard spot to a Milwaukee Brewers club that was undeniably the hottest team in the entire league.
“We want to thank Mickey for his consistent work ethic and dedication over the last two seasons and I’m certain these characteristics will serve him well in his next opportunity,” Van Wagenen said in a statement. “A decision like this is never easy, however, we believe it is in the best interest of the franchise at this time.”
Brodie Van Wagenen was hired by Jeff Wilpon this offseason to replace Sandy Alderson and there's no secret that Callaway was not Van Wagenen's guy. The Mets turned their season around in surprising fashion as it took a trade for Marcus Stroman and Van Wagenen throwing chairs and causing a scene in the clubhouse to light a fire under his team.
The man most often linked to the Mets manager vacancy, A.J. Hinch, is under contract with the Houston Astros as they chase their second World Series ring in two years. Hinch and Van Wagnen are close friends, but the idea of the Mets trading for a manager who is looking to chase another championship is about as likely as Chipper Jones managing the team.
The most likely and fitting candidate is Joe Girardi. The former Marlins and Yankees skipper has joined the Mike's On program on WFAN in New York throughout the baseball season and was often complimentary of the organization and despite a miserable first half of the season, he felt they could turn things around.
New York doesn't want to hire another first time manager like Callaway who will have to learn on the job. The Mets are a win-now squad, and Girardi has championship pedigree and experience to show.
While Girardi always took the high road and didn't attribute the Mets' problems to managerial issues, it's clear that the mismanagement of the bullpen was a key contributor in why the Mets are sitting home in October.
So while, the hunt for the next new manager is already underway, Girardi should be the clear choice to get the Mets back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.