Mets manager Mickey Callaway makes a great first impression

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03: Pitching Coach Mickey Callaway
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03: Pitching Coach Mickey Callaway /

The Mets introduced Mickey Callaway as the franchise’s new manager and the excitement was palpable.

On Monday afternoon the Mets held a press conference to make the announcement of their new manager hire official. Sandy Alderson spoke first about the qualities the team was looking for to guide the ship in 2018. The general manager emphasized the desire for a leader for this clubhouse, and according to him, that’s exactly what they’re getting with Callaway.

Alderson noted that the organization planned on doing a second round of interviews for all the candidates but after meeting Callaway, they deemed that to be no longer necessary. We got a glimpse of why that was in the press conference.

Once introduced, Callaway thanked several people including Fred Wilpon and the Mets team officials, as well as the Indians’ franchise and their manager, Terry Francona, and front office for the opportunity he got in Cleveland.

He endeared himself to fans right off the bat by sharing with us that he’s been studying Mets history as a way to prepare himself to manage this franchise. There’s no doubt that he’ll become very familiarized with the pain Mets fans have had to endure over the decades, and hopefully that makes him be able to relate more to fans. That’s not something that will necessarily influence decisions on the field, but from a purely entertainment point of view, it’s good to see and hear that he cares.

Callaway then proceeded to explain his goals for the 2018 season, and how he’s going to approach managing. I joked on Twitter that it felt like the first day of school because he outlined his expectations with a lot of excitement.

The new Mets skipper is a big believer in treating players well, and having that be what gives the best results on the field. The 42-year-old is a former major leaguer, so he wants the players to know he understands they’ll make mistakes because they’re all human.

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Callaway said numbers and statistics will come from how “durable, prepared, and aggressive” the players are. That will be the focus of his staff, and that’s where his expectations as manager will be.

The durable part must have propped up every Mets fans’ ear because as we all know that has been the worst part of the last few seasons for the Amazin’s. The fact that Callaway put that as the first quality his team will be focused on made me very happy.

Callaway came out of his first New York presser looking like someone that’s ready, has a plan of attack, and believes in this team. He mentioned the fact that he believes the Mets will be contenders this coming season, and will start reaching out to players as soon as possible on Monday.

Mets captain David Wright had apparently already reached out to Callaway (because of course he did), and he hopes to be able to lean on the veteran third baseman next year as he learns the ropes of the Mets franchise.

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The way that he talks about his players, and the approach for this team in 2018, it’s clear that the guys will like him. That’s essentially what you want out of a manager: someone that will get the most out of the 25-man roster. If a player is willing to go through a wall for his manager, odds are he’ll be the most successful he can be.

Callaway definitely looks and sounds like the guy that’s going to be needed to steer the Mets back into the postseason. It’s still October, the World Series champion hasn’t been crowned for this year yet, but I’m so ready for Spring Training.