If the Mets don’t contend, “it’s on me,” says Mickey Callaway

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Pitcher Noah Syndergaard
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Pitcher Noah Syndergaard /

Manager Mickey Callaway is confident the pieces are already in place for the Mets to make a run this season and he’s ready to take the fall if that doesn’t happen.

Speaking with the media on Tuesday afternoon, the Mets’ new skipper talked about expectations around this team and his excitement for the season.

Callaway emphasized in his first press conference of Spring Training that this team believes in one another and he didn’t need to “sell” that idea to the players.

“They look to their left and they look to their right and they know they can contend,” Callaway noted. “We have the players to do it.”

Callaway also added the fact that he’s looking at himself and his staff for responsibility should this team falter during the season.

"“I have now spent some time with our coaching staff. I’ve spent time with our players. It is very evident that we are prepared in every way to go out there and do something special. If we do not do things, it’s gonna be on me. The front office has gotten us the players. The coaching staff is the best coaching staff in the big leagues.”"

Callaway’s belief in this squad comes from an impressive arsenal of arms, something he notes he’s never seen before.

"“The amount of very good arms with quality stuff that we have here in this Mets organization? I promise you nobody else has that.”"

The Mets are going into 2018 heavily relying on guys that either haven’t performed, have been injured, or both, so while it’s nice to see the new man at the helm express optimism for this pitching staff, it’s hard to not take it with a giant grain of salt.

This team finished 22 games under .500 last season, and pitching was literally the reason for it as the 2017 Mets posted the franchise’s second worst ERA. That should change with a healthy Noah Syndergaard, but guys like Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler are still gigantic question marks.

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That’s also why Callaway has yet to decide who will be in the starting rotation when the team heads back up north. It’s really too early to see who will be effective, and who will be healthy when that time comes. It would be amazing if we could finally see at least one cycle of Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Matz, and Wheeler, but who knows if that’s something that will ever happen at this point. If someone’s going to be up beat and positive, I’m glad it’s new the manager.