Nov 24, 2017

New Mets Manager: Mickey Callaway (2018)

Michael Christopher Callaway was born May 13th, 1975 in Memphis, Tennessee. A star basketball & baseball player in Germantown High School at Memphis, Callaway was first drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1993 but did not sign. He would then attend the University of Mississippi, pitching for the Ole Miss Rebels getting drafted by the Tampa Rays in 1996 as a seventh round pick.

Callaway made his MLB debut on June 12th 1999 in a start against the Expos in Montreal. He earned a win pitching six innings allowing two runs on seven hits with two strike outs. In his second start he was removed in the 1st inning after allowing three runs to the Twins in Minnesota. He would see limited time the rest of the year taking two more losses in just three more games pitched, finishing up 1-2 with a 7.25 ERA.

He was traded to the Anaheim Angels prior to their 2002 World Championship season. He became the clubs fifth starter when Aaron Seale went down with injury. He would go 2-1 in six appearances but did not pitch in the post season, although he did receive a World Series ring.

In 2003 he started out with the Angels going 1-3 getting released & picked up by the Texas Rangers. where he went 0-3. After four brief appearances in 2004, his MLB career was over. Overall he was 4-11 with a 6.27 ERA 86 strike outs & 58 walks over 130 innings in 40 games with 20 starts.

Callaway moved on to pitch in South Korea for the Hyundai Unicorns, in the KBP league, where was a two time All Star. He also pitched one year in an Independent League in Laredo, Texas.

In 2010 he began his career as a pitching coach, starting out in the Cleveland Indians organization. By 2013 he was with the Indians big league club, as the teams pitching coach under new manager Terry Francona. That year the Tribe won 92 games, fourth most in the AL, finishing up in second place with no wild card berth. 

In 2014 the team produced Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber as they won 83 games. In 2015 his Indians were first in strike outs, complete games & second in ERA (3.67) in the AL winning 84 games.

After three seasons of 83 or more wins, the 2016 Indians won 91 games and got to the post season, beating the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS, losing to the Chicago Cubs in seven games in the World Series.  

That year the Tribes pitching staff ranked first in strike outs (1398) second in wins, ERA (3.84) runs & earned runs, with all five starters winning in double digits as Kluber led the way with 18 victories. An incredible 108 win 2017 season had the Indians staff first in wins, ERA (3.30) strike outs (for the fourth straight year), complete games, shut outs, runs, walks, earned runs& curve ball usage. The staff boasted three pitchers (Kluber, Carlos Carrasco & Trevor Bauer) with 17 wins or more. Unfortunately they were upset early in ALDS.

Callaway has learned under some talented & respected managers including Francona, Mike Scioscia &  Buck Schowalter. His former pitchers rave about his coaching skills and his abilities as a coach, especially relating to the young players.
 
In the 2017 off season he was named the twenty first manager in Mets history, replacing Terry Collins. His pitching skills will hopefully help the New York Mets young pitchers who struggled though injuries & issues in 2017. But now as manager in the baseball worlds largest market, Callaway will wear many hats & have lots on his plate.

Quotes: Mets GM Sandy Alderson: "There seemed to be a real consistency between Mickey’s approach and our approach and what he was looking for in the way of managing, and what we were looking for in the way of a leader in the clubhouse. But more emotionally, I think all of us came out of that meeting excited about the possibility that Mickey would become our manager. That’s a visceral reaction not one that you can put down on a checklist, but to me that said everything."

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