The New York Mets will begin the new decade with a new manager.
The team announced Thursday it has fired Mickey Callaway after two seasons.
“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,” Mets general manager Brodie 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.”
Callaway spent the last two seasons as the Mets' manager, but the team failed to reach the playoffs either year. This past season, the Mets found themselves 11 games under .500 shortly after the All-Star break but rallied back into serious playoff contention before ultimately falling short. They went 46-26 in the second half of the season to finish 86-76 —11 games behind the Braves for the National League East title and three games back of the Brewers for the final NL wild-card spot.
Callaway, 44, finishes his tenure in Queens with a 163-161 record.
Then-Mets general manager Sandy Alderson took a gamble by hiring the former Cleveland Indians pitching coach to replace Terry Collins following the 2017 season. Callaway had no big-league managerial experience and often came under fire by fans and media for the way he managed his pitching rotation and bullpen.
Also not helping Callaway's case was that general manager Brodie Van Wagenen inherited him when he was hired last year. Van Wagenen will now be able to install his own manager. Some possible candidates include former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, former Cubs manager Joe Maddon, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren.
As for Callaway's staff, bench coach Jim Riggleman also will not return, WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman reported. The Mets are believed to want to retain hitting coach Chili Davis, and 82-year-old pitching coach Phil Regan could also be back if he wants, Heyman added.