By Lenn Robbins
There’s denial and then there’s delusion. Mets manager Mickey Callaway lives in the latter space, or he’s the one of the great patsies in baseball history.
After the Mets lost for the 50th time this season – an 8-3 destruction at the hands of the Phillies – Callaway said he still believes the Mets can make a wild card run.
This might be the last we hear from Callaway in his current capacity. Although chair-throwing GM Brodie Van Wagenen has professed his support for Callaway, you don’t have to be a GM to know when a club is performing as poorly as the Mets, the manager is the first to go.
Heck, it might be kind to give Callaway his walking papers at this point.
The New York Post reported earlier this summer that Callaway has been instructed on how to use pitchers, at times getting texts from the GM in the middle of a game. And, The Post reported that the GM threw a chair in a dressing down of Callaway and his staff after Friday night’s loss to the Phillies.
So, when Callaway gave this summation of the Mets position at the halfway mark, you have to wonder if his lips were moving but someone else was doing the talking.
“I feel like we can make a run at this thing,” Callaway told reporters after Sunday’s loss. “We can sneak into that wild card, sneak back in this division. Look what the Nationals have done in a 2 1/2-week period.”
“Anything can happen in baseball, I’ve seen it all. We need to have a sense of urgency because of the possibilities. And in my mind, anything’s possible.”
Mets fans know that. They have 1969 to point to. Speaking of delusion, no Mets’ fans worth his Mr. Met Bubblehead Doll believes the 2019 Mets can replicate the second-half heroics the way Amazins did 40 years ago.
The Mets went into the season with visions of a wildcard playoff berth. They end the first half of the season 13.5 games out of first place in the NL East and seven games out of the wildcard. Only Derek Jeter’s Marlins, at 13 games out of the wildcard, are in a worse position.
The bullpen is the worst in baseball and on this day in Queens, starting pitcher, Zach Wheeler didn’t come out for the sixth inning after giving up six earned runs. The Mets were being no-hit by Aaron Nola until the Pete Alonso homered in the sixth.
It was his 30 th home run of the season. He has 68 RBIs, a National League rookie record going into the All -Star Break. That’s the extent of Mets highlights for the first half of the season.
Most observers are beginning to catch on to the fact that Van Wagenen’s failed attempt at assembling a winning team has more to do with the Mets woeful first half than the manager. But GM’s don’t replace themselves. They simply remain in denial.