New Mets manager Mickey Callaway is in the early running for best quote of spring training. On Wednesday, the skipper said, “Dry humping guys is something I feel strongly about,” Mike Puma of the New York Post reports.
Callaway, of course, is using an idiom to refer to relief pitcher usage. To “dry hump” a reliever is to have him start warming up, then sit down again, warm up again, sit down again, and repeat the process ad nauseam. It can be a problem for a reliever as he’ll end up throwing a full workload in the bullpen before ever appearing in a game. It can increase the likelihood of an injury as well.
Callaway elaborated, “That’s a lot of wear and tear that is endless and if I haven’t prepared the right way, that will happen. I have to make a decision with good timing so the game doesn’t speed up on us and we don’t have somebody ready.”
Former manager Terry Collins often received criticism for his bullpen management and “dry humping” was believed to be part of the problem. The Mets’ bullpen had the worst or second-worst ERA in the National League in three of the seven years of Collins’ tenure.