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Mets fire manager Mickey Callaway

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The Mets have fired manager Mickey Callaway.

Callaway led the Mets to an 86-76 record and third-place finish in the National League East this year after finishing 77-85 and in fourth place the year before. That improvement came along with some at-times questionable in-game decisions, however, and amidst no small amount of controversy regarding certain strategic and personnel decisions.

Among those controversies: the drama late this season regarding Noah Syndergaard’s preference for Tomás Nido to be his personal catcher, which some believe Callaway did not handle deftly. Add into that the fact that Callaway was hired by the Mets previous general manager and not current boss Brodie Van Wagenen — and that he was getting ready to enter his lame-duck year on a three-year deal — and it’s not at all shocking that Callaway was given his walking papers.

Now the search is on for a successor. It’s a Mets job that, unlike years past, actually looks like something of a plumb position. The team slumped at times this year but likewise had multiple hot streaks that kept them in the Wild Card race for much of the second half. With a duo of frontline starting pitchers in Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard and multiple young offensive powers like Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil, the Mets are in an excellent position going forward. At least assuming Syndergaard isn’t traded and the front office goes out and fills the holes the Mets need to compete with the Braves and Nationals in the NL East.

Your speculation as to the identity of the new Mets manager starts . . . now.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.