Mickey Callaway has been named as the managerial replacement for Terry Collins, who had led the Mets to the National League Championship just two seasons ago. Callaway, a former right-hander who has been the Cleveland Indians’ pitching coach for the past several seasons, inherits a team with many talented pitchers including Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.
The new skipper will be the 21st hired in the history of the franchise, which began play as part of a four-team expansion in 1962. Along with the Mets came the Houston Colt 45s on the Senior Circuit, while the Los Angeles Angels and The Minnesota Twins were added to the American League.
Given that the Mets organization has been around for only fifty-five years, the fact that it has changed managers twenty times now seems at first to indicate a degree of instability. After all, the math reveals a new pattern on average every two and a half seasons.
However, after a little examination, the sum of twenty-one managers in 55 years
turns out to be about league average. Two of the other three teams that were part of the same expansion as the Mets have employed nearly as many coaches.
The Houston organization, which began as the Colt 45 before adopting its current name as the Astros, has seen nineteen captains in its existence. The Angels have been managed by eighteen different managers, including Mike Scioscia and his current run of nearly twenty years.
The fourth expansion team, the Minnesota Twins, has only used nearly half as many bench bosses as the Mets. Since the start of the 1962 season, only twelve men have been hired as club managers at Gopher State.
While nearly every other club since the first expansion has used more than twenty coaches, there are two that have seen even fewer than the twelve used by Minnesota. Perhaps not coincidentally, the pair have also been among the most successful teams during that fifty-five-year span.
Thanks to the long tenures of legendary managers like Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, the Los Angeles Dodgers have needed only ten managers since 1962. That total matches the number of captains who have worked on the bench for the St. Louis Cardinals, including the long reigns of Red Schoendist and Tony Larussa.
Managerial stability could be an important factor in championships, based on these two examples. The Cardinals and Dodgers have won fifteen pennants between them since 1962, as well as half a dozen World Series championships.