NEW YORK (WFAN) — Mickey Callaway’s former boss had high praise for the new Mets manager Tuesday.
Talking to WFAN’s Mike Francesa, Indians manager Terry Francona predicted that Callaway would be a successful skipper. Callaway was Cleveland’s pitching coach for five seasons under Francona.
“The Mets fans are lucky,” Francona said. “You’ve got a special one. I didn’t know him coming into the job with the Indians, and his level of expertise, his amount of confidence, it’s far surpassed his years of experience, and he’s going to be a really good manager. His confidence, he knows how to talk to players, he’s got a really good feel for people. He’s going to be really good.
“When you have good people like that, you know you’re going to lose them — and it hurts because you’ve got to replace them. But he’s going to be really good. He’s a fun guy to be around.”
What sort of pitching philosophy might Callaway bring to the Mets?
“That’s going to be interesting because he’s not going to be the pitching coach, but he certainly has a tremendous background in pitching,” Francona said. “I know with our guys, he felt like if you had the stuff, which certainly those guys with the Mets do, you attack the strike zone, you don’t shy away from contact, you work ahead (in the count). Identifying your best breaking ball and being able to go to that when you’re in a bind as opposed to having five pitches and maybe three you’re not sure where they’re going and you start to guess.”
The Indians’ memorable season ended in the first round of American League Division Series, when they lost to the Yankees in five games. Francona said it was tough for him to watch the rest of the postseason afterward.
“It hurts,” he said. “There’s no getting around it. It physically hurts when you don’t win, and it’s hard to put it out of your mind.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.