Jeff Wilpon, Brodie Van Wagenen and Mickey Callaway met for 90 minutes Friday, with the Mets’ COO imploring his manager to use anything learned from the free fall of last season to stem the Mets’ current slide, The Post has learned.
There was no ultimatum established that to save his job Callaway must win a certain amount over the next 13 games exclusively against the league-worst Marlins and struggling Nationals. The preference of the organization is to avoid a midseason managerial change.
But Wilpon felt compelled to summon his GM and manager to discuss the current state of the team and to express the need to avoid what befell the 2018 Mets — a strong start followed by a collapse.
While the meeting was not contentious, it was atypical. Van Wagenen has made regular contact with the manager and ownership a key tenet in his administration. That Wilpon thought it was important enough to call this meeting indicates both heightened urgency for the team to begin playing better and that Callaway is not on the sturdiest ground.
In Callaway’s first season the Mets opened 11-1 and fell under .500 for good on June 1. This year’s squad was 5-1 and 9-4, but went into a three-game set against the Marlins on Friday at Citi Field at 17-20.
Callaway was hired on a three-year contract by Sandy Alderson, not Van Wagenen. But the Mets doubled down around their manager by trying to deepen the roster via a higher payroll and trading of two of the organization’s best prospects. Van Wagenen on several occasions in the offseason described the Mets as the team to beat in the NL East.
The Mets also brought in Jim Riggleman to put a bench coach with managerial experience next to Callaway. But that also suggested Callaway’s at least interim replacement could be in the dugout.
The Mets have not replaced a manager during the season since Jerry Manuel stepped in for the fired Willie Randolph in 2008, and ownership sees doing something similar now as only a last resort to save the season.
Nevertheless, Mets ownership did not want to let more of this season elapse without a meeting designed to say the current play is unacceptable and that the need for finding remedies is critical.
The Mets had won just eight of 24 games heading into the Marlin series, and Callaway was urged to say what he is seeing and to apply whatever means he thought workable to improve the results.
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