The State of the UnionMay 21, 2010
After a 10-7 win over the Nationals Thursday night, the Mets completed a 2-6 road trip and limp home facing six games at Citi Field that could be the coup de grace for Jerry Manuel. Despite an abundance of injuries, three games against the Yankees will be no cake walk and the red-hot Phillies loom after the weekend. A mediocre Mets team could find themselves six or so games under .500 by the end of next Thursday.
Nobody has been harsher with Jerry Manuel than myself, but the reality is this Mets team is not very good. Firing Manuel will not prevent Wright from striking out, will not heal the numerous injuries on the pitching staff, and won’t cause Jason Bay to launch homeruns into the Left Field Landing at Citi Field. Furthermore, bringing in Bob Melvin most likely will not cause Reyes to have an on-base percentage over .300 and I’m pretty sure Nieve will still suck. I’m not taking away any blame from Jerry, as he is a bad manager who deserves to go if the Mets don’t turn it around, I’m just laying out the reality of the situation.
A good major league manager should put his team in the best position to win. Playing to an individuals strengths is key to directing a successful team. One shouldn’t try to make a leadoff hitter into a three hitter, and then ask that three hitter (Reyes) to sacrifice bunt. The manager should realize that his bullpen is overworked and not throw pitchers out there continuously who are no good to begin with. The manager should not bench Bay when he has an 11-game hitting streak and should realize that a right, left, right, left alteration in the lineup is a luxury and not a necessity. And the manger should certainly realize that Gary Matthews Jr. sucks and playing him over your best outfielder in Pagan is ludicrous.
Jerry has done none of that but I also want to deflect some blame onto the other members of the coaching staff. Last night John Maine was pulled after facing one batter, as Warthen and Manuel thought Maine was injured and didn’t want to risk further destruction. Jerry and Maine had some heated words in the dug out but it was Warthen’s post-game comments that proved once again why the Mets should have their own reality show.
““I just didn’t think John Maine had enough to compete tonight… When he’s throwing that way (80 mph), then there’s got to be something incorrect in that arm, something has to be feeling bad. John is a habitual liar, in a lot of ways, as far as his own health.”
It’s bad enough that Jerry Manuel walks a fine line every night, coming dangerously close to calling his own players out for things, and embarrassing them, but now you have the pitching coach claiming one of his guys is a liar. Even in victory, there’s always something with this team and nothing will change until the entire staff is cleared out. That includes Manuel, Warthen, Omar Minaya, Razor Shines, and even HoJo who is only still employed because of 1986. The Wilpon’s aren’t going anywhere, unfortunately, but maybe some new soldiers underneath the generals can change the misfortune of this franchise.
I read an article yesterday stating that Gary Matthews Jr. is what’s wrong with the Mets. The fourth outfielder served as a microcosm for Omar and Jerry’s unwillingness to part with mistakes and riding out wrong decisions until the very end. We saw it with Mike Jacobs at first, Frank Catalanotto on the bench, and Mets fans have had to suffer through Luis Castillo at second base. During the off-season, the Mets brass trusted in John Maine and Oliver Perez, and the latter may be the biggest mistake of Omar’s tenure as Mets GM.
Releasing GMJ won’t turn the Mets into a championship team, just as firing Jerry Manuel won’t cause the Mets to win over 90 games. However, the Mets are fading quickly into obscurity and the fan base needs something to get excited about. We also need to see some blood considering all the blood, sweat, and tears we’ve lost from watching this pathetic product.
Jerry Manuel will eventually serve as the sacrificial lamb, and rightfully so, but any Mets fan expecting a contender in 2010 is fooling nobody but themselves.