Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jerry Manuel: Behind The Blow

Well, another red letter season has come do an end (and that red letter is F ... I'll let you figure out what that stands for.) And believe it or not, I still have s**t to say. The following is one in a series of random stuff I'm throwing against the wall about person or persons of my choosing. These are your New York Mets: Behind the Blow.

Call it a crackpot theory if you wish, but I find it weird that mere hours after it's reported that the negotiations between Jerry Manuel and the Mets to become the official Mets manager were hitting a snag as Manuel was digging in his heels, a report comes out that Bobby Valentine would be happy to come back to manage the Mets. Then, mere hours after that, a deal is done.

I'm on to you.

But now that "Gangsta Ball" is back for the long haul, the true test begins. You haven't heard a hint of bad word from a player about Jerry Manuel. Of course not. Manuel did some good things, and some different things from Willie Randolph. But let's face it: you would have replaced Willie Randolph and gotten good results. The divorce between the players and Randolph was needed ... and the first few months between Manuel and the roster is reminiscent of those first few months of a relationship: passionate, warm, and thankful that this new boyfriend or girlfriend isn't like the last one.

Except that it was like the last one when it came down to September, which a lot of people hung on Manuel like last one was hung on Willie. But the constant in both seasons are the players ... the same ones who win and lose ballgames. And they're the same players who could cost Manuel his job somewhere down the road if the relationship between them and Manuel goes south. That's the challenge for Snoop in 2009. Now that the honeymoon is over, how will he keep the roster that he's given motivated and happy without the glow of just having replaced somebody not popular with the room?

And that's why nobody should be surprised if there's another slow start in 2009 ... especially if the roster remains relatively similar to what it was last season. That responsibility rests on someone else's shoulders ...


Unser said...

Yep. Omar's got his work cut out for him, especially in that bullpen.

Another key is getting younger in left field, at second base and on the bench. Take a look at the Mets' hitting stats before and after Easley and Tatis went down. Night and day - the line-up became one which could easily be pitched to. Almost no production from the 6, 7 and 8 hitters after September 10th, and none at all from the 2 spot when Murphy was not playing.

Anyone hear Manuel's interview on FAN? His message to the fans - "stay with us." We always do Jerry, we always do . Question is, will your players reward us for that?

The Metmaster said...

How clutch were the ed Sox last night? Each player on the Mets should be given a DVD of the 8th and 9th inning of that game and tell them "This is how champions play". The Angels tie the score in the 8th, and instead of folding up like a cheap suit like the Mets would have done, they found a way to win in the 9th getting a clutch 2-out hit. Once the Angels screwed up the suicide squeeze in the 9th you could see the air come out of that dugout. The Red Sox saw it too and made them pay. It's how champions play.
Take that Scoscia for taking Gooden deep in '88! I hope the 9th inning haunts you as much as your home run still haunts us. (The Metmaster is Irish. We're good at holding grudges....)

schneck said...

"...especially if the roster remains relatively similar to what it was last season."

This really better not be the case with the bullpen. I don't care how much of an optimist or a 'team player' someone is but a lack of faith in your bullpen is going to impact the way one plays during the first 6 or 7 innings of a game. Each player will feel that a 1 or 2 run lead is not sufficient and they will push harder, maybe too hard, to get those extra runs across. We've seen what happens when each player pushes too hard and puts too much pressure on themselves. The starting pitchers feel extra pressure to pitch a little deeper to avoid the consequence of the bullpen and this will potentially impact the way they pitch those earlier innings, not necessarily in a positive way. Management has to dump at least 3 or 4 members of this horrible bullpen even if it just for the sake of bringing new faces into the mix and giving the rest of the team some hope that this year's bullpen disaster is behind them.

fredstradamus said...

Best. Caricature. Ever.

Anonymous said...

yeah metmaster, with that clutch popup that willits barely missed, and a clutch seeing eye single.

god, i hate baseball platitudes so much.