UPDATE – 10:01 PM: I mistakenly overheard the wrong piece of information over the radio and skimmed the NY Daily News a bit too fast prior to writing this story. Manuel never threatened to fire coaches, it was something that was likely said and released by a higher level executive. I apologize for the miscommunication.
Mets’ manager Jerry Manuel recently threatened to fire his coaches and demote his struggling pitchers to the minor leagues. While many people may think this is just a scare tatic, others may fall for Manuel’s idea that the lack of consistency for the Mets should be blamed on the coaches.
I, and I hope many other Met fans, believe that it is not only too early to think about firing coaches, but that it isn’t their fault that they are clueless at times.
Just because the pitching coach and the other assistant coaches are failing to fix these mistakes their players make, doesn’t exactly mean it is their fault. It is Omar Minaya’s fault for putting them there.
Omar Minaya’s magical offseason acquisitions in the mid 2000’s more or less made everyone think so highly of him that they would never have to question another move of his again. Well, in the past few seasons, the Mets have failed miserably when it comes to living up to expectations.
The Mets lost an NLCS series in 2006 that everyone expected them to win, they collapsed and missed the playoffs in two consecutive seasons, 2007 and 2008, and fired their manager all since 2006.
Yes, you could go ahead and say that Omar wasn’t the one holding a bat on his shoulders to lose game 7 of the NLCS, you could say Omar wasn’t on the mound when Tom Glavine self-destructed in the first inning of the final game of 2007, and you could say that Omar wasn’t on the mound when the Mets repeated the same thing in 2008.
However, you can blame Minaya for just about every problem the Mets have ran into. The Mets should not have fired Wille Randolph, ESPECIALLY in mid-season, when the team hadn’t even reached the All-Star break. Jerry Manuel is nowhere near as valuable as Randolph was as manager. Actually, when I was bat boy and was sitting between Marlon Anderson and Manuel, I heard Marlon ask Manuel what he knew about Cameron Maybin from the Marlins. Manuel was basically clueless, responding with a weak “Uhh… I heard he has good skills.”
Manuel really knows the opposition inside and out, doesn’t he?
Last time I checked, you weren’t supposed to go ahead and win a World Series in the same season when your team just fired their manager in the middle of the year after a win… so why would Minaya think that would benefit the team? Got me there.
Minaya has lacked the ability to make the important moves. Instead, he just tries to make the big moves, even if the players aren’t desperately needed compared to other position needs. Perfect example of this: This off-season, the Mets needed one or more key starters for their very shaky starting rotation. Instead, Minaya gets TWO, yes, you read correctly, TWO, closers instead of at least one or more starting pitchers.
Then, when he nearly missed out on the mediocre Oliver Perez, he was forced to pay big in order to even get him back to the team as a last resort.
So what does this all conclude to? Well, for starters, an ERA over 9 thus far for Perez, a string of shaky starts by John Maine that has prompted Manuel to toy with the idea of sending him down to AAA, and a remaining rotation that’s lucky if they are able to get out of the fourth inning.
This puts all the pressure on Johan Santana, another big-name acquisition by Minaya that holds little value considering Minaya never fortified the pitching staff surrounding Santana. This makes the Mets’ see-saw rotation look more lopsided than ever when you line up a pitcher who has given up one run this season next to several pitchers who have ERA’s higher than the rest of the league.
From now on, when you are looking for someone to blame when the pitchers fail to get out of the fourth inning, point the finger at the man in charge of getting these pitchers. It is quite obviously his fault.