About that vote of confidence ….

Supposedly, manager Jerry Manuel has been given a vote of confidence by management/ownership, but is that melting away?

For the longest time I thought Manuel would get a pass on this season because of the injuries that crippled this roster. I still think it might play out that way, but now I’m wondering if that’s the best way to go.

MANUEL: Is the inspiration there?

MANUEL: Is the inspiration there?

The Mets have responded with only four victories in September, which for the third straight season, has become a lost month. And, if you look back on it, September 2006 wasn’t so red hot, either.

Injuries are part of the game which must be overcome, but sometimes they understandably can’t be because no team – not even the Yankees – have the depth to withstand what happened to the Mets this season. However, is that any excuse for such shoddy play?

For all the talk of how the Mets were going to be a fundamentally sound team this season, and for all the work done in spring training, this team is horrible in that area. For example:

1) The baserunning has been terrible (21 nailed at the plate).
2) Too many at-bats are wasted.
3) The situational hitting is often not there, and their high average with RISP is a misnomer because they aren’t scoring the runs.
4) Defensively, too often the outfielders overthrow the cutoff man.
5) Way too many errors for a team that doesn’t have the power to overcome them.
6) The staff has walked well over 500 opposing batters and might push 600 for the season.

All that is a reflection on the manager and coaching staff. In addition, the team has no life right now, and their record is not an excuse for the lack of spark. Conversely, the lack of spark is a contributor to the record.

All this comes back to Manuel and the staff. If the Mets were playing smart, aggressive baseball, this wouldn’t even be an issue. Injuries are beyond a manager’s control, but the attitude and fundamental base of the team isn’t.

11 thoughts on “About that vote of confidence ….

  1. Nice post JD. They’ll probably keep Manuel and overhaul the coaching staff, especially since $$$ seems to be the issue. The whole Front Office should be gone, but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. Maybe internally they know that 2011 will be the year where they are back in business so it’s not worth firing Jerry and Omar this year. Who knows.

  2. I agree with Steve in that coaching changes are likely on the horizon. I suspect the heir apparent to Manuel’s job will be installed on the staff, likely as a bench coach over the manager’s objections. And then, in typical Wilpon fashion, during the 2010 season they’ll fire both Omar and Jerry, and name the aforementioned bench coach/heir apparent as the new manager, thereby saddling their new GM with a manager he didn’t hire. (See McIlvaine, Joe; Green, Dallas.) Around and around it goes.

  3. Well, I do agree that Jerry needs to go, but there are many reasons for the issues you outline John.

    1. Thrown out at the plate – Razor “send em” Shine

    2. Too much suck in the lineup. and too many damn bunts early in games. The latter is on Jerry.

    3. The RISP is nice, but the reason they are not scoring a lot is that they are not getting enough runners on base. You can’t say situational hitting stinks when they RISP #’s are good.

    4. Outfielders – well, when you have guys playing out of position, you get this. Murphy (albeit early in the season), Sheff (a DH), Evans (well, I think he may have played) are all out of position.

    5. See #4. Murphy at first is still out of position. As the man says himself “Daniel Murphy, I hit Third”. No position though.

    6. Warthen, Warthen, Warthen. Or Schneider/Santos, since he calls the pitches. When you have the bases loaded, it’s not the time to have Parnell throw a slider or changeup he can’t control.

    It’s the entire staff.

    To me, the bigger issue is his unwillingness to play Evans, and take Parnell out of the rotation (Nelly Figs stays in? Really? Planning on Nelly being the #5 next yr Jer?). I do like that he is letting Stoner pitch a bit. And he has played Thole. But why play Sullivan over Evans?

    Frankly, they should operate on Franceour now, and let Sullivan play right, let Evans play left. Having him sit on the bench is doing nothing.

    Such a sad season for one that started off with such promise.

  4. I also think the lack of fundamentals is more of an organizational issue, not just Jerry. Guys are rushed in the minors. And then, they are moved to positions they have little experience with (Murphy, Evans, Fernando, heck even Milledge).
    They need to do a better job of slowing down progress and picking positions earlier.
    Reese Havens is still playing short, even though most everyone knows he is a 2nd baseman.
    Wilmer Flores is playing short, even though he is outgrowing the position.
    Move them earlier. The longer you wait, the less time these guys have learning the specifics of the position.
    And rushing them means the fundy’s aren’t developed. When you bring in kids from latin america, they are not playing a lot of organized ball. They need the time in the minors to learn that stuff.

  5. I think Ed has something here. Omar says he likes to “challenge” his minor leaguers. They push them through too fast, and when they get to the bigs they still look like minor leaguers.

  6. John, as to your article, you make a very important statement. risp is BS. 3 run homers make a difference. singles dont. Mets have to get some power bats. They are going to wait for davis and martinez to get them a cheap solution. Dave (or is it steve) (they need to get a cool ex met name so i can remember them) are probably right about next year being another wasted year.

  7. 5. Exactly Sadecki but with an addiiton. when they are rushed to the majors then the org has no patience with them not being ready for the bigs.

  8. john

    Nice post

    There are a lot of good comments.

    The poor play is a lot of things. Poor fundamentals is a life time thing, but also spring. Part of it is depth. If you have no options you can’t switch. That is Omar.

    Who was responsible for handing Murphy a starting job? Who was responsible for making an over the hill DH a player who was in every day? Who benched a hot hitting, slick fielding RF?

    I want to get rid of the owners, the front office, the coaches and most of the starters. The team is that bad.

    2006 is a long, long time ago in a place far, far away.


  9. Nice posting JD….I have been thinking about this for most of the season. Clearly half the staff needs to go (Warthen & HoJo most notably). Initially I liked Jerry and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt with all the injuries but let’s be realistic, this team just doesn’t lose, they play poor fundamental baseball and that’s all on Jerry. This team has clearly quit on Jerry and now the Mets need to quit on Jerry. Lastly, Omar needs to go and not so much for the controversies and not for the lack/poor trading, but for stocking the triple A team with AAAA has-been/never-will-be players.

  10. Seems to me a lot of us were complaining about the lack of fundamentals, lack of power, and runners left in scoring position early in the season — well before the injuries started to mount. It’s like we were waiting for the meltdown to happen, and then before it could, there was an avalanche on top of it.

    I, too, liked Jerry early on, but his act has gotten old really fast. On the other hand, I could swear the complaints about the third base coach being responsible for sending or holding runners at the wrong times, and the hitting coach not helping anybody, and the pitching coach mishandling the pitchers, are all things we’ve heard before — about everybody who’s held those positions in recent years. Are ALL these guys incompetent, or do they just not have very good talent to work with?

  11. Jeff

    Good points. Regardless of how good the coaches are, some work better with certain players and some do not.

    In most jobs you have to bend to the boss. In sports at the end of the day you have to bend to the players if they have talent and work as a team. Rick was considered a good coach when we got him and he still is. I saw some musing recently where someone said it might be good to bring him back.

    However, his coaching methods seemed to stop working with our players.

    Players will not be sent to the minors if they say no to the coach. They get coaxed and threatened and begged. Rarely does a talent get sat, sent down.

    A big part of the problem with the team is that there are no leaders. There is Johan and David is starting to asset himself. That is it.

    There is no telent. After Johan ( who was hurt most of the season ), there are a bunch of #5 players. Pelf has telent but has not put it together.

    We have 3 ‘core’ position players. We have Castillo who has played well this year but who I do not expect to play as well for the remainder of his contract and that is it. Franceour might be a nice player. We shall see.

    That leaves 3 positions we have to fill plus somehow get a bench and a minor league system to help and provide energy during the season.

    A very tall order for 2010.