Nov 19

Davey Johnson goes to work for Nats ….

Davey Johnson is back in the majors, hired as a front office adviser to GM Mike Rizzo. One of his specialties is recognizing and working with young talent. That would be minor league players. That would be a Mets’ weakness.

JOHNSON: Now with Nationals.

JOHNSON: Now with Nationals.

This would be about a lost opportunity. If the Mets are really serious about strengthening the ties with their past, Johnson would have been a good place to start. Johnson had previously worked with the Nationals before under Jim Bowden. You would think the Mets would have kept tabs on his baseball interests just in case.

All this talk about bringing Bobby Valentine back? How about a little love for Johnson, who managed the Mets’ last championship team? Valentine has a core group of media in his corner, but not Johnson.
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Nov 12

Men on base ….

Welcome to a new feature on the blog. This will be a thread with several items attached. Random thoughts, if you will. There are a lot of things happening, some directly relating to the Mets and some not.

* If you’re a season ticket holder, have you received your 2010 invoices? When is payment due? Is there a price break? I’m under the understanding there won’t be any increase. You tell me what’s going on.

* Bobby Valentine has been passed over for three jobs since returning from Japan. Cleveland, Houston and now Washington. Doesn’t that tell you something? Yet, there are those still on his bandwagon. Sorry, not happening, even if Jerry Manuel gets fired during the season.

* The Phillies are talking about Mark DeRosa to play third base. Would be a nice pick-up for them. They’ve already taken care of some off-season business. Adding DeRosa will make them that much better.

* Word is Atlanta might trade Javier Vazquez and/Derek Lowe. They must be sold on their young pitching to entertain those thoughts. You can’t have enough pitching. And, forget it, they won’t trade a starter inside the division.

* Carlos Beltran says Carlos Delgado is in good shape and said he’d love to have him return. No surprise there.

Oct 22

Enough with the Valentine mourning ….

I am so bored with this Bobby Valentine talk and those lamenting him interviewing with Cleveland because they want him back with the Mets. Cleveland might not happen, but neither will Mets, The Sequel.

VALENTINE: Wrong number with Mets.

VALENTINE: Wrong number with Mets.

Valentine had his run with the Mets and fizzled out. Maybe it was the Valentine-Phillips chemistry, who knows? But, the Mets got as far as they were going to go with the Valentine and then regressed.

It’s not that I dislike Valentine, but when it comes to baseball, love the second time doesn’t always work. The expectations are too high and rarely attainable.

I don’t know if Jerry Manuel with a healthy team will put the franchise back into contention, but we will find out. In the interim, good luck to Bobby in his interview with Cleveland and wish him well. But, give up the ghost already, he’s not coming back so stop living in the past, which by the way, was ringless.

Oct 13

If the Mets want La Russa ….

If the Mets are serious about evaluating all aspects of their operation, then they can’t afford to ignore Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan, the Cardinals’ manager and pitching coach. But, if this is the direction they take, it must be done quickly and decisively.

LA RUSSA: Enticing.

LA RUSSA: Enticing.

As a manager, I’d take La Russa hands down over Bobby Valentine, and Duncan could be one of the best pitching coaches in the business. I’d be willing to say better than the Jerry Manuel-Dan Warthen tandem currently in charge.

La Russa, who has won seven NL Central Titles, two pennants and one World Series, a significantly more impressive resume than that of Manuel. La Russa has been there and won. He’s one of the few who could come in immediately command everybody’s respect.

However, getting La Russa has to be accomplished quickly and neatly. There can’t be a long courtship as the uncertainty could chase away whatever free agents the Mets could be considering. Also, if the Mets come up empty they would have all but pushed Manuel out the door which would severely limit the respect he needs in the clubhouse.

Oct 05

Just say no to Bobby V.

One of the most interesting things I’ve read lately in the papers and on the blogs has been the slow drumbeat for the return of Bobby Valentine as Mets manager. All these people who should know better, who blast the Mets for repeating their same mistakes over and over again, are clamoring for them to return to the not-too-distant past in bringing back the flawed Valentine.


Can you really go home again? Can you reheat a souffle? Can a torn relationship be made whole again? Experience tells me probably not. Valentine had his chance, and in 1999 and 2000 had playoff teams that fizzled out. Yes, they reached the World Series in 2000, but after blowing Game 1, they were essentially done.

VALENTINE: Returning to the past not good for Mets' future.

VALENTINE: Returning to the past not good for Mets' future.

Could Valentine without Steve Phillips work? I doubt it. Valentine is a lightning rod for controversy and in much the degree of Billy Martin, a quick fix. He energizes at first, but then things regress. He does not sustain.

As bad as Jerry Manuel was this year, it must be remembered the team was in first place until injuries sacked the season. We can’t say with certainty the Mets would be in the playoffs had they stayed healthy, but they were headed in that direction.

Manuel definitely has shortcomings, but the season was so hideously fractured by injuries it would have been unfair to not give him another chance. Remember, it wasn’t Manuel’s fault the Mets didn’t have the reserves to bring up from the minor leagues or to make a trade.

Yes, Manuel should have handled some things differently, but the argument can be made many of his mistakes were made because he didn’t have any other options. I’ve not been shy in listing what I didn’t like, but looking at things objectively, I can see his reasoning.

Given the same situation, I don’t believe Valentine would have been any better. I’m not sure anybody could have been any better.

For those wanting Valentine, it must be remembered no championships were won during his tenure, and that reaching the World Series was in large part because they didn’t have to face the Atlanta Braves in the playoffs that season.

From what I remember about the Valentine Era is there was always a controversy. There was always a distraction. Valentine was constantly at odds with somebody, whether it be his general manager, a player or somebody in the media. Valentine liked to play people off of each other and the clubhouse was about taking sides on one issue or another.

Those wanting Valentine either have short and selective memories, an agenda, or don’t know what they are talking about.

In the long run, we’ll need 2010 to see if Manuel is the answer, and odds are he’ll get a short leash because of the impatience that comes from being in New York. But, the Mets have been there and done that with Valentine.

A return to the past would not be good for the Mets’ future.