Feb 21

Feb. 21.10: Catching up on the weekend.

WILPON: Distancing himself from Omar?

WILPON: Distancing himself from Omar?

Fred Wilpon held court today, and his words gave the impression of separating himself from his baseball people – Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel.

It’s his money, but they make the decisions, Wilpon said.

“I understand from the fan’s point of view, because I am one myself, and I’m very, very sensitive to what their feelings are, and I understand some of it,’’ Wilpon said of the fans’ angst, but added, “I think that we have to be guided by our baseball people, and our baseball people evaluated, for example, some of our pitchers as good or better than what was on the market.

“Our baseball people evaluated other positions and we went by what they did. Jeff (Wilpon) followed them. Jeff and I don’t pick the baseball players. So that’s what they wanted to do.’’

In addition:

* If Jose Reyes does bat third, Manuel said it is possible Gary Matthews Jr., could lead off if he wins the center field job until Carlos Beltran returns. Again, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, and Reyes is one of the game’s best leadoff hitters.

* Manuel also said prospect Jennry Mejia could compete for the eighth-inning set-up role, which indicates two things, 1) a concern about Kelvim Escobar, and 2) and doubts about Bobby Parnell.

* Jon Niese appears the leading candidate for the fifth starter spot. Kind of expected that all along. That Manuel would suggest that suggests good news on his hamstring.

* Rod Barajas was finally signed, which gives Josh Thole a chance to develop his game at Triple-A. Not good news for Omir Santos.

Oct 28

Commentary: I believe Selig, but ….

Message to Bud: Don't pray for it, make it happen.

Message to Bud: Don't pray for it, make it happen.

Bud Selig said it and I believe him.

After Carlos Pena’s single drove in B.J. Upton with the tying run, and the grounds crew practically following him across the plate, Selig said he would have not allowed the Phillies be crowned champions with a rain-shortened victory.

“It’s not a way to end a World Series,” Selig said. “I would not have allowed the World Series to end that way.”

I believe he wouldn’t. He would have played his “best interest in baseball,” card and done the right thing.

Giving that, why couldn’t he have done the right thing earlier? Perhaps not start the game at all, given the forecast? Or, once it started, said, “if we have to stop this, we won’t have a rain-shortened winner?”

The late start times and scheduling are other matters he needs to correct. My thinking is the World Series is the ultimate. It’s baseball’s showcase event, and it should be treated that way. Too often MLB lets those who don’t love it make the decisions and that has to stop.

If Selig’s words are to be believed, he must follow them up with actions that mean something. So far, his legacy as commissioner has been the steroids era, interleague play, new divisional alignments and a work stoppage that killed the 1994 World Series.

Time to change that for the better. Schedule the Series start times so people can see the game, and if worse, to give you more leeway time with the weather. If you don’t like playing this late in October, then you’re going to have to do something about shortening the playoffs?

Since you won’t reduce the number of games, then you must alter the regular season schedule. I have already suggested in these pages to have at least one day-night doubleheader a month. That would give you six days to play with. There are things that can be done, and in the end they won’t hurt as bad as the embarrassment that was last night.

Oct 23

Commentary: Just name the coaches.

Manuel: All smiles when he was hired. What's he thinking now?

Manuel: All smiles when he was hired. What's he thinking now?

There are appearances to the delay. Does Jerry Manuel know who he wants on his staff? Is there a conflict between him and Omar Minaya.

The Mets acted decisively in giving extensions to Manuel and Minaya, but are dragging their feet in naming their coaching staff, leaving it up to us to speculate. Many reports had Howard Johnson on the outs. MLB.com, yesterday, had him staying.

Manuel has to know who he wants on his staff, and the odds are those decisions have already been made. Just not announced. Well, why not? There’s not really a good reason. The appearance is indecisiveness, and that’s not what you s

Oct 04

Manuel announced: Pledges different mindset.

The interim label is off Jerry Manuel. The team announced he was signed to a two-year deal with an option for a third year.

Among the highlights of the conference call:

-In addition to the bullpen, Manuel said the offense needs a different mindset, with a concentration on fundamentals and situational hitting. “We have to place a value on getting a walk,” Manuel said. “We have to place a value on hitting a ground ball to advance a runner.”

-On the bullpen, he said: “Our dilemma is it is difficult to evaluate people not in roles they are accustomed to.”

-Manuel said no decisions have been made on his coaching staff.

More to follow.

Oct 01

Examining Perez’s comments.

Bury him on his pitching, not his comments.

Bury him on his pitching, not his comments.

Here’s what Oliver Perez had to say about coming back to the Mets and the free-agent market: “This is the team that gave me the second opportunity to come back to the majors and I was really happy, but I have to look at everything and see what team gives me the best opportunity to win.”

To look at surface value, if Perez had come through the Mets would be playing this week, perhaps even hosting a game. But, he didn’t. He had 17 no-decisions in 34 starts. Talk about not completing your work.

I don’t think Perez was throwing his teammates under the bus. Perez is not a great speaker and gets overwhelmed at times talking to the media. He has a tendency to speak in cliche, and that’s what he did there. Scott Boras had him primed on what to say during the season and that was a stock quote.

However, the question should be asked whether Perez gives the Mets their best chance to win. If the dollar figures are true of five years at $75 million to start, is Perez the answer? He won 15 games last year and only 10 this season. That’s a huge drop and injuries aren’t to blame.

Do you really want this guy back or should the Mets spend the money elsewhere?