Oct 07

Fair or not, HoJo on hot seat.

Eyes on HoJo

Eyes on HoJo

Nothing new on the coaching front. Jerry Manuel thinks early next week his staff should be finalized.

On the hot seat is Howard Johnson, who said at the end of the season he believed the club had the right pieces.

Maybe they do, but something is missing, and it’s not all Johnson’s fault.

These are major leaguers and they shouldn’t have to “buy into’’ anything. They should know how to work a count and advance a runner.

It’s an organizational thing, and on the major league level, that’s the manager. We see guys swinging at garbage all the time, and in the case of Jose Reyes, where’s the encouragement to take the walk?

All I hear was they don’t want to take away his aggressiveness. Well, if Reyes walked 100 times and bunted for hits more, he’d be devastating offensively.

There’s more.

Carlos Beltran should steal more. … It wouldn’t kill Carlos Delgado to go to left against the shift. … Perhaps the batting order is flawed. Maybe Reyes shouldn’t be leading off. … David Wright was way too impatient this year.

There are a lot of ways to improve the offense having nothing to do with firing Johnson, but, that’s not how the game is played.

Oct 02

Minaya: “Something is missing.”

Minaya: Has a lot of work to do.

Minaya: Has a lot of work to do.

One of the first things Omar Minaya said this morning on a conference call to announce his contract extension through 2012 (with club options for 2013 and 2014), was to admit something is wrong with the make-up of his team.

“There is something there, something missing, that the club needs to get over,” Minaya said.

Minaya singled out the bullpen as the area of main concern, but did not name and possible FA replacements.

“One of the top areas we need to address is the bullpen and the closer,” Minaya said. “There’s only a few guys in the game what we say can, ‘lock-out an inning,’ so we’ll have to look in the market place, or look internally, because for a championship team that is very important.”

To fill that void, and the projected starting pitching void without Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez, Minaya said he would listen to trade offers for anyone, and that includes core players David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.

Minaya called the trio, “winning players,” but added, “we owe it to ourselves to look at all areas. I’m going to be open-mined all winter.”

Minaya, however, isn’t shopping these three, and I got the impression this was GM clichespeak, in that all GM’s say they will listen to any proposals that could improve the team.

Minaya also said:

-Discussions are on-going on a contract extension for manager Jerry Manuel. It’s believed the Mets have a two-year deal on the table but Manuel is thinking three.

-The team is interested in bringing back Carlos Delgado, and has told his agent this.

-He’s interested in having Oliver Perez return and said he made progress.

-Said the team is waiting to complete its investigation and let the legal process take its course before making a decision on troubled reliever Ambiorix Burgos.

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?

Sep 29

The answers to your questions.

If you have a question, I’ll try to give you an answer. I’ll post in the morning and plan to answer by the end of the day.

Here’s what we got the first day of this feature.

1. Jon asks: Since there’s no way to acquire all the players needed to fix the Mets, “Should I just stop caring now?’’

Answer: No. You’ve come this far, you might as well hang on. Seriously, they came within a game of the playoffs in a mediocre division. Assuming their bullpen can’t be that bad again, and having Ryan Church healthy for a full season, if the Mets for the most part keep the status quo they should be better.

2. RMKMets wonders whether all the demoralizing losses have caught up with the Mets.

Answer: I don’t think so. I don’t think that kind of malaise will impact every body, and that there will be enough of a turnover so it won’t happen.

3. PG wonders where Mookie was on Sunday.

Answer: I’ve asked, but was told he couldn’t make it. Nobody would say why.

Sep 29

Manuel all but official ….

Manuel: At his first press conference. He should have another soon.

Manuel: At his first press conference. He should have another soon.

The Mets were 55-38 under Jerry Manuel, a record good enough to bring him back. GM Omar Minaya is meeting with ownership today about Manuel’s contract. An announcement could be made this week, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

Minaya on Manuel: “Jerry did a very good job in a tough situation, overcoming injuries to [John] Maine and Billy [Wagner]. … I was very pleased with the job he did.”

I’ve been saying Manuel should return. Agree? Disagree?