There are so many fire Jerry Manuel post’s out there so I decided to throw up my own reasoning on why Jerry Manuel is not right for the Mets.
He brings absolutely no fire. He always seems like he is about to fall asleep every game. His style of managing clearly isn’t working with this bunch of guys. Only ten games into the season and the team already looks unmotivated and it just feels they are just going through the motions. There has been several terrible baserunning miscues already this year, with the most important one being Tatis getting thrown out at the plate for the last out of the inning with David Wright up. This is just fundamental baseball here, never even chance a third out at the plate with a good hitter up unless you are 100% positive you will make it. Did Tatis get benched at least a game for this? No, Jerry just said “oh well” and starts him at first base the following day. I am not a fan of managers yelling at the players, but sometimes it is called for so they learn.
Jerry makes some of the most interesting lineup choices. Gary Matthews Jr. is getting the majority of the playing time in CF? Are you kidding me? Angel Pagan is a much younger player in the prime of his career. Both players have split the position starting 5 games each, but why even have Gary Matthews Jr. play that much? Not anything against Gary Matthews Jr., but Pagan in my opinion is a better fielder and a more reliable bat in the lineup, not to mention 8 years younger and has many potential years ahead of him. I believe he also relies too heavily on pitch counts when deciding whether to take a pitcher out. Never in my life have I seen a manager take out a pitcher who was as dominant as Oliver Perez was tonight to be taken out because he gave up a infield single and a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning. Sure he threw 97 pitches, but at least you can let him try to finish out the 7th with the shutout in tact instead of bringing in a couple of no-name relievers that end up hitting a man, walking a man and then giving up a grand slam (giving up by Raul Valdes, a pitcher who was signed as a free agent and is playing in his first year in the MLB). It is not just tonight that this has happened, any time a pitcher nears that 100 pitch count (no matter what the circumstances are) he will get pulled. Johan Santana was pulled mid-inning so many times last year that ended up costing him the win, and sometimes gave him a loss because the bullpen just didn’t get the job done.
Lack of fundamental knowledge (or at least lack of playing fundamental baseball). The National League is much different than the American League and stealing bases and bunting is a big part of the NL game. So many times I have seen nobody out and a runner on second, and instead of bunting the man over to third, Jerry will opt to let him swing away, usually leading to an out and no advancement. There is no manufacturing of runs under Jerry Manuel, instead its all about scoring on hits alone.
And finally, actual win-loss percentage is terrible. They are not playing the way a team with the 5th highest payroll should be playing (2nd highest last year). A lot of this can be directed towards the players, but I feel it is the manager’s job to get them fired up and excited to play day in and day out. Jerry Manuel and his laid-back behavior does not do this and most of these players seem they don’t care if they win or not. Jerry Manuel’s record with the Mets so far is 128-137. That’s right, under 500 winning percentage. I don’t know many managers who can keep his job for as long as he has (even though it has only been one full season) with that kind of performance and the amount of talent on the team.
So who is my favorite choice to replace Jerry if (I mean when) he gets fired. The one that comes to mind that every Mets fan will love to see is Bobby Valentine. I know there is a lot of bad blood between the Wilpons and Bobby V, but bringing back Valentine (that is if he wants to come back after the way he was treated the first time) will mean a lot to the fans of the Mets. It will bring excitement back into Citi Field and hopefully will transfer to the players. There’s no denying that Valentine was successful with the Mets. Look at the starting lineup he brought to the World Series in 2000: Benny Agbayani, Edgardo Alfonso, Mike Piazza, Todd Zeile, Robin Ventura, Bubba Trammell, Jay Payton and Kurt Abbott. Side-to-side comparison, the 2010 Mets are a much better team on paper, yet playing no where near the same level that team played. If I was the Wilpon family, I would say bury the hatchet and go after Bobby Valentine, for the sake of Mets fans everywhere.
In any case, do us all a favor and get rid of Jerry Manuel before it is too late.