The New York Mets: 40 Game Review

Richard Marsh@RichardMarshSenior Analyst IMay 22, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 16:  Manager Jerry Manuel #53 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout during their game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on May 16, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  The Mets won 9-6.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As early as April 10, the Mets' faithful were already starting to pull their collective hair out. It was hoped for and expected that the Mets would get out of the box quickly so they would be right in the hunt immediately and the sting of 2008 could be left in it's wake.

I wrote an article then telling Mets fans to relax it's a long season and we would have a better chance for evaluating them after 40 games or just about one-fourth of the season. I even had a poll to see how many wins the Mets would have after 40 games. Here it is.

Author Poll Results

Mets wins after 40 games.

  • 10-20

  • 20-25

  • 25-30

  • Total votes: 73
A full 89 percent of them predicted that the Mets would have 20 or more wins at least guaranteeing them a record over .500. Good job to them.
If I could have written this report only 6 days ago when the Mets had beaten the Giants on the road for the third straight time and had won 11 out their last 13 games, plus had a record of 21-15 and led the NL East, the content of this report would be quite different.
They lost the infamous "Steve Phillips" game on Sunday Night and went off to the hottest home team in baseball and yours truly went along for his annual trip to LA for the series and yet another trip to Venice Beach. I love that place.
Fortunately, I didn't make it to Monday night's game and just as well since I am one who remembers 1962 and to watch it all over again might have put me totally out of my now misery.
Let's say the only good thing to report about Monday was the impressive performance by Tim Redding. He did well in his first start back and actually deserved a better fate.
The Dodgers on the other hand in the first game certainly didn't look like world beaters and I was sure that the Mets could still leave LA with a series win.
As you know I'm not into re-caps and you all know what happened in the next two games anyway, besides it's different, very different, being there amidst a hostile crowd, (they were so busy hitting a beach ball around and throwing paper planes) they totally ignored my wife and I dressed to the hilt in Mets gear.
So now after 1/4 of the season, the Mets stand at 21-19 behind the Phillies by a game and a half with the resurgent Braves and the never go away Marlins still very much in the race.
Injuries have hit us hard in the last 10 days. Carlos Delgado and his hip won't be seeing action until late July or early August. Alex Cora out eight to 10 weeks or maybe more, and most importantly Jose Reyes going to have his calf examined this weekend in New York.
Seeing him move in warm ups the last two games and watching the play that has brought this to a head, I'm no doctor, but I believe the news out of New York will not be good.
These injuries have done three significant things to the Mets. Maybe more, but these three stand out to me. One, Alex Cora is an extremely bad loss. His leadership and style of play and his ability to be a true utility player is not lost by me.
Two, the farm system for middle infielders particularly at shortstop has been exposed for everybody to see what we have. Absolutely nothing. Tell me who wants Anthony Reyes to be the regular shortstop for an indefinite period of time. I don't.
Third, and this is the biggy for this rant, my opinion of Jerry Manuel's managing skills have diminished so rapidly that I now believe the Mets made a bad decision in bringing him back and a change is necessary as soon as possible.
I am not saying this with panic or without a great deal of thought. Jerry is managing like it's 2008 and is over managing. Case in point, Daniel Murphy. He literally gave Murph the starting left field job three days after the start of Spring Training.
Did he not see that Daniel was like Dr Strangeglove out there? I guess not, his error cost Santana an early win and the mistakes he made have continued well into the first quarter of the season.
Nobody on this club works harder at his game than Daniel Murphy. Despite his troubles in the field he started strong at the plate and was hitting around .320 when Jerry pulled the rug out from under him and started playing him less and less. He was hitting.333 against left-handers with a HR and four RBI's at the time he was pulled.
Now he can't hit a lick because Jerry has screwed him royally. Finally he was put at first base Wednesday night after having Tatis, Reed, Cora and any spare bodies he could find put out there ahead of Murph. All he did there was make no fewer than seven plays, three of them worth a SportsCenter highlight reel.
Next Ryan Church. All he was doing was batting .380 for the first ten games of the season and Jerry pulls him out as well. Lets give the opportunity to 40 year old Gary Sheffield who hit a buck a half for his fist 25 appearances in his place.
Well, Jerry doesn't seem to like Ryan much at all and seems to be hell bent on him not succeeding.
He makes game moves which are so questionable it drives me crazy. I am screaming at the TV not after the result of his moves but before the result is known.
Only one example. It's the ninth inning Wednesday night, the Mets are down 2-1 with Angel Pagan on first after he hits a single off a 97 mph fastball from Jonathon Broxton. So with two out and the game on the line, Jerry has three options remaining.
He could stick with Ramon (all I've done is strike out or ground out in every plate appearance I have had since being called up) Martinez, or two, go with Gary (I'm not feeling well Jerry I have a tummy ache) Sheffield, or the wise third choice, Omir (I have a short stroke so I can handle a real fast pitch) Santos.
I am yelling so hard, the Dodger fans in my section are giving me there beer to shut me up.
So what does our "Gangsta Manager" do, he allows Ramon (I really can't hit) Martinez to do what? Ground out of course and send the Mets on a long flight to Boston where they will face Dice-K, Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield. Wonderful.
40 games, one-fourth of the season the Mets can easily go down one of two roads. They continue to try to patch up their roster with some more over 40 year old players, let Jerry over manage and by September find ourselves mired in fourth place.
The other possibility, let's win this year. Leave Murphy at first, leave Ryan in right. Go out of the system to get a shortstop get Oliver back in tow, leave David and Carlos alone. 
Make a managerial change and perhaps officially name David Wright captain of this team and find away to silence both Steve Phillips and Mike Francesa from ever being allowed to comment regarding the New York Mets.
Look for the halfway point review here as well as on the Mets Police, Dom D's Mets Fan Blog and Take the 7 Train.