Sayonara, Jerry Manuel: For the Mets, It's Time To Look Ahead
That's it—I'm done.
In fact, I'm well-done, as in overcooked, the same as over-managing.
This is not something new with me. I have been on this tear since Jerry Manuel threw Ryan Church and Daniel Murphy under the bus in Spring Training.
I will say I was a Willie Randolph fan.
Was he the best manager in Mets history? No, not even close, but he was, at least in concept, what this team needed when he was hired.
He came from a Yankee mold under Joe Torre that let the players play the game but they were held responsible for their actions. He wasn't their buddy and he was in the field on a daily basis teaching players how to play the game fundamentally, the correct way.
He played the game the right way. He hustled out of the box and ran hard all the time. He knew how to advance a runner. He knew when the third baseman is charging down the line, you bunted towards the first base side. He knew not to miss a base while circling the base-paths.
I could go on and on.
Every year his team improved and he was unjustly blamed for the 2007 September collapse. He was criticized for his use of the rotation and the bullpen during that time. He was dismissed most unceremoniously just after his team had just beat the best team in baseball at that time, the Los Angeles Angels, in their park two out of three games.
Fast forward to Jerry "Gangsta" Manuel.
The press loved him from day one. Why? Because he gave good sound bytes and gave the media what they wanted. Besides he was a former "Manager of the Year" for the Chicago White Sox.
Wonder why he didn't get another managerial job after he was terminated?
I'll tell you why. The reason he was terminated in Chicago was his misuse of the White Sox bullpen and his inability to get along and motivate veteran players. Not my words. I heard it spoken and verified on XM's MLB morning show this very day.
Less than two weeks ago, I wrote that Jerry was managing the Mets right out of of contention. The overall comments were in disagreement with my assessment. I would venture to say that there might be some different opinions today.
OK. I will not beat this drum anymore today. I want to give you my five best candidates for the opening which will probably not happen but here goes anyway.
No. 1—Buck Showalter
All Buck ever did was create the team that Joe Torre took over in 1995 and win four World Series. Next he built the Arizona Diamondbacks only to watch Bob Brenley win a World Series a year later.
The biggest complaint about Buck is he is a no-nonsense guy. Just what the doctor ordered. Maybe under Buck, Beltran would charge a ball hit in front of him or Wright would become more disciplined and not be fooled by every pitch that has some movement on it.
No. 2—Larry Bowa
Get the feeling I'm seeing a pattern here. Just try not busting down the line and having Bowa waiting for you in the dugout. Trust me they'll run, run and run.
Nobody with the exception of Pete Rose played this game any harder than Larry Bowa and he would have his players back and blast them when they don't perform the way their capable of.
No. 3—Don Mattingly
Another Yankees connection. I'm trying to make up to Stephen (HBOB), inside joke.
Seriously, "Donny Baseball" knows how the game should be played and, as a manager, he wouldn't tolerate anything less.
Both he and Larry would love to be in Queens after the treatment the Skankees gave Joe as well as themselves.
No. 4—Keith Hernandez
Can't and will not happen because Keith has become a gardener and you know those seeds are compelling.
Listening to him every night—he's on the air—has me convinced that he knows the make up of this game better than anyone I have heard on the subject. I actually feel he would be the best by far but as I said, it will not happen.
No. 5—Bobby Valentine
Another choice that will not happen.
Because the Mets ownership never admits that they ever make mistakes. He brought a totally overachieving team to a World Series in 2000.
He would also be the most popular choice of Mets fans as you will see after I post a poll on the matter.
So here you ago. A change has to be made and now is the best time. Wait until Aug. 1 when we are 12-to-15 games out or the end of the season when we've won 72 games and brought us all the way back to 1964.
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