There’s rampant speculation all over town that Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel may be on their way out the door. Omar’s BFF, Adam Rubin, is reporting that John Ricco may be replacing Minaya when the season’s over (though Omar would probably move on to another position in the organization), while Newsday’s David Lennon ruminates on the possibility that the continuous sloppy play by the Mets could signal the demise of Manuel. So cue up the last five minutes of “Layla,” Goodfellas-style—will we see a frozen Omar dangling in a meat truck? Jerry “Roast Beef” slumped over in a pink Coup de Ville? We’ve already seen Tony “Funny like a clown, I amuse you?” Bernazard get it in the back of the head.
Minaya and Manuel got a “vote of confidence” earlier this season, but that’s due to expire as soon as the last pitch is thrown on October 4th. And with all that’s gone on since that declaration, it doesn’t mean anything anymore anyway. If Ricco takes over for Minaya, does that mean it’s just more of the same old, same old for the Mets?
The Wilpons like to keep things in the family when hiring a new GM, so promoting from within would keep with their philosophy. Ricco is a stats/paperwork/rules guy, as opposed to Minaya’s experience as a scout/talent evaluator. So Ricco would probably need a Gene Michael type to go along with him. Which brings up one of the ongoing issues for this franchise: Are too many people involved in making the decisions?
Would giving the keys to the organization to one person (Billy Beane? J.P. Ricciardi?) and letting him run the show without interference be better for the franchise? Yes. But the Mets are the Mets. You never know, though, Ricco could turn out to be one of the new-generation Moneyball guys that the kids love so much (you know, actually using statistical analysis and computer thingamajigs) and turn the franchise around.
And who would the next manager be if Manuel’s run out of town? There’s a grassroots clamoring to bring back Bobby Valentine now that he won’t be returning to Japan. He’s a between-the-lines genius, but everything else about him—people skills, head games, etc.—gets old quickly. He’s like Billy Martin without the booze. But maybe that’s what this team needs, somebody to kick them in the ass and get them to overachieve instead of constantly underachieving.
Another name that’s been thrown out there is Tony LaRussa. But why would he want to come to New York? And would he be able to work with the Mets owners and front office (whoever it ends up being)?
But whoever the replacements turn out to be, I say let the whackings begin.
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