The New York Mets just finished a very unsuccessful and disappointing 2009 campaign. It was definitely not the type of season that the Mets had in mind to open up Citi Field in Flushing. Looking back at the season the blame can be put on anyone.
Well respected baseball writer Bob Klapisch said it best: "The Mets clearly willing to blame 2009 entirely on injuries, don't see the obvious need for culture change. You could start with the manager." After such a horrible year for the Mets, many fans are calling for Jerry Manuel's head on a silver platter this offseason, along with Omar Minaya's. Minaya has not been as successful as the general manager compared to when he first started and has begun to shown signs of weakness.
But Manuel showed to a lot of the baseball world that he is not capable of managing in a big city like New York. Both Minaya and Manuel are both on the hot seat this winter. Minaya could save his own job by firing Manuel. He could replace him with a face that Mets fans love, Bobby Valentine's.
Valentine's return New York would be a great sign of change for the New York Mets. Valentine recently announced that he was leaving his managerial job in Japan to return to the United States as a broadcaster for ESPN. Seriously, who believes that former Mets general manager Steve Phillips and Bobby Valentine are going to get along at ESPN? Phillips fired Valentine in 2002 after a very bad relationship.
Valentine recently said that he is willing to return to Flushing if the Wilpons decide to give him a call. Valentine brings playoff experience to the table. Valentine led the Mets to a World Series appearance in 2000. Many baseball analysts call him one of the smartest managers to be part of the game in the last two decades. Over the last few years he has been able to learn baseball from both sides of the world. The former Mets skipper was able to learn first-hand most of the fundamentals in baseball in Japan.
If one were to look at the the New York Mets' lineup late this year, it looked like the Buffalo Bison were playing at Citi Field. The franchise was plagued with injuries this year, which caused them to use players from the minor leagues that had very little knowledge of how to play small-ball. Valentine is able to teach players how to really play smart baseball on certain occasions.
Valentine brings great character to a ball club where charisma was missing with Jose Reyes' absence. Take a look at the New York Yankees clubhouse. It has a feel good environment and a laid back atmosphere. Remember those days when Valentine disguised himself to get back into the game. Imagine a team where a player can have the same type of fun with his manger as he has with another player. Team chemistry helps win games.
What are the New York Mets waiting for? They should give fans the head of Jerry Manuel, served the way they please and immediately get Bobby Valentine on the phone negotiating a contract. C'mon Omar Minaya, your job is on the line. At least get Bobby Valentine on speed-dial.
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