At 3-7 the Mets are currently sitting in last place and so far there is no good reason to expect them to dig themselves out of the basement anytime soon. Even their manager has called them unprepared.
So how’s fault is this? Well I’ve blamed Jerry Manuel and so have quite a few others, but recently the players, and his possible replacement, have come to his defense.
From Mets outfielder Jeff Francoeur :
“To say that four guys are unhappy, that’s crap,” Francoeur said . “We’re behind Jerry. It’s 10 games into the season. For people to be questioning everything he does is ludicrous.”
“When a guy attacks your manager, you get pissed off,” he said. “To say we’re unhappy, that’s just stupid. That’s the whole feeling here. You can ask everybody in here.”
From former Met manager Bobby Valentine :
“I don’t see that as being part of my future,” said Valentine yesterday . “The Mets are 3-6, It’s nine games. I mean, let’s not get crazy here. I think Jerry—I talked to him a few times during spring training—is up for the task.”
“You know, I think that he has a tough road to hoe, there’s no doubt about it, and he’s got to keep his head abo
ve water until his center fielder comes back,” Valentine said, referring to Beltran, who remains in Florida, rehabbing from
offseason right knee surgery. “And obviously he has to get that pitching staff in shape."
“But I don’t see that as being part of my future as we’re speaking here.”
Thoughts : I’ve never really thought that Manuel was a big part of the problem here in Flushing, but to hear that this team was not prepared at this point in the season looks very bad on the manager. Also, Jenrry Mejia is not properly prepared for the big leagues and it has often been cited as the reason he is here, and in the bullpen, at this point in his career.
So while I don’t think Manuel is not the biggest problem, he is certainly at least part of the problem. Should the Mets replace him? Yes, but to do it now seems a bit premature. Although I don’t expect him to turn it around, this is about as tough a job as there is in baseball right now. Throwing somebody else into the fire at this point would be unfair.
The Mets would probably be best served to replace their manager and general manager at the same time to get a fresh start. Since I don’t think they’ll fire Minaya before the season is over there is no sense firing Manuel now. Especially if the team is behind him, and it sounds like they are, replacing him now might just create unjustified tension and put a new manager in a no win situation.