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Heyman: Bob Melvin “Almost Assuredly” Would Replace Manuel if Fired

NEW YORK - MAY 09: Manager of the New York Mets, Jerry Manuel walks to the dugout against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on May 9, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Flushing Baseball DailyContributor IMay 19, 2010

It really seems that Mets manager Jerry Manuel’s job status goes as their record goes. He was on the chopping block early, but a 9-1 homestand bought him some time. Now that the Mets have gone from 1st place to last he is back on that chopping block.

To make matters worse, says Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated , the general consensus seems to be that if the Mets did fire Manuel his replacement would “almost assuredly” be former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin.

Here is more from Heyman:

Mets manager Jerry Manuel is under the gun, whether it’s deserved or not. Manuel’s bosses had a close eye on things even before flying to Atlanta Monday to discuss the team’s latest issues. Club owner Jeff Wilpon said he didn’t go to Atlanta to fire anybody, but it’s clear at the very least that Manuel is at the very least under evaluation.

If Manuel goes, the Mets will almost assuredly hire Bob Melvin , the ex-Diamondbacks manager who’s been serving as a Mets’ scout, to replace him. And it’s probably not a good sign for Manuel that everyone seems to know this.

The Mets’ 19-21 record isn’t awful considering they’ve been without Carlos Beltran . But there are concerns that go beyond that mark. Their attendance is down 17 percent, which is the third biggest drop in baseball (behind only Toronto and Cleveland), and it’s to the point where they are handing over Subway Series tickets to the Yankees to fill the stands for games that are normally sold out immediately.

Through it all, Manuel’s retained his perspective and humor. “I’m still here,” he told reporters after emerging from the impromptu meeting.

For how long remains a question.

Thoughts : I’ve said in the past that I don’t necessarily like Manuel to manage this team. He’s a good coach and a great guy to have around, but as manager I feel that he is lacking of the leadership to really motivate this team. The way he handles a pitching staff also comes with a lot of question marks, particularly when it comes to the bullpen.

The thing is, firing him seems like it would only be a quick fix and the Mets in the past I have advocated that they hold off firing the manager until they can start off fresh and fire their general manager as well. That doesn’t appear to be happening though. For now, Minaya’s job seems fine even though for the life of me I don’t know why. The Mets also have a pennant race to try to win. As long as the plan, for now at least, is to keep Minaya around doesn’t mean they shouldn’t also have the best manager fit to help this team win.

Maybe it is time for a change. Is Bob Melvin your man?

Like this post? Want the latest Mets news and rumors? Subscribe to Flushing Baseball Daily via RSS Reader , by Email , Twitter , or Facebook . You can also follow this post's author, Rob Abruzzese , on Twitter.

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