Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jerry Manuel Jumps The Shark (Officially)

  • Does the Mets hierarchy need to see any more?

Indulge me for a moment.

Your team has lost over 90 games and is going nowhere. Winning two or three more games over the last week of the season is going to do nothing one way or the other to save or lose the job of the manager or coaches. With most organizations----even the Mets----the decision will have already been made. With a 4-3 deficit to the equally horrendous Washington Nationals in Washington and a runner on second base with two outs, why----why----would any manager in his right mind bring in his closer, Francisco Rodriguez, to record one out?

What was the plan for the bottom of the ninth had the Mets tied the game or taken the lead?

Was Mets manager Jerry Manuel going to have the audacity to have K-Rod pitch more than one inning now? Against the Nationals with both teams just running out the clock for the season to end? Was this some self-serving attempt to "win as many games as possible" for no reason whatsoever? The season's gone. Let it go. And to bring K-Rod in for more than one possible inning when: A) he simply isn't good at pitching two innings, nor is he built to pitch more than one inning in anything other than an extraordinary circumstance such as, oh I don't know, a playoff game; and B) the season is over----it's lost----risking any injury to K-Rod now is plain stupid even if not using him is Yankee-level paranoia over the innings and pitches of Joba Chamberlain.

And they lost the game anyway.

I don't want to hear stuff like "we're trying to win"; or "K-Rod hadn't pitched in four days"; or "whatever, whatever, blah, blah, blah". I'd consider shutting K-Rod down completely before I'd use him the eighth inning on the road and obviously plan to use him for more than one inning.

How much more do the Mets need to see?

Let's be pragmatic here. The coaches are going to learn their fate on Monday. It's obvious that the entire staff is either going to be fired or re-assigned within the organization. Does it make sense then to bring back the manager while firing all of his coaches? Logically, the Mets have to ask themselves a series of questions: Are they going to give Manuel a contract extension so he's not a lame duck next season? No. Are they going to fire him early if the club (presumably healthy) gets off to a bad start? Absolutely. Is he making big money to preclude the write-off from firing him now? No.

So why the vacillation?

Bobby Valentine has taken a job with ESPN to work the playoffs and possibly beyond, but there's an out to take over as some team's manager. Are the Mets going to continue down the road they're on and throw more money at their problems? Are they going to let someone else hire Valentine, who belongs in a Met uniform and wouldn't simply be taking the job for the money or because no one else has given him a chance? Or are they going to make a decisive and explosive move to ignite the fan base again, say they mean business and are no longer screwing around? Bottom line, what are the ticket sales going to look like if they bring this current field management team back without doing something drastic in acquiring players?

What more do they need to see to make the move?

  • Speaking of using closers for more than one inning:

Most closers are unable to pitch more than one inning because they've been trained to only pitch one inning. Some teams overuse their closers to their eventual detriment and such appears to have been the case with the Royals, manager Trey Hillman and closer Joakim Soria.

The Royals used Kyle Farnsworth----yes really!----to try and close out a 3-2 lead over the Yankees last night and naturally, Farnsworth found a way to blow the game. (Actually, he pulled a Scott Norwood and kicked it away with two plays that were bounced right back to him and fumbled around like someone had flung a hot piece of charcoal at him.) But that's irrelevant. Farnsworth is what he is. But where was Soria?

One would assume he was unavailable after throwing 46 pitches on Tuesday and the "strategy" that Hillman has used with Soria over much of the second half has been to use him for more than one inning. Eight times since the All Star break has Soria pitched more than one inning. For what? Are the Royals in such a position that they need to be using one of their few marketable assets to such a degree? Add in that Soria has had shoulder problems and the transgression becomes far worse. You not only have your closer unavailable for stretches at a time (hence Farnsworth), but you run the risk of injuring him for subsequent seasons being overworked for a team that's lost 94 games.

Great work.

  • Viewer Mail 9.30.2009:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Sal Fasano:

Poor Sal! And bad Rockies! That post made me even madder about the state of health insurance in this country, but I won't even start blathering about that or I'll...........

You can start blathering. The more we blather, the more we might get done. I spend the majority of my day blathering. It's not such a bad deal. Sometimes I come out with something that makes sense!

Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE Pat Gillick:

I assume that when you say "in some capacity" in regards to Pat Gillick possibly teaming up with the Cubs, that you mean in some capacity other than GM, right? Because the talk around town here is that Hendry ain't goin' anywhere. And I may be wrong, but just judging by Lou Piniella's body language, he's outta Chicago after his contract is up... unless they miraculously put together a great season next year (they won't).

Gillick does not need the time-consuming stress of being a day-to-day GM again (especially for the Cubs), but as club president? I could absolutely see it happening. And he's a smart executive; plus he and Piniella are tight. He'd let Hendry handle the everyday stuff----like getting rid of Milton Bradley. Good luck.

Gabriel writes RE the Blue Jays:

Good reference to Dark Knight. You think that the Blue Jays would care about their "retiring" manager? The organization is a mess, and nobody has interest in being a respectful baseball organization. They're like Rachel Phelps, one would think that with the effort put into making the organization a good baseball club, they want to be moved out of Toronto. I know it might be best for the team to trade Halladay for some arms & bats with value, but come on, don't go with the "We'll let him go because he wants to win". Build the man a good lineup (like in '92 or '93) and see the man shutout his way through a pennant. I'm very disappointed with the lack of effort the Blue Jays have displayed this season.

Gaston would be doing the organization the biggest favor if he retired. It would save them from having to fire him if he refuses to leave. You can't bring in a new GM and dictate to him who the manager's going to be; it's a recipe for disaster and the club really isn't that far away from being pretty good. If they trade Halladay, it'll be due to finances and getting something for him before he ups and leaves after the season as a free agent. The club does seem to have packed it up and gone home, which is the death knell for the management team no matter who they are.

Megan writes RE a managerial candidate for the Mets:

Why can't the Mets promote from within the organization for the managerial position? Mr. Met has been there FOREVER. Give him a shot for Pete's sake. All Mr. Met has received is a mug with Rusty Staub's face on it and Certificate of Merit for his years of service.

I doubt Mr. Met needs the aggravation of dealing with Jose Reyes and Oliver Perez. He might start smoking and drinking again. And he tends to get a big head if things go well. Or poorly for that matter.

1 comment:

She-Fan said...

I think it's time for you to take to the airwaves, Prince, and start talking up your Valentine for Manager campaign. Get that internet radio show on the air - now!