I’m not ready to say it’s time to trade up on Jerry Manuel, but lets just say I’m not his biggest supporter lately.
Has anyone else noticde how he barely gets a chuckle whenever he makes a little joke or delivers a sarcastic response to a reporter, during the post game pressers lately? Not long ago, he would bring the house down after each game, but not anymore.
The comments on this site regarding Manuel, has gone from “I love the gangsta” to “we need Bobby Valentine”. The honeymoon is definitely over.
Despite winning 8 of the last 10 games and having the Mets atop the NL East in first place, Manuel has come under fire lately.
The two losses were games that should have been in the win column. Managerial strategy played a huge factor in each loss.
In the first game of the Atlanta series, Johan Santana deserved a better fate, but most importantly he deserved the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to pitch out of the seventh inning. Instead, the bullpen took over and squandered the lead and the win. Manuel also came under intense scrutiny for leaving Pedro Feliciano in the game against a notorious hitter who tore up southpaws. And that’s exactly what Matt Diaz did.
In the final game of the Atlanta series, Manuel made several head scratching calls, but the most notable was his decision to to have Luis Castillo bunt with Jose Reyes on second base and nobody out in the bottom of the 12 inning with the Mets down by just one run. He traded an out to advance Reyes and also took the bat out of the hands of one of the Mets hottest and most clutch hitters during this streak. It was a fatal move, and though there was no guarantee that letting Castillo swing away would have won the game, the win probability was significantly higher.
Those are just two games that Manuel effected in an adverse way. There are at least a half dozen hours that wreaked of a misplayed managerial hand.
As a person I love Manuel, but from a strategic point of view he has several flaws, and chief among them is his bullpen management, his early hooks, playing favorites with his players, and the one that gets me most is how he over-manages to a fault in one-run games.
Jerry has a big opportunity and has been handed a roster that is bursting at the seams with raw talent, savvy veterans, star power, and the league’s highest payroll.
First place is nice, but we’ve seen this before in the last two years. We demand more from this team, and we deserve more.
On April 30th I wrote that the honeymoon was over, and it certainly is.
Hopefully, Jerry can fix some of these flaws because if he doesn’t, our patience will not last nearly as long as it did for his predecessor.