Manuel Has To Act, Or Else It Will Be More Of The Same

An article by posted on May 29, 2009

After Gary Sheffield was nailed at the plate, at what he assumed was a home run by Daniel Murphy on Thursday night-assumed being the operative word, it might behoove all of the Mets to bust it on balls that carom off the quirky Citi Field walls.

To be a home run, or not to be a home run. That is the question, that only television cameras can address. Yes, the Mets are five-for-five on the winning ledger, but you know the first nay is going to create a ground swell of bloody murder in Met Land.

In the interim, can Messers, Sheffield and Reyes, et al, just put their heads down and sprint the remaining 180 feet, please. Is that too much to ask in the 21st century? That players run hard on the base paths? Obviously, this epidemic has trickled down through the Mets farm system, evidenced by Fernando Martinez’ vapor lock on a pop-up near home plate.

Hey, Fernando, if you want to watch, then buy an (expensive) ticket behind home plate and sit down. Otherwise, bust it down the line like (some) of your teammates. We’ve said since the inception of the season, that little mistakes lead to defeats, and you can only shoot yourself in the foot so many times before you are hospitalized come October.

Do the Mets really want to risk playing for their lives again in the waning moments of the season?

If they want to make it to the post-season for the first time since 2006, then running hard at all times might be a capital idea. Maybe Jerry Manuel might want to make a statement and embarrass one of his players who embarrass him. It worked for Gil Hodges (removing Cleon Jones in mid-inning for not hustling after a fly ball) once, and I recall 1969 being a banner year.

Let’s leave the hemming and hawing to the umpires, the wacky bounces to the walls of Citi Field, and the final word to television monitors housed in the bowels of the new park. Otherwise, any ball headed for the fence, please run rapidly.

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