This is not a knee jerk reaction after last night’s horrible defeat. Last season after Willie Randolph was fired and Jerry Manuel took over I thought it was the right decision. As the Mets tried to make the playoffs last season I was really impressed with Jerry Manuel. When the Mets lost on the last day of the season I was hoping that Jerry would have been given a new contract for this season and was happy once it was announced that Jerry would be coming back to manage the Mets.
The Jerry Manuel we saw last year is not the same we have seen this season. One of the things I looked forward to was his press conference following the game. They were full of life, his comments were interesting. This year not so much. He reminds a lot of Willie Randolph now during his press conferences. He looks disinterested, he repeats himself from the previous day. SNY could air the press conference from a week ago and it would sound the same as tonight’s.
This season Manuel is really messing with his players’ heads and put them in the doghouse, even though according to Jerry he doesn’t have one. Ryan Church is an ideal player. He plays hard in the field, he was hitting at the plate and he runs out balls that are hit in play. Jerry Manuel for some unknown reason did not like those traits in Ryan Church. It started in Spring Training when Manuel let Church know that he was going to possibly platoon with Fernando Tatis. Earlier this season so while Church was hitting everything thrown at him Jerry Manuel benches him for a couple of games. Then Church comes back, continues hitting and for some reason Manuel again will sit him down but when it’s time to put Church back in the lineup he bats him 8th. Former Met Ramon Castro was another guy who Manuel liked to mess with. Who can forget Jerry having Omir Santos come out of the bullpen while Castro was walking to the plate and pinch hit for him in the bottom of the 9th inning, guys on base and the Mets trailing with 2 outs?
Daniel Murphy is also a guy who Manuel has put in his doghouse. Murphy playing the outfield was a mistake. An utter failure. Jerry Manuel in Spring Training decided to make Murphy his everyday left fielder even though that was not his natural position. All through Spring Training Manuel praised Murphy’s ability to hit, citing how patient he was the plate and his ability to hit against left handed pitchers. Murphy’s play in the outfield caused the Mets several games but Jerry refused to take him out of the lineup. Carlos Delgado gets hurt, Murphy gets worse in the outfield and Jerry finally sees the light and admits the experiment with Murphy was a failure. Daniel Murphy was going to be moved to 1st base and you know what? He’s been pretty impressive at 1st base. He’s made some good plays. Unfortunately his bat isn’t what we all thought it would be. Murphy is no longer hurting us with his defense but Jerry decides to take him out of games now when everyone else is banged up. Murphy last week had a big homerun, the next day Jerry takes him out. It seems to me that Jerry is a little angry at Murphy after Murphy failed in the outfield. Jerry stuck his neck out for Murphy and Murphy couldn’t play the outfield so Jerry decided to punish him.
Last week Fernando Martinez made is much awaited major league debut. This was a game when he hit a weak pop up to the catcher and didn’t run the ball out. The catcher dropped the ball but still had time to recover and throw F-Mart out at first. Jerry decided to leave Martinez in the game. In his post game he said it was a big mistake and that he would talk to F-Mart later. That was the end of it he said. Next game F-Mart is for some reason sitting on the bench but it’s not because of the previous game. I think that Jerry should have taken F-Mart out of that game as a punishment and that would have been the end of it. F-Mart needs to play everyday while he’s up from the minors. To start messing with a 20 year old’s head is wrong Jerry, it’s wrong!
Last season when Jerry took over Jose Reyes challenged him on his first night as manager when Jerry wanted to take Jose out after he came up lame running to 1st base. Jerry got in his face, told Reyes to get off the field and go sit down on the bench. The players seemed to respond to Jerry after this. They also played hard for him all last season. This season that’s not the case. I mentioned the F-Mart incident already but last night once again it happened. For some reason these guys refuse to run out ground balls. They refuse to slide when they obviously should. They are not running out of the box hard enough and instead of getting a triple they’re on second in a game they trail.
Now it’s too early to call for Jerry’s job. The Mets are still good in the standings. I just feel that Jerry needs to change the way he’s managing this team. He’s playing with a banged up team and they have done a good job. Jerry needs to be the same Jerry we saw last year, not this Jerry. He needs to get in these guys faces and tell them the gangsta is back and will not take this kind of lazy play. He needs to reward guys who play well and not pick his favorites. Only then will the Mets be a winning team. Right now if the Mets did fire Jerry I wouldn’t mind it all the much even though I would be worried who would take his place. I doubt that the Mets will fire another manager mid season after the way everything went down with Willie Randolph. If Jerry continues to manage this way I wouldn’t mind it if he doesn’t come back next year. Jerry please bring the gangsta back!