Crossroads: Time For a Players Only Meeting

An article by posted on May 21, 2010

You always hear about struggling teams calling a “players only meeting,” right before they fall off the cliff. If you have the right people in the clubhouse, this moment can make or break your season. 

I’m of the belief that you don’t call a player’s meeting unless you have your #1 or #2 starting pitchers going that night. This way if something doesn’t click in the meeting, you still have the artificial result by 1 great performance by say a Johan Santana or Mike Pelfrey. 

I have a strange confidence in Hisanori Takahashi though. No, I don’t think he’s an ace, but I think he’s a competitor. I don’t expect him to lay an egg out there tonight. 

This series with the Yankees begins a 6 game stand in which the 2010 Mets season is on the line. If the Mets don’t at least come out of these 6 games with 3 wins, I think that will seal the fate for this entire coaching staff, possibly Omar Minaya and eventually some of the veterans on this team. Sure, it’s only May, but these are the two teams that the fan base and the organization expect you to perform at your very best for. 

Oliver Perez & John Maine in my opinion are putting themselves first and the team second. The problem I think with Jerry & his staff is they don’t seem to police the players. The players need to start policing themselves. 

I heard Ron Darling this morning on WFAN, and what he said rang true in my ears. The players on this team need to tell Oliver Perez to take the minor league assignment get better and come back for what hopefully can be a stretch run to the playoffs.

John Maine has come out early twice now this season, once because of his non-pitching arm and now yesterday because he didn’t have it from the start of the game. To me, last night was about effort for Maine. He may have said he was good to go, but he looked like a little league pitcher who cries on the mound because he can’t get anybody out, so he claims he’s injured. That is likely what Jerry saw, and I applaud Jerry for not even letting Maine try and talk his way out of it. 

This team seems to be getting in their own way mentally. Whether it is David Wright striking out more than Mike Jacobs, Jose Reyes flying out more than Willie Mays Hayes, or Oliver Perez refusing to put the team before his ego. 

This is the turning point for this franchise. Jerry, Warthen, Hojo etc. have done all that they can up until this point. Now it’s up to the guys who make the money. Do they want Jerry to be here next week? Everybody says they love playing for him. Well, you either show up this week, or say hello to Bob Melvin. 

So while I doubt it would happen, I hope that tonight before the Mets game, we hear about the players calling a closed door players only meeting and hand the ball to Takahashi, and don’t let the Yankees or Phillies have a say in who manages your team in 2010.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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