Doug’s Dugout: How Many Managers Does Omar Get To Fire?
In Doug’s Dugout today we discuss: Firing Omar, R.A. Dickey, No-hitters, and other feeble thoughts:
First things first: How many managers and hitting coaches, etc, does Omar Minaya get to fire? The only reason he hasn’t fired Jerry Manuel after that odious West Coast “performance,” is he knows he is tethered at the hip with the Mets skipper.
So, what does he do? Have meetings on the team’s day off pondering which coach should be sacrificed. Namely Howard Johnson. Problem is, HoJo is beloved by the players, especially David Wright and there would be a justified uprising if he was sent home to Florida.
Maybe Minaya should fire himself. For burning bags of cash in the form of Mr. Deadwood, Ollie Perez. Or not fortifying the pitching staff already (starters or bullpen). How many other necks have to be placed on the chopping block before Minaya’s?
The mixed messages continue from this organization; win now or win tomorrow. Which one is it? Johan Santana is not getting any younger and Carlos Beltran never wanted to be a leader. Now he looks like a 33-year old trolling for another contract (problem is, if he continues to produce these numbers the Independent Leagues won’t have him: 6-36, .163 one lone rib).
The numbers don’t lie: The Mendoza line, .195 for the trip (no pun intended); .154 with runners in scoring position (10-65), Jason Bay a no-show (a loud glove and silent bat-.203 3 RBI), four shutouts, and the team struck out 84 times in 388 at bats. The air surrounding The Meadowlands smelled better.
Maybe Omar should bring in a second baseman, such as Kelly Johnson, or make a play for Ricky Weeks, to add some punch. Standing pat is suicide.
Frankly, besides second, there are no other positions on the field that can be upgraded. The team is locked in at the corners, ss, and the outfield. With Rod Barajas on the DL maybe Josh Thole can add some knocks. Here is the problem with the Mets offensively:
They have three core players; Bay, Wright, and Francoeur, who are basically streak hitters. When they are flat strikeouts are on sale. Nothing good happens when you whiff. If you put the ball in play there is a chance for something positive to happen.
In fact, inserting Thole might work for one reason: He is a contact hitter and they are in short supply right now. Even Luis Castillo’s approach is coveted. Really, the bottom line is Jose Reyes has to lead off and make an impact, and Beltran is paid to hit.
I’ve seen more hitting at the bakery number dispenser on a Sunday morning than the Mets hitters displayed out West. It was pathetic and hard to watch.
If only the Mets could clone R.A. Dickey’s heart and transplant into some of their hitters. He gets it. A middle-aged player fighting for his baseball life can’t leave a ballgame because he tweaked something on his body. He had a right to object, and Manuel should have told him, “it’s your career, or what’s left of it.”
If a player is willing to go down in flames, and he’s nearer to collecting social security than a weekly allowance, selfish or not, those are the kind of players I want on my team. Not some guy who waits until New Year’s Day to get cut and jeopardizes his and his team’s season.
Dickey is a gamer and the Mets need more players’ of that ilk. If ever a team was ripe for a bench-clearing brawl, or a beanball incident, the Mets are it. Where is Ray Knight when you need him?
As George Kennedy said to Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke,” ‘you gotta get mad at those Eggs, Luke,”
He was talking about eating 50 hard boiled eggs in 60 minutes. I’m talking about playing with some fire-urgency , as the season slips in the septic system.
It is hard to believe that the Mets (and Padres, born in 1969) are the remaining franchises without one no-hitter on their books. After Matt Garza eliminated the Rays last night in the season’s fourth no-no (five really). Considering the depth and talent of the San Diego staff, it won’t be long before the Mets stand alone in the quirky section of the baseball record books.
Seaver, Ryan, Gooden, and Cone. Not a bad group but had to leave the Mets to record a no-hitter. Even Al Leiter had a no-hitter before he joined the Mets. Then you add Frank Viola, Bret Saberhagen, Pedro, and Santana, to the list.
One day it will happen, but it won’t be by a star pitcher. A nobody will do it-mark my words.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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