Here’s something I read this morning by Steve Popper of The Record who also happens to be one of my favorite beat writers covering the Mets.
Steve caused me to chuckle when he started out this morning’s column with a warning to his readers,
I’m going to make the most common sense argument – and one that is going to irritate a lot of Mets fans. The Mets should give Jerry Manuel an extension.
Did you chuckle or did you throw up a little in your mouth? I figure those are the only two reactions that would come from a Mets fans after reading those lines. All kidding aside though, I thought this would make for an interesting Sunday morning debate on MMO. Steve does put up a strong case in defense of an extension, and the idea may not be as crazy as it sounds.
Manuel is managing the team under the pressure that each new day may be his last. It’s not an easy environment to succeed in, and for most managers it almost always is doomed to failure, something Manuel has not allowed to happen.
Steve gives you the long and short of it, and even criticizes Manuel for how he’s dealt with the Jose Reyes injuries, but in his closing argument for an extension, he writes:
So Manuel has shown little patience for struggles of any individual player, desperately trying to mix and match. Mike Jacobs, the opening day cleanup hitter? Gone. John Maine and Oliver Perez? A long shot that you’ll see them again in the rotation. Development of kids? If you can play today, you’re in. Welcome aboard Jenrry Mejia, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada — immediately.
You can’t blame Manuel. But it was a situation that Willie Randolph was in before him.
The only power that a manager has in a players game is longevity — the knowledge that he will be here longer than the player. Today, no one in the Mets’ clubhouse would believe that.
So for Manuel to be able to make the right decision the Mets need to take that out of the equation. If he’s “the Man,” let the team know. Let Manuel know.
Yesterday, I read a few comments from our readers who I know would have a differing opinion on the matter. To add some balance to this argument, I wanted to include a couple of them here in case you missed them.
Tomterif wrote: The upside of what could become a disastrous road trip? Jerry might be canned before coming back to Citi Field. At least I hope the Wilpons are ballsy enough to cut the cord on this guy this late in the season. I’m not wishing for the Mets to have a horrid trip but if it they can lose enough to cost Jerry his job yet still stay in the race, I’ll take it. Anything to get this guy out of here (and Omar too, if he doesn’t come up with anything on the trade front).
Kranepool7 wrote: Is there anyone, players included, that exuded with confidence after seeing the lineup Manuel posted before last nights game? Manuel is a first class moron, and I cant believe you failed to mention him as one of the culprits in your blog. First of all, how do you give your worst offensive player Tejada, the most at-bats by putting him at leadoff? Then, Jason Bay who hasn’t hit a lick in over a month is batting second? I would rather have Thole batting second because throughout his major and minor league career, he has proven to be a pure contact hitter and patient at the plate, a perfect number two.
I wonder how they feel about giving Jerry Manuel an extension?
As for me, I would rather let the season play out before making that decision. I always felt that it was unfair to judge Manuel last season because of the record amount of injuries, and that he deserved at least one full season under somewhat normal circumstances before making the decision to fire him or giving him an extension.