And The Award For The 2010 Mets Whipping Boy Goes To…

An article by posted on October 4, 2010

He’s a terrible manager. He burns out the bullpen. He hooks the starters too quickly. The players don’t respond to him. There’s dissension in the clubhouse. He’s lost control of the team. He needs to go. Once we get rid of him things will improve.

No, I’m not talking about Jerry Manuel. I heard these same comments leading up the heavily anticipated firing of Willie Randolph. I thought once we got rid of Willie we would be champions. So we did. And son of a gun–not a thing changed. At first, we were ready to throw Jerry Manuel his own ticker tape parade. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. The Mets folded in September 08 under Manuel, just like they did in September 07 under Randolph. Then we followed that up with 2 consecutive 4th place finishes, a combined 41 games out of 1st.

I’ve never been a big fan of Manuel and I will not be sorry to see him go. But on the other hand, this team has many deep seeded issues and replacing the manager will not solve all of them. Granted, it may be a step in the right direction but I don’t see things improving. It will take years and I don’t see our fan base willing to wait.

Taking baby steps helps, but not when you’re climbing Mount Everest.

Omar Minaya came to NY as one of the most respected men in baseball. He leaves with his reputation tarnished–tarnished by the fans, by the media and by a megalomaniacal boss. Omar made some bad decisions during his time in NY. The signing of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo will be his legacy that fans crucify him for. But he also put the pieces in place to give us a damn good chance to win. He locked up the future, Wright and Reyes, to long term contracts. He brought in 5 tool superstar Carlos Beltran for 7 seasons in the prime years of his career. He brought in veterans like Carlos Delgado who wanted to win. And Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine who knew how to win. He shocked us all by snagging Johan when no one thought it was possible. And when we needed a closer, he gave us K-Rod after his record setting season.

Hindsight can always be 20/20. But Omar did exactly what a GM was supposed to do: He loaded the gun. The Mets just fired blanks.

Overspending on Castillo and Perez were mistakes. But keep in mind it’s still the Wilpon’s decision to pull the trigger or not. It’s the Wilpons who sign the paychecks, not Minaya.

I hope I’m wrong but I just cant “believe” that once we get rid of Minaya and Manuel things will improve. Johan will miss a good chunk of time next year, we have no closer, Beltran and Reyes may be on borrowed time. And as of right now, our ace next year may very well be a 36 year old knuckle-baller.

At this moment, I’m sure Omar and Jerry are staring at the clock more then Jack Bauer. I’m sure once we get rid of them, things will improve tenfold, hundredfold maybe. Just like they did when we got rid of Willie Randolph…or Aaron Heilman…or Braden Looper…or Rick Peterson…or Armando Benitez.

Although the 2010 Mets increased their win total by 9, 5th most in the majors this season, Jerry Manuel will be gone. The man who replaces him will be our 20th manager. 20 managers in 49 seasons.

And Omar will be gone, too. He will leave NY beaten and defeated and his reputation in question. But he will most likely be hired quickly by another organization. And while the Mets continue to wander aimlessly in the forest of mediocrity, Omar will be building a winner. A few years from now I predict he will be standing in a clubhouse, champagne spraying on his $2500 suit. He will be standing on a dais alongside a manager, an owner and the commissioner. And what will we be doing? Probably pointing the finger at someone else, finding the next poster boy for everything that is wrong with this team.

We seem to be quite adept at pointing fingers and making excuses. But while we use our fingers to point–or voice our disgust at the Wilpons–other players are putting World Series rings on theirs.

About the Author ()

A Mets fan since 1973, Rob was born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Luckily, his parents moved to Queens at a young age so he was not scarred by pinstripes. Currently living in Las Vegas, he writes crime fiction and mysteries.

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