Mets Merized Online » bob melvin Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:04:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Avenging Angel: Will Botched Call Pave Way For Centralized Review? Thu, 09 May 2013 17:43:56 +0000 Angel Hernandez, Bob MelvinSusan Slusser of the SF Gate reported this morning on a botched call that resulted in Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s being tossed kicking and screaming from a game against Cleveland last night for arguing after a home run review didn’t go his way.

With two outs in the ninth, Adam Rosales hit a drive to left field that seemed to clearly hit a railing above the edge of the wall tying the game, yet somehow, crew chief Angel Hernandez ruled that there was “not enough evidence” to overturn the call. Apparently, actually seeing the ball clear the wall, is not enough.

”Everybody else said it was a home run, including their announcers when I came in here later,” a miffed Melvin said. ”I don’t get it. I don’t know what the explanation would be when everybody else in the ballpark knew it was a home run.”

”Clearly, it hit the railing. I’m at a loss, I’m at a complete loss,” Melvin added.

Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal are both calling for resumption of the game from the point in the ninth inning where Rosales tied it 4 – 4. While the chances of this happening are slim, MLB will likely offer some consolation in the form of an “official statement” … there may even be a “policy review.”

The term that’s being knocked around a lot this morning in light of this astonishingly bad call, is “centralized review.” Central review is similar to what is employed in the NHL, involving a team of officials monitoring a video bank (most likely in N.Y.) with access to all the video feeds of all in-progress games.

During the off-season MLB also agreed to test two advanced replay systems live during games, a radar-based system and a camera-based system, similar to the ones used in tennis for down-the-line fair-or-foul calls. Yankee Stadium and our very own Citi Field were chosen as guinea-pig parks for these systems, which have apparently already been installed.

So my question is, where were these systems during the botched call in the ninth inning the other night? In fact, where are these systems period? I don’t see them, are they so advanced they have “stealth” capabilities? Is the box that Buck crashed into last week that prevented him from making a play in foul territory part of these systems? Are they supposed to interfere with players that way? How are they testing these systems? Is there a team of officials umpiring certain games in a video room and comparing their results with the rulings on the field? A digital domain, if you will, where the alternate umps officiate in real time only instead of wearing black outfits they’re dressed in blue spandex dotted with blinking LED lights … Maybe instead of popcorn and hotdogs they snack on couscous and baby carrots …

In 2012, Ken Rosenthal, in the midst of his little conniption over Santana’s no-hitter, reported that commissioner Bud Selig remains wary of slowing down games for fear of a “robotization” that may eventually extend to balls and strikes. Robotization, yep, that’s the word he used … Bud Selig is afraid of a robot takeover. Can you imagine? A terminator-series cybernetic umpire? Hasta la vista Bob Melvin.

One thing is clear, in an age where video review is everywhere, where anything out of the ordinary can end up on Youtube in a nanosecond, MLB is well behind the curve.

The purists will tell you the game doesn’t need to be changed, but there is a growing consensus that technology has improved to such a degree that the game would be improved dramatically with the addition of these technological assets.

I’m all for it … in fact I don’t see what would be so difficult about equipping umpires with some high resolution 12 inch tablets with direct links to all the video feeds. Umpires could watch the game as it happens … shucks, they wouldn’t even have to be at the game, they could officiate from the comfort of their living rooms thereby also avoiding any potential bodily harm from fan riots.

Thoughts from John Delcos

There’s arrogance. There’s blind arrogance. And, there is Angel Hernandez arrogance, which by the way, incorporates a little bit of the blind.

bob melvin angel hernandez

Another night, another blown call, but Hernandez’s last night in Cleveland was compounded by his bullish behavior afterward, which should be met with swift and forceful action by Commissioner Bud Selig.

“Probably the only four people in the ballpark,’’ Oakland manager Bob Melvin said about the umpire’s non-reversal.

Replays clearly showed the ball struck a metal railing over the padded outfield wall. More to the point, after striking the railing, the ball ricocheted as you know it would when it strikes metal. Umpire supervisor Jim McKean told ESPN.

Hernandez, using the umpire’s stock get-out-of-jail-free card, said: “It wasn’t evident on the TV we had and it was a home run. I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there is 100 percent evidence and there wasn’t 100 percent evidence.”

Hernandez clearly didn’t want the interview recorded because he could come back and claim he was misquoted. The quote the reporter acquired the old fashioned way was damning enough.

The umpires use the same camera angle used in the broadcasts and have additional cameras. To suggest the reporters had different camera angles is absurd, not to mention a fabrication.

Hernandez was trying to cover up his own ineptitude with an outlandish story. Clearly, he blew the call, threw dirt on the system used to correct mistakes, and compounded his failure by refusing the interview to be recorded and his arrogant answer.

The ball now is in Selig’s court, and with his powers “to act in the best interest of baseball,’’ his reaction should be swift.

The call should be reversed – to hell with it being in the umpire’s judgment – with the game resumed after the home run. Any fines for Melvin and Rosales should be rescinded.

As for Hernandez, he must be fined and suspended for his actions. Selig needs to come down hard on Hernandez. Really hard. And, in the future, any attempt by an umpire to bully reporters by preventing interviews to be recorded should be met with similar punishment.

]]> 0
Klapisch: Mets Press Conference On Tuesday Fri, 19 Nov 2010 00:20:17 +0000

According to Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record, the Mets have told SNY to be at Citi Field on Tuesday for a press conference.


Here is a collection of facts, quotes, etc. from all four managerial candiadtes that were taken after each of their second interviews yesterday and today. I also threw in my projected odds for each one getting the job.

Sandy Alderson reminded reporters that he will make an announcement no later than Sunday or Monday, and that a press conference at Citi Field could happen on Tuesday.

“I’m confident with what will take place over the next two or three days,” Alderson said. “I’m confident we will get to a decision within the next two or three days, without characterizing where we are at this moment.”

Here are the final four candiates.

Wally Backman 

What We Know – Fiery and intense personality, plenty of lower level managing experience, led Brooklyn Cyclones to division title, winning attitude, his players would go through a wall for him, some baggage, but has kept his nose clean or a few years. Could manage Port St. Lucie if manager job falls through for him.

You Can Quote Them - “He really cares about the game. He really cares about his players. And he cares about winning.  know he’s been through some tough times, but he is seriously one of the best guys I’ve ever met in baseball. He helped me out a ton.” - Dan Uggla

Odds – 15:1

Terry Collins

What We Know - Experience, patience, Mets minor league field coordinator, highly regarded by the Mets owners. managed Astros and the Angels compiling a combined 444-434 record, lost clubhouse as Angels skipper, had a DUI 10 years ago but has been open about it..

You Can Quote Them - “I’ve been very, very lucky in the fact that I had a chance to coach and manage in the major leagues. So I feel like I have good idea what it takes to play there.”

Odds – 20:1

 Chip Hale

What We Know - Fiery personality and highly regarded mangerial prospect, served as Mets third base coach, managed Arizona’s Triple-A team from 2004 to 2006, won the Pacific Coast League and Triple-A championships, he knows the Mets players and may stick as a coach if he doesn’t get the managers job.

You Can Quote Them - “I’m glad I got a chance to come and talk to them again.” Clearly, Chip Hale is a man of few words.

Odds – 50:1

Bob Melvin

What We Know - Professional, low key guy, big on fundamentals, managed the Mariners and Diamondbacks posting a combined 493-508 record, named NL Manager of the Year in 2007. Served as a scout for the Mets this past season. Has been gaing steam and considered the front runner now.

You Can Quote Them - “I don’t look at it as a rebuilding process. I look at it as we have the pieces here with this club to compete. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Every offseason you look to tweak a little bit and make some changes if you think there were deficiencies the year before, but that’s not unlike anywhere else. Certainly with the payroll this team has it gives you enough resources to be able to compete every year.”

Odds – 15:1

]]> 0
It’s Down To The Wire And The Waiting Is The Hardest Part Thu, 18 Nov 2010 07:00:16 +0000

There is plenty of interesting news and notes circulating around the Mets blogosphere for you to sort through this morning, so I’ll try to get all of you caught up as best as I can.

Lets begin with this poll Matt Cerrone conducted on MetsBlog that asked the $64,000 dollar question.

Obviously that is some pretty overwhelming evidence of who most Mets fans want to see as the next manager of the NY Mets, and according to Sandy Alderson, we could find who that person will be by this Sunday or Monday.

“I think it is important that one have time to reflect, but I don’t think we need to sleep on this for a week and a half.  In fact, I think you get less effective at some point if you wait too long.  I think that we should be in a position to make a decision Sunday/Monday, I would think.  I don’t think there’s any reason why we can’t do that.”

As I posted yesterday, there is no clear front-runner as per Alderson and company, but there’s no shortage of hunches and opinions in the media. Clearly, Terry Collins has enjoyed front-runner status for the better part of two weeks, but I sense a disturbance in the force and Bob Melvin is really gaining some steam.

Jon Heyman says: ”I’m not reporting this as fact, but I think Bob Melvin will win the Mets manager derby.”

Rich Couthino says: “Reading between the lines you get the sense Bob Melvin will be the next Met Manager.”

With Bob Melvin and Chip Hale completing their interviews on Wednesday, the other two finalists, Wally Backman and Terry Collins, are on the docket for this afternoon. Then it will be 48 hours of chilling out and waiting for the final verdict. But as the song says, “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part”. Enjoy this cover from the great Eddie Vedder.

]]> 0 Mets Managerial Search Isn’t A Fair Race. Thu, 18 Nov 2010 00:44:47 +0000 Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported today that the managerial “search” is more of a formality:

I guess Hale, in particular, has a chance to throw a Hail Mary and get the job. But this is as close to a rigged event as possible with Collins as the favorite and Melvin as a very in-the-competition second choice.

If this is in fact the situation, then why is it taking so long to declare a manager and then assess the roster from that point forward?

The Mets and their public relations team have made a valiant effort to keep the fanbase informed on every move, but I think in some cases what the fanbase really wants is to know the new manager of the New York Mets and restore some hope and faith in the culture of the clubhouse. The two managerial hopefuls are both well-liked by the Three Headed Front Office, and it would really be difficult to see Hale or Backman fly ahead of these two guys. Both Melvin and Collins have MLB experience with varying degrees of success, and maybe the outside chance candidates are being groomed to be bench coaches for the Mets.

How this affects the overall offseason plan is fairly obvious. Sandy Alderson wants to run the team and have the manager to do just that – manage his players. But knowing which manager is in place makes a major difference because the whole coaching staff could change at a manager’s preference.

The decision should be made hopefully within the next three days, since second interviews are wrapping up soon. The front office overhaul has already begun the change. Now bringing in a manager who will instill the beliefs of the organization and hard work is the primary concern from this point forward.

Let’s just hope they hire the right guy, because all the cards have been falling into place for a franchise reboot without the rebuilding period.

]]> 0
I Love Backman, But… Tue, 16 Nov 2010 03:58:36 +0000 I won’t sugar coat things for you (as if you’ve ever worried about the Coop doing that)…I LOVE Wally Backman.  LOVE HIM.   When My Summer Family was still in operation, I wrote a piece called “Backman is the Answer.  What was the Question?“  This detailed why I was upset that the Mets didn’t at least interview him in 2004, before they went on a comedy of errors hiring Willie Randolph to his muddled firing to ending with Jerry Manuel.  In summation, I said that Backman may not have major league experience, but he’s endearing to Mets fans and most of all, on a young team, he’d really be a great molder of young minds.

Some things came out recently that raised some questions for me.  A piece by Bitter Bill himself, Bill Price, who said that the Mets are playing it safe, and subsequently wrong, with Backman.  I couldn’t disagree with that philosophy.  After all, I feel like Wally Backman, despite his qualifications being limited to just minor league and independent league management, is the right candidate for the way the Mets are constructed right now, with a lot of young talent and veterans who have not taken the leadership reigns who would be receptive to plans.   MetsMerized Online’s own Hojo’s Mojo wrote in response to a Joel Sherman piece about that very aspect, that Backman was not a candidate because Sandy Alderson has reservations about hiring a first-time major league manager especially in New York (same goes for Chip Hale, who may return in a capacity as a coach next season).

Now, I disagree with that philosophy wholeheartedly, if we are to judge Backman simply on that aspect of his candidacy.  The “frontrunners” the media assumes are Terry Collins, Clint Hurdle and Bob Melvin, and with Jose Oquendo, a coach seemingly forever with the Cardinals organization but again with no major league management experience, emerging as a dark horse candidate.  It seems there are inconsistencies lying in that method of thinking.  If Backman is not a good candidate because of his lack of major league management, then why is Oquendo’s deemed okay?  If we are to worry about Backman’s domestic disputes and run-ins with the law, then why, as Joe Janish wrote on Mets Today earlier, is Collins’ DUI in 2002 suddenly brushed under the rug?  Clint Hurdle has had down years as a manager in Colorado but can be easily swept away because it’s a smaller market and he did bring them to the playoffs twice.  As for Melvin, yawn.

I could go on and on arguing in favor of Backman, but I won’t.  It’s not because I don’t love him or not want him to manage the Mets next year or for that fact, ever.  It’s because of our emotional attachment to him.  Do we really want Backman to take the reigns of a team that is clearly in a rebuild mode at this time?

It’s nothing knocking his ability to manage.  I believe he played in New York, played on a bruising and brawling and one of the most beloved teams in New York sports history and can handle the pressures of it.  However, this is not the South Georgia Peanuts where a loss is taken in stride, and the overall team is looked at as well-run.  This is the Mets, with the media salivating at the prospect of them not doing well, and finding a scapegoat each time the team loses.  Again, I think Backman can handle that.  But can we, as fans, watch the Mets potentially be a .500 team at best next year, and give Backman the benefit of the doubt?

It may not seem like an issue, but it could be for me, as a fan.  I’d want Backman to succeed, but I also know that deep down, the manager doesn’t win the games, the team does.  On the other hand, we’ve seen demonstrated by the likes of Jerry Manuel and Willie Randolph that a manager can lose a few games without a good strategy for the team.  That’s what has been lacking over the last six years.  I think we can all break bread in agreement on that.

We’ve also seen that the ties to the ’86 team can be both a blessing and a curse.  While Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez are enjoying their Mets renaissance as broadcasters for SNY, Howard Johnson has taken his lumps in the media from bloggers and beat writers alike about how being an ’86 Met means you don’t get ’86ed from the team, ever (just reassigned).  That’s fair.

We all know that fairly or not, when a manager of a New York team has a string of bad luck, he gets hammered in the media to the extent that he is ultimately driven out of town.  Conversely, praised for doing nothing.  Look at Joe Torre.  One of the Mets’ worst managers (due to having a poorly constructed team) and beloved now because of his run with the Yankees.  When he turned down a contract offer that brought him to Los Angeles after the 2007 season, he was seen as a failure by some because the Yankees hadn’t won a World Series in seven consecutive seasons, though making it to the playoffs each of those years.

One can’t win in New York, unless of course you are.  The Mets and Sandy Alderson in particular are taking their time to make sure the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed so that the Mets have a long-term recipe for the success.

No one wants Wally Backman to manage this team more than I do (well, maybe Backman himself wants it too).  Right now, I want what’s best for the team and perhaps our emotional attachment to Backman might cloud our judgments going forward if he were the manager.  I just hope that if true that he won’t be considered for the position any longer, than he does stay in the system.  Most players who have played for him would take a bullet for him.  If he can mold young talent at the minor league level to showcase on the big team, I can be happy with that too.

]]> 0
What If The American Idol Judges Chose The Next Mets Manager? Mon, 15 Nov 2010 11:17:46 +0000 The Mets have interviewed a number of internal and external candidates in the hopes of finding a new manager to replace the departed Jerry Manuel.   There have been many rumors and speculation about who that man will be.   New Mets GM Sandy Alderson has stated that he would like the new manager in place within the next few weeks, but has given no word as to who he’s leaning towards as his choice.

So who should be the next Mets manager?   There are many candidates, but only one will be the next manager.  Perhaps we should have the judges at American Idol handle the interviews, since they are “experts” at deciding who in America has talent.   Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, the floor is all yours.

Randy: Who’s our first candidate?

Steven: I believe it’s Bob Melvin.

Randy: Mr. Melvin.

Bob Melvin: Hi, I’m Bob Melvin.  I’ve managed the Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks, winning 93 games in 2003, which was my first season in Seattle, and 90 games for Arizona in 2007.  In fact, when my Diamondbacks finished 90-72 in ’07, that represented the best overall record in the National League.

J-Lo: I like that team, the Diamondbacks.   You know, I’ve got back too, and it’s worth more than a diamond.

Randy: Sweet sassy molassy, girl!

Bob Melvin: I don’t know what that means, but did I get the job?

Steven: We’ll get back to you.  Right now, I want to talk about Jennifer’s back.

Randy: That’s a lot of back.  Speaking of back, our next candidate is Wally Backman.

Steven: Actually, I heard he’s no longer a candidate.

J-Lo: Why not? I remember liking him when I was a Fly Girl.

Randy: You’re still fly, girl.

J-Lo: Ay, Papi!

Steven: We can continue this discussion later, but right now let’s talk about Joe Torre.   He’s had an incredible managerial career, winning four championships with the Bronx Bombers and then leading the Dodgers to consecutive NLCS appearances.

J-Lo: Did you say Bronx Bombers?  You know, I’m from the Bronx.  I’m from the block.

Steven: Which block is that?

J-Lo: You know, Papi.   The block.   The one right off the 6 train.

Randy: You can pull into my stop anytime.

Steven: Randy, we’re discussing managers here.

J-Lo: Who’s managing the Yankees now?   Isn’t it that Joe Hibachi guy?

Steven: Joe Girardi.

Randy: I could go for some hibachi right now.

J-Lo:  Whatever, Papi.  Yeah, that’s who the Mets should get.  Joe Torre is kind of a viejo right now.

Randy:  What’s a viejo?

J-Lo:  An old man.  What is he, like 50 now?

Steven:  He’s 70.  Actually, I’m 62.  Does that make me a viejo?

J-Lo:  Whatever, Steven.  I know what you’re trying to do.  You just want me to stop talking about Joe Torre because his teams always beat up on your Red Sox.

Steven:  We took care of that in 2004.  I remember that year so well.  In fact, I was just reminiscing about that season the other day with my fellow Red Sox fan, Ben Affleck.

J-Lo:  Don’t even go there, Steven.

Steven:  Why?  Still bitter about Gigli?

J-Lo:  Steven!

Steven:  Or the fact that he found a better woman who actually cared about the Red Sox?

J-Lo:  Steven!  Don’t make me show you the Bronx!

Steven:  Who are you?  J-Lo or Bobby Bo?

Randy:  Ladies, ladies, ladies.  Please stop fighting!  We’re trying to choose a manager here.

Steven:  Dude, do I look like a lady?

Randy:  Well, now that you mention it…

Clint Hurdle:  Guys, I’m ready.  Can I come out now?

Steven:  See, Clint Hurdle knows I’m a guy.

J-Lo:  Did he call me a guy too?  He’s fired!

Randy:  Fired?  We haven’t even hired him yet, Dawg.

J-Lo:  Dawg?  Oh, so you think I’m a b….

Clint Hurdle:  Maybe I should come back some other time.  I need to go to Pittsburgh anyway.

Steven:  No, Clint.  Stay.  Tell us what you’ve got.

Clint Hurdle:  Well, I managed the Colorado Rockies from 2002 to 2009 and led them to their first ever World Series appearance in 2007.

Steven:  Where you were swept by my Red Sox.  Ga-ga-ga-ga-GOW!!

Clint Hurdle:  Is that why you wanted me to stay?  To make fun of me for losing the World Series to Boston?  You know, I also know the Mets organization, having played for them in the ’80s and managed in their minor league system.

J-Lo:  That viejo Torre also played for and managed the Mets.

Clint Hurdle:  What’s your point?

J-Lo:  Well, he ain’t getting no Mets job, so why should you?

Clint Hurdle:  Why is Joe Torre’s past relevant to my candidacy?  What do you even know about baseball, Ms. Lopez?

Guest Judge:  I’ve been saying it all along.  There shouldn’t be any women allowed to judge who gets to be in the Mets dugout.

Everyone (in unison):  Who are you?

Guest Judge:  I’m tonight’s Guest Judge.  Can I interest any of you in a Tootsie Pop?

Randy:  Haven’t I seen you on TV before?

Guest Judge:  Yes.

Steven:  You do those Just For Men commercials, right?  Not that I need Just For Men.

Randy:  You don’t need it because it’s for men.

Steven:  Dude, I’m not a lady.

Randy:  Dawg, you look like one.

Steven:  Well, I’m not.  Anyway, that is you in those commercials, isn’t it?

Guest Judge:  Yes.

J-Lo:  Now I know who you are, Papi!  You’re Walt “Clyde” Frazier!

Guest Judge (shaking his head):  And you wonder why I think women shouldn’t be allowed to judge.

Clint Hurdle:  Wait, didn’t I play with you on the Mets?

Guest Judge:  There you go, Clintie.

Clint Hurdle:  Clintie?

Guest Judge:  Sorry, I forgot you go by Clint now.

Steven:  We beat Clintie in ’07!

Clint Hurdle:  Shut up, Steven!

Randy:  Oh, wait.  Now I know who you are.  You’re…

Guest Judge:  That’s right. I’m Keith Hernandez, legendary Mets first baseman.

J-Lo:  Ha!  Legendary first baseman?  You couldn’t get past first base with that chica from Seinfeld.

Keith:  Miss Lo, that was a TV show and we were going by the script.

J-Lo:  You can’t fool me, Papi.  I wouldn’t have kissed you either.

Clint Hurdle:  You know what?  I don’t even want this job anymore!  I’d rather manage somewhere else!  Screw you guys!  I’m going to Pittsburgh!

Steven:  Thanks, Clintie.  And I say that for all of Red Sox Nation.

Clint Hurdle:  Harumph!

Randy:  So is there anyone left?

Steven:  We have Terry Collins.

Randy:  He’s the guy Paul DePodesta endorses, right?

Steven:  Right.

J-Lo:  Endorsements?  Speaking of endorsements, have you tried my newest fragrance?  It’s called…

Randy and Steven (in unison):  No!

Keith:  Doesn’t anyone here care about hiring a manager?

J-Lo:  Shut up, Walt “Clyde” Frazier!

Keith:  I’m Keith Hernandez!

Randy and Steven (in unison):  We know!

J-Lo:  Just bring in Phil Collins already.

Keith:  That’s Terry Collins.

Steven:  Su-su-sudio!

Randy:  Sigh…Mr. Collins, please.

Terry Collins:  Thanks, Randy.  I’m Terry Collins.  I’ve managed for six seasons in the major leagues, splitting my time between the Houston Astros and the Anaheim Angels.  In five of those six seasons, I finished with a winning record.  I’d like to bring that winning attitude back to New York.

Keith:  Sir, have you ever won anything?

Terry Collins:  My teams have competed for playoff spots almost every year.

Keith:  But have you ever finished in first place?

Steven:  My Red Sox finished in first place in 2007, when they beat out J-Lo’s viejo to win the division title.

J-Lo:  Joe Torre’s not my old man.

Randy:  I’d like to be your daddy.

Keith:  Guys, guys.  You too, Steven.

Steven:  Everyone’s a comedian here.

Terry Collins:  Um, did I mention that Paul DePodesta likes me?

Randy:  I don’t know, dawgs.  I guess we should hire Terry.  Every other candidate walked out on us.

Keith:  That’s because all of you are incompetent fools.

J-Lo:  Who are you calling incontinent?

Keith:  My point exactly.

Steven:  Maybe we should just let the fans vote.

Randy:  If Simon was still around, he’d probably throw every manager off the show.

Keith:  He should do the same with the judges.

J-Lo:  As long as I get my money, honey.

Randy:  What’s that?  Our time is up?  Sorry, fellas, but we’ve got to wrap things up.

J-Lo:  But I haven’t talked about my new fragrance.  It’s called…

Keith:  No fragrance is going to cover up the fact that these judges stink.

Randy:  You got a problem with us, Dawg?

Keith:  Did you choose a manager yet?

Randy:  No.

Keith:  Isn’t that what you’re paid to do?

J-Lo:  Shut up, Walt “Clyde”  Frazier!

Steven:  Guys, I’ve got to get back on tour.  All this fighting is messing up my vocal cords.

Randy:  Fine!  Go!

Steven:  Fine!

J-Lo:  Fine!

Keith:  Fine!

Randy:  We’re all leaving.  Let Sandy Alderson hire a new manager.  I’ve had it with this gig.

(Door slams shut as they all leave.  Moments later, the door opens up again to reveal an older gentleman with glasses and a salt and pepper goatee peering in cautiously.)

Jerry Manuel:  Uh, hello?  Are you guys still hiring?

]]> 0 Mookie Back With The Mets Tue, 09 Feb 2010 23:22:22 +0000 has reported that one of the most beloved Mets in history is back with the organization in a full-time capacity.

The Mets announced Monday that Mookie Wilson has accepted a position as the organization’s Minor League outfield and baserunning coordinator. Wilson was last with the club as manager of Class A Brooklyn in 2005.

“It’s good to be back,” Wilson said in a statement. ”This is where I started, and I’m anxious to do whatever I can for the young kids in our system.”

The Mets also announced agreements with Bob Melvin, Guy Conti and Bob Fultz.

Wilson, 53, is best known for hitting the ball that rolled through Bill Buckner’s legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Earlier in that at-bat, he avoided being hit by a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score.

Over 12 seasons with the Mets and Blue Jays, Wilson hit .284 with 327 stolen bases.

The Mets on Monday also officially announced Melvin’s appointment as a professional scout, an agreement first reported in December. Melvin, manager of the D-backs for four and a half seasons at the end of last decade, was named the NL Manager of the Year in 2007.

Conti, the Mets’ bullpen coach through the 2008 season, was named the club’s senior adviser in the Minor League department. Fultz, the longtime Braves strength and conditioning coach, was named the Mets’ rehabilitation pitching coordinator.

]]> 0
And The New Manager Of The New York Mets Is… Tue, 09 Feb 2010 16:00:17 +0000 It’s a foregone conclusion that Jerry Manuel is on the “Flushing short term managerial plan”. It’s hard to not like Jerry. He came off as personable, insightful, and easygoing when he first stepped into his predecessor Willie Randolph’s shoes. His dubious exodus from New York sent a message to me that things were about to change and that nothing is what it appears. 

Last year, many of the blogs were filled with “Fire Jerry” chants and mantras on practically every networking site out there, so expect this season to have the vultures perched on the mountaintops waiting for those last bodies to fall before picking the bones. I have to admit that I thought Jerry would bring that “championship” attitude to our Amazins but…

My, how things have changed. When Manuel stepped up from bench coach to interim manager, Carlos Delgado was quoted as saying, “I think it’s great.” Delgado said on Monday, ”He’s a great communicator. There’s no gray area with him. He’s very upbeat, and he’s able to keep it simple in a very effective way.”

Mets management absolutely raved about Manuel. They believe him to be a man of high character who presents the team to the public in a way of which they can feel proud. “He’s done an excellent job, in all ways, on and off the field,” team owner Fred Wilpon said before Sunday’s Super Bowl. “He’s a great gentleman.” A great gentleman? Okay. Not sure what to make of that. Learning from some of the best like Jim Leyland, Felipe Alou, and having gained the trust and respect of ChiSox owner, Jerry Reinsdorf was obviously a plus. It could be argued that Manuel built the White Sox team that won the World Series after his release from the team. In six seasons, he won over 500 games, a division title, and a Manager of the Year award so he has what it takes to coach. He is a teacher, a mentor, and keeps his training simple and basic.

Manuel is everything you’d want in a coach but he’s the wrong guy. I love his demeanor, wit, and ability to handle the tough questions the NY media throws at him after a tough Mets loss, but he is not going to survive in this setting through no fault of his own. The deck is heavily stacked against him due to his ties to Minaya and his tenuous position in the organization. Let’s face it. Minaya is a figurehead at this point so if anything goes south in 2010, Minaya goes and his “hires” do as well. Jerry is a quality guy, but I don’t see how he can survive this. That being said, who is capable of coming  into this mess (preferably once it’s been cleaned up or cleaned out with only Fred and Jeff still standing)?

This team has long lacked the kind of gutsy, heads-up presence in the clubhouse and in the organization. This is a New York team and that speaks to me: guts, fighting spirit, never-say-die attitude, and an unwillingness to quit and a willingness to work hard, play hard, and do it together! When I look at the current squad, that attitude seems deficient to say the least. The days of “Nails” and bulldogs like the Kid and Doc K, for example, seem to be past.

So who steps in and restores this team to where it needs to be? One name that I’ve tossed around was Bobby Valentine. There’s something irreverent and nutty about someone that after getting tossed out of a game returns in a mustache and dark glasses. Not his best moment, but that kind of unpredictability can translate into the kind of team that won a World Series in 1986. Nobody thought they had the pedigree or the “stuff” to win it all and they looked like guys just thrown together, but even with all the drugs, infighting, and other daily dramas, they came together and took it all. Valentine knows talent and he understands the importance of the intangibles. He can build a team that can not only contend but win consistently as long as his head is in the game. He knows how to light a fire under his players too. Something sorely missed in our team as of late. Just him being there brings the kind of players to the table that the Mets need to restore their reputation as players in the championship picture.

How about Bob Melvin? He was just recently given the title of “professional scout” with the team. In his last seven years with Seattle and Arizona, he has coached his team to five winning seasons so he knows what he’s doing. Do you really believe that he is not a potential replacement for Jerry when the inevitable happens?

Eric Wedge‘s name has been mentioned in some smaller circles but maybe not on the radar for the Mets. Larry Bowa? He’s the current Dodgers third base coach, but was a former Mets player and knows what it takes to win. When the fans cried out for heads to roll, Tony’s LaRussa‘s name was mentioned on more than one occasion, but may not be the likely choice even if he could be pried away from St. Louis. Manny Acta has his name in the managerial pool practically every year since and before he left NY for the Nationals.

It’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it. Now the question is who? Unfortunately, I don’t believe it will be Jerry for much longer.

]]> 0