Mets Merized Online » Jerry Manuel http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 03 Feb 2016 00:21:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Bridging the Minority Manager Gap http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/bridging-the-minority-manager-gap.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/bridging-the-minority-manager-gap.html/#comments Sat, 02 Jan 2016 14:00:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203100 fredi gonzalezMajor League Baseball currently has four minority GMs – Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Farhan Zaidi of the Dodgers, Al Avila of the Detroit Tigers and Michael Hill of the Miami Marlins. Ken Williams of the Chicago White Sox is the only minority vice president of baseball operations and Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves and Dusty Baker are the lone minority managers.

To many, this might not seem important at all. But with 41.2 percent of players in 2015 being people of color according to Sports Business News, it should be. It’s something that’s clearly gotten the attention of the commissioner.

“You’re going to have peaks and valleys in terms of representation within what’s a very small sample; there’s only 30 of them out there,” said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to the Associated Press back in October. “Having said that, we are focused on the need to promote diversity, not just African-American, but Latino, as well, in the managerial ranks.”

Prior to Terry Collins, the Mets had two ‘African-American’ managers: Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel. Randolph spent the final days of an illustrious playing career with the Mets in 1992, when then-GM Al Harazin won the winter meetings by acquiring Randolph, Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray and Bret Saberhagen.

He would only play in 90 games that season, opening the door for a young infielder named Jeff Kent, acquired in a trade with Toronto for David Cone. A six-time All-Star raised in Brooklyn, he was on Joe Torre’s staff for 11 seasons as the Yankees won four World Series champions. He had never managed before at any level, but brought the same calm self-assurance seen from Torre to the Blue and Orange and for as much deserved criticism for the 2007 collapse, the Mets were a winning franchise under Randolph.

  • 2005 – 83-79
  • 2006 – 97-65
  • 2007 – 88-74
  • 2008 – 34-35

He was replaced by Jerry Manuel, who was known as a communicator and great leader. On the staff since 2005, he was a bench coach for Jim Leyland in 1997 when the Florida Marlins won the World Series. He was tapped to take over the Chicago White Sox the following year and won the AL Central Division title and Manager of the Year in 2000. But three years later, Manuel was out in favor of Ozzie Guillen.

Despite going 55-38 after taking over the Mets for Randolph, the team lost two of the final three games including the final game at Shea to miss the postseason once again. The following year started well enough before a sorry 9-18 June paved the way to meaningless games in September and a 70-92 season.

Manuel lost his job along with Omar Minaya in 2010. Sandy Alderson took over, waited for many of Minaya’s draft picks to blossom instead of trading them and hired a manager within the organization to lead them in Terry Collins.

pedro lopezIf Collins sticks with his claim to walk away from the dugout in a couple of years, the Mets could have his replacement already within the ranks in Pedro Lopez. Currently the Mets Binghamton manager, Lopez was twice named the best manager prospect in the Eastern League by Baseball America in 2014.

He’s been in the Mets organization since 2008, working his way up from the Rookie League affiliate in Kingsport. B-Mets President and co-owner Mike Urda says Lopez’s even-keeled nature and knack for motivating players stands out.

“The most impressive thing I could say about Pedro is the players produce for him,” said Urda. “They like playing for him.”

Lopez managed Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera just to name a few and seems to have the mindset that protecting his players is essential.

“I’ve always said that the one thing I bring to the table is that I’m trying to keep an environment to work and have fun every year,” said Lopez. “I try to keep them relaxed, tell them that even if it’s a bad outing—or if it’s a positon player that has a bad day—it’s okay. It’s going to get better.”

Is he going to be the next manager in Queens? I think it’s important for our next manager to speak Spanish. He (or she) doesn’t have to be fluent, but with the number of Latin players in the League they should be able to directly connect with the entire team. Many on Jon Heyman’s list of possible candidates would fall into that category.

  • Sandy Alomar Jr.: Excellent persona, and fine playing and coaching resumes. Would be miscarriage of justice if he never had the chance.
  • Hensley Meulens: The hard-working hitting coach of the Giants has learned from the best in Bruce Bochy and speaks several languages.
  • Jose Oquendo: Long-time Cardinals coach obviously has been around winning, but he has been passed over so much now he seems almost ingrained as a coach.
  • Delino DeShields: Managed the last five years in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization

All of these minority candidates are seemingly hurt by the industry’s move towards analytic-loving, college educated and front-office friendly managers instead of actual managing experience. Lloyd McClendon wasn’t given much in Seattle and in two seasons is just two games over .500, but the new GM Jerry Dipoto has turned over the reins to Scot Servais, a former player and minor league scouting director.

If this trend continues, with the numbers of Hispanic players signing at 16 and the 8% black population in the major leagues and just 2.6% playing Division I college baseball, it’s clear that the future doesn’t look bright for minority managers.

Is this a trend that will eventually turn back to the past or one that’s here to stay? Should Manfred institute something like the NLF’s Rooney Rule or should the best person get the job regardless of their race?

we are original 280 footer

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Righting The Wrongs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/righting-the-wrongs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/righting-the-wrongs.html/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 12:21:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154984 USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar

Usually I’m not the type to tell someone “I told you so”. It’s annoying at best and at its worst it can make you want to slug the person who says it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when facts are so evident that they hit you in the face leaving you feeling like Delino DeShields Jr. after a close encounter with a 90 mph fastball. When it comes to the future of Jenrry Mejia, unfortunately all I can say is – I told you so.

You see it was about 4 years ago right here on Metsmerized when I wrote an article about what – get this – Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel should do about Jenrry Mejia. Should he be groomed as the heir apparent to Frankie Rodriguez or “stretched” out and turned into a starting pitcher? Of course as it is with many young players who make their way through this organization, their climb up the rungs is far from dull and uneventful. For Mejia it was a birth by fire.

Get ready, I’m about to quote myself because that’s how I roll.

“Earlier this year Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel fawned over minor league phenom pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. Somehow through that love affair, the kid surprisingly made the major league team right out of Spring. It was a desperate move then and looking back, it remains the same.

Especially considering one, the kid had barely over 200 innings of work in the minors and two, unbeknownst to him, he was anointed by Jerry Manuel and few other prominent figures around the team, a future Mariano Rivera armed with a Godly cutter and all.

No pressure there Jenrry. Here’s the ball, have fun. Nobody ever accused the Mets of being masters of public relations but this situation took the cake for me. Instead of dealing with the reality of not having a bonafide set-up man, Minaya and Manuel decided to thrust Jenrry Mejia into the spotlight.”

So instead of sending Mejia to AAA to pitch and either succeed or fail all on his own, they set the kid up. In the minors we would’ve learned probably what we know now, that Mejia is lights out for about 3 innings – roughly one time through a lineup as the .160 average against him is right now. But of course in the minds of Minaya and Manuel it was all about winning and winning NOW.

When I look back it disgusts me how this organization handled Mejia. This was supposed to be their crown jewel and they treated him like a cheap Lucas Duda knock-off watch right off of Canal Street. But before we sharpen our knives on Omar and Jerry let’s not forget that while Mejia has had to deal with injuries and multiple surgeries, he’s still a pretty damn good pitcher but the writing is on the wall. Collins and Alderson need to put Mejia in the bullpen despite his desire to start. The more they wait, the more Mejia is going to believe he should be a starter.

I want to bat third in the Mets lineup but it’s not going to happen either, get over it Jenrry. Alderson and his acolytes in Sabermetrics tend to believe that relievers are simply failed starters. Don’t get me wrong, many are but every once in a while you get a diamond that can only go an inning or two.

Alderson found one in Dennis Eckersley and the other just retired last season as the greatest reliever ever. This team needs to right the wrongs that they’ve placed on Jenrry Mejia and prepare him for his proper role as closer for the New York Mets. Hey it’s not like I didn’t say I told you so.

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Are Still Undecided On One-Time Phenom Mejia http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-are-still-undecided-on-one-time-phenom-mejia.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mets-are-still-undecided-on-one-time-phenom-mejia.html/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 13:28:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150677 Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports jenrry mejia

Jenrry Mejia takes the mound and will oppose Cubs left-hander Chris Rusin at 4:05 PM Sunday as the Mets wrap up their two-game series at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

The Mets have never settled on a role for Mejia, which could be the case again this spring. At 24, Mejia is one of those promising young arms the Mets are boasting. Coming off elbow surgery, they are treating him with kid gloves, but there have been no signs of a setback.

Most starters want to pitch 30 innings in spring training, but with only two weeks left Mejia has only worked two. He could get four today against the Cubs in Las Vegas, but won’t get close to 20, much less 30.

Originally, Mejia was to compete with Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan for the fifth-starter role. But, if building for the future is the objective for 2014, it should be Mejia because he has the greatest upside.

Without Matt Harvey, this would have been the perfect chance to develop Mejia. Instead, it is turning out to be a lost opportunity, either to use him for their rotation or showcase him for a trade.

With Mejia in the rotation, they’ll have a better idea of where they stand heading going into 2015. If Matsuzaka gets those starts, they still won’t know about Mejia as a starter.

But, how about as a reliever?

The Mets tried that route without success in 2010. Then-manager Jerry Manuel, knowing his job was in severe jeopardy, wanted Mejia on the major league roster to work out of the bullpen to start that season. That was for Manuel’s interests, not Mejia’s.

However, Manuel wouldn’t use him in pressure situations, so Mejia languished without work when he could have been getting starts in the minor leagues.

Understandably, Mejia struggled and was eventually optioned to Triple-A to go back in the rotation. His arm didn’t adjust to the back-and-forth and he was eventually injured and required Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow.

Entering that season, Mejia was a highly sought prospect, but his value was greatly reduced because of how he was used. After he was hurt, he missed all of 2011.

In five starts last season, pitching with a bone spur in his elbow, Mejia had a 2.30 ERA, walked four and struck out 27 in 27.1 innings pitched. He had a minor procedure to resolve that last fall and is finally 100% healthy for the first time in nearly four years.

The Mets are again considering Mejia for their bullpen, but already have seven candidates without him. Just how much work would he get?

If not up here, they should use him as a starter in the minors, which is probably in their best long-term interest because that would hasten his development and possibly build his trade value.

I see him starting the season in Triple-A, but where ever he ends up, just pick a role and stick with it.

(Photo: Brad Barr, USATSI)

mmo

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Ruben Tejada: Stage Fright? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/ruben-tejada-stage-fright.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/ruben-tejada-stage-fright.html/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:59:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150379 During a commercial break on my sports talk show a well-known New York sportswriter said to me, you know what’s wrong with Roberto Alomar? He has stage fright.

It was July 2002. The New York Mets were in the middle of a free-fall. Alomar was being booed relentlessly. Stage fright? I thought as I put my headphones on for the next segment. Then, I forgot about it — until now.

What the reporter was referring to — at least my sense of it — was that Alomar was suffering from the pressure of playing in New York. It’s no secret that playing professional sports in New York is a pressure cooker. For some, it’s the kiss of death. But not Roberto Alomar? At the time the man was 33 years old. He had hit over .300 nine out of the previous 10 seasons before being traded to New York. He played in the World Series for Toronto — twice. I was certain he, and the Mets, would snap out it and right the ship. I was wrong.

Over the next year Alomar’s skills diminished. With every error and every strike out the booing intensified; his body language morphed into a hunchback. Finally, the Mets traded Alomar to the White Sox for three minor league pitchers. I later came to the realization that despite all his talent, Alomar was not prepared to play in New York. The city, the media, the fans consumed him.

He was washed up.

He didn’t play hard (sound familiar?).

That’s what was said, anyway.

”I didn’t really feel comfortable with the situation,” said Alomar. ”Sometimes, teams don’t work for you. Sometimes you put too much pressure on yourself in New York, and maybe I did that. I think the New York Mets weren’t the right team for me.”

”I’ve seen a lot of players have a tough time in New York,” added then White Sox manager Jerry Manuel. ”New York is a tough place.”

Imagine that? Jerry Manuel saying New York is “tough.” How is that for irony?

New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Alomar, even Manuel, are history, but the New York experience has reared its ugly head again this spring – and it’s on the hunt for Ruben Tejada. One promising season (2012) followed by one dreadful season (2013) and the Mets shortstop is fighting for his baseball life in New York – at age 24.

Sandy Alderson may not want to place his young shortstop under the microscope, but that hasn’t stopped it from happening. Tejada’s every move has been scrutinized this past week. His work ethic has been questioned. His replacement — Stephen Drew, Wilmer Flores, Nick Franklin, Omar Quintanilla, Ervin Santana – have been discussed.

Wait, go back. Ervin Santana … the pitcher? Yes, the New York media will consider every angle to keep the shortstop debate on life support.

This is not an issue that will just disappear, wrote Anthony DiComo. On roughly a weekly basis, Alderson has given press conferences to reiterate his lack of interest in Drew. But as long as Drew remains available … questions will persist.

From the small sample of spring games, Tejada appears rattled. Once again, he’s struggling to make the routine play. There is pressure, naturally. Tejada is human.

Wally Backman told MLB.com:

“He’s under the gun. There’s no way he doesn’t know it. Everyone knows what’s going on, with who’s out there. He doesn’t say anything about it.”

But David Wright added a finer point:

“When you get off to a slow start, it becomes kind of a mental thing — a lack of confidence. It’s a mental challenge. That’s the difference between guys that establish themselves and have long, successful careers and those who can’t quite get it figured out. It tests you.”

Are we watching another major league baseball player’s career unravel – in slow-motion – right before our very eyes? Is it stage fright?

Tejada may not talk about it, but over the next few weeks he will answer the question on the field.

Presented By Diehards

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Jenrry Mejia To Compete For Spot In Rotation This Spring http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/jenrry-mejia-to-compete-for-spot-in-rotation-this-spring.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/jenrry-mejia-to-compete-for-spot-in-rotation-this-spring.html/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 06:25:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135009 Phillies Mets BaseballStaying healthy has always been an obstacle in Jenrry Mejia’s pursuit of a starting job in the New York Mets’ rotation and it is that way again.

Mejia, who underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow, should be ready for spring training but staying healthy isn’t always a given with the talented righthander.

If he is ready, he could be be the fourth starter slotted in after Zack WheelerDillon Gee and Jon Niese.

Sandy Alderson said that Mejia will compete for a spot in the rotation but remains cautious given health concerns.

“He demonstrated he could pitch effectively as a major-league starter,’’ Alderson said. “It’s a question of can he stay healthy.”

“He won’t even be able to demonstrate that over the course of spring training or even the first month of the season.’’

The 24-year-old Mejia made five starts with an ERA of 2.30 before needing surgery.

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This Day In Mets History: Strawberry & Matlack Named Rookie of the Year, Agee Wins Gold Glove http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-history-strawberry-matlack-named-rookie-of-the-year-agee-wins-gold-glove.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-history-strawberry-matlack-named-rookie-of-the-year-agee-wins-gold-glove.html/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:54:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133380 tommie agee game 3

1970 – Mets’ outfielder Tommie Agee becomes the first non-pitcher to win a Gold Glove in each league. The New York flycatcher also won the honor with the White Sox during his 1966 Rookie of the Year season.

matlack

1972 – Jon Matlack (15-10, 2.32) is selected by the BBWAA as National League Rookie of the Year. The 22-year old Mets southpaw becomes the second player in team history to win the award joining teammate Tom Seaver, who copped the honor in 1967.

1983 – Mets’ outfielder Darryl Strawberry breaks the Los Angeles’ four-year stronghold on the Rookie of the Year Award when he becomes the first non-Dodger to win the honor since 1978. Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela and Steve Sax had been the previous winners.

gil hodges place 1969 Mets parade

2009 – The Mets, in response to the fans’ displeasure that little was done to commemorate the team’s past in their new home at Citi Field, announce the V.I.P. entrances will now be named for three of the persons who have had their number retired by the franchise, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, and Casey Stengel as well as naming the bridge over the bullpen in honor of William Shea. Additionally, a team Hall of Fame and Museum will be opened, full-color banners of Mets players will be displayed in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, and the light poles in the parking lots will feature team logos.

Terry Collins

2010 – Eleven years after resigning from his last managerial position, former Houston (1994-96) and Anaheim (1997-99) manager Terry Collins is selected to replace Jerry Manuel as the manager of the Mets, who was fired a day after the season ended. The 61-year old skipper, known for alienating some of his players due to his old school approach, has compiled a 444-434 won-loss record, finishing second five of his six years in the dugout.

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Beltran Leaves Game With Rib Contusion After Grand Slam Robbing Catch http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/rooting-for-beltran-to-win-world-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/rooting-for-beltran-to-win-world-series.html/#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 02:40:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131594 Carlos Beltran left Game 1 of the World Series with bruised ribs on Wednesday night after robbing David Ortiz of a grand slam in the second inning. Beltran went full throttle and slammed into the short right field wall to make the spectacular grab.

source:

Beltran stayed in the game, but could be seen holding his side and pressing his chest in the outfield before the inning ended.

He never made it out for the third inning and was replaced by right fielder John Jay.

The team announced that Beltran suffered a rib contusion before sending him to the hospital for X-rays.

It’s a huge loss for the Cardinals who were already down five runs and now lose their most productive post season hitter with 12 RBIs in the NL playoffs this year.

Beltran is playing in the World Series for the first time in his 16-year career. The eight-time All-Star batted .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs in the regular season.

(Image credit to NBC Sports)

Original Post 7:30 PM

Omar Minaya is rooting hard for Carlos Beltran to get that World Series Ring, reports Bob Klapisch of The Record. That makes two of us…

“I feel great for Carlos, because I still think he was the best center fielder of his time,” Minaya said by telephone Tuesday. “I’ve known him since high school in Puerto Rico and he’s always been that same person: not just a great ballplayer, but a great human being. When people like that get to the World Series, it makes you feel proud.”

Minaya has no hard feeling towards the Wilpons, whom he said had little choice but to fire him and Jerry Manuel after the collapse in Flushing was beyond repair.

“We did have a great thing going, but in New York, you have to win. I get that,” Minaya said. “We had a great season in ’06, but to lose the way we did in ’07 and ’08 at the very end … when you go out like that two years in a row, changes have to be made.”

I’m amazed at how many Met fans still define Beltran’s career by that one at-bat, seemingly ignoring the fact he carried the Mets to that Game 7 of the NLCS with a tremendous regular season and post season performance.

As Klapisch points out, Beltran was in the wrong place at the wrong time, expecting a fastball with a 3-2 count in the bottom of the ninth.

So to any Mets fan who still feels Beltran hasn’t fully paid his debts for 2006, consider the journey. He knows about pain, although there’s never been a hint of his suffering. Beltran is baseball’s equivalent of Mr. Spock – neutral and unruffled are in his genetic coding. He told The New York Times recently, “For me, being able to get so close and never being able to get to the World Series, all that has done is give me motivation to come every year, work hard, prepare myself and try to get there.”

Clearly, the commitment has paid a monster dividend: In two seasons with the Cardinals, Beltran has hit .282 with 56 home runs, and, just as importantly, hasn’t spent any time on the disabled list. His trade to the Giants in 2011 also netted the Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler, which means, in all fairness, the account is paid in full.

As for what’s next as Beltran heads into the offseason, it’s becoming painfully clear that future Hall of Famer could be heading to the Bronx according to what baseball people are telling Klapisch.

It would suck to see him come to New York and play for the other team.

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Featured Post: Breaking Backman http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/featured-post-breaking-backman.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/featured-post-breaking-backman.html/#comments Mon, 16 Sep 2013 19:55:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129270 Breaking BackmanPassion is a powerful force. It reveals the extremely fine line between good and evil; friend and foe; master and slave. Passion turned Walter While, your average high school science teacher into Heisenberg, a maniacal drug-dealing assassin in khakis and a pork pie hat. Passion is Walter Wayne Backman’s worst enemy — and slim hope.

Backman’s 14-year major league career ended two decades ago, but his passion for the game of baseball has not died, In fact, it’s living in Las Vegas. The former New York Mets second baseman has been kicking and screaming – literally – as a minor league manager since 1997. Backman has served eight years between the Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks organizations and another seven years in Independent League baseball.

His managerial track record has been marked by great promise and devastating heartbreak. Backman’s passion to win is his greatest asset. Ask his New York Met teammates in the 80s. He was a hard-nosed player, loved to win and, deep down, he and his Mets teammates in the 80s enjoyed sticking it to the opponent.

“When we lost a game, we took it personally,” Backman told Peter Golenbeck for Amazin’, the Mets oral history. “We never expected to lose. We were cocky, arrogant.”

Backman’s neck is thick and his waistline has expanded. Now, at age 53, his salt-and-pepper hair suggests maturity. The cocky, arrogant attitude of the 80s has been replaced with experience and sage advice for young, hungry baseball players. Baseball is a game. Wally Backman no longer takes losing personally, right? A loss is an opportunity to learn, right?

Wrong … and wrong. Backman is still possessed by winning. Passion consumes him, transforming an otherwise stable person into a zealot. His combustible nature reveals a track record filled with suspensions, temper tantrums, ejections and poor judgment.

Life began Breaking Backman in Birmingham. A decade ago, as the 2003 Chicago White Sox were spinning out of control, losing 10 of their last 18 regular season games and the AL Central, Wally pumped his fist in approval hoping then-manager Jerry Manuel’s loss would win him a MLB managerial job. When the Sox caught wind of the news that Backman was openly rooting against the organization, he given a pink slip.

Off-the-field, Backman’s personal life was quietly self-destructing. He was convicted of DUI (2000), pled guilty to harassment charges (2001), accused of spousal abuse (2002) and filed for bankruptcy (2003). No one paid much attention to Backman’s transgressions – until November 2004. After leading the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Class A Lancaster JetHawks to the California League title, Backman was named The Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year.

His success earned him major league interviews with the Mets and Diamondbacks. On November 1, 2004, the Diamondbacks named Walter Wayne Backman manager. Three days later, on November 4, he was fired. His dream of being a major league manager came true, and in the blink of an eye, was wiped out.

Backman spent the next two years broke and out of baseball. His name, destroyed for the time being. In 2007, Backman returned to manage the South Georgia Peanuts to the South Coast League. He won a championship and lost another measure of credibility. Backman allegedly physically attacked a minor league broadcaster for critical comments he made after one of Backman’s on-field tantrums.

Five years later, in 2012, Backman was back in New York – Buffalo, New York – managing the Mets Triple-A affiliate, where he publicly exploded again. This time, Backman attacked Tony Beasley, the opposing manager, accusing the skipper of stealing signs. In 2013, he was suspended for two games by the Pacific Coast League for his participation in a bench-clearing brawl.

Backman has paid his dues, some say. He is loved by players and fans for his passion and will to win. He knows the pressure of playing in New York. But is that enough? Not for Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. He trusts Backman about as much as Jesse Pinkman trusts Walter White.

Friends and colleagues have debated Wally Backman, a lot, over the last couple years. You can read their most recent thoughts here, and here, here and here. Save your words. The debate is over. Like it or not, as long as Alderson is leading the Mets, Backman will not be in consideration to manage the major league team.

Is there another major league team interested in hiring a 53-year old man with no major league managerial experience and a reputation for instability on and off the field? That answer is about as predictable as Heisenberg.

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Did Mets Play Russian Roulette With Mejia’s Elbow? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mets-played-russian-roulette-with-mejias-elbow.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mets-played-russian-roulette-with-mejias-elbow.html/#comments Sun, 18 Aug 2013 21:38:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127424 mejiaAnother day, another injury for the New York Mets, and not surprisingly, one involving a pitcher. Jenrry Mejia didn’t make it out of the fourth Saturday night in San Diego because of pain caused by a bone spur in is right elbow. His season is in jeopardy as he likely will be placed on the disabled list today.

This is not new for Mejia – he left a game in Miami, July 31 – and he is supposed to have off-season surgery.

What has been reported is pitching coach Dan Warthen said, “Mejia did not warm up well,’’ which should make anybody wonder why he started in the first place.

If somebody is known to be hurt, is scheduled for surgery, and has difficulty warming up, one would think caution would be exercised. One would think.

Yes, I am more cautious when it comes to injuries than the Mets. I also know that after covering baseball for two-and-a-half decades, one should bet the over. It rarely breaks the other way.

A roster move will be made today, so figure Mejia going on the disabled list. Of course, that doesn’t take away what further injury might have been sustained Saturday.

General manager Sandy Alderson spoke like the lawyer in defending starting Mejia.

“We all know that he’s had some issues with his elbow,” Alderson said. “He was pitching to [pain] tolerance. That tolerance was exceeded tonight apparently and he had to come out. The doctor here took a look at him, but at this point it’s about his symptoms. They were obviously severe tonight, and we’ll see where this takes us.’’

Sometimes, you just want to scream listening to Alderson.

If the Mets knew he had issues, he shouldn’t have started following a bad warm-up. He should have been given an MRI. And, what in the hell is pitching to pain tolerance? Is it pitching just before serious damage is done?

The Mets, predictably, said there was no chance of further injury. Care to guarantee that assessment?

If surgery is to happen, it is to remove a pain-producing problem. Yes, bone spurs can cause damage, and yes, it can cause a pitcher to overcompensate in his delivery and produce a residual injury.

Alderson has been around long enough to know both possibilities.

Mejia was pitching well since returning to the Mets, but after the Miami incident, considering the team already determined he’d have surgery, it should have been done immediately.

The Mets are going out of their way to protect Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler with innings limits, but they saw no reason to protect Mejia, who already had one Tommy John surgery.

The Mets mishandled Mejia in juggling his roles several times under Jerry Manuel, and it appears they are doing it again.

Why are they playing fast and loose with Mejia?

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Filthy, Nasty, Dominating… That’s What Mejia Was Against The Nationals http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/filthy-nasty-dominating-thats-what-mejia-was-against-the-nationals.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/filthy-nasty-dominating-thats-what-mejia-was-against-the-nationals.html/#comments Sat, 27 Jul 2013 14:37:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125866 jenrry mejia

Before Sandy Alderson rolled into town and traded Carlos Beltran a couple of weeks after drafting Brandon Nimmo with his first selection in the 2011 draft, the top prospect for the Mets was Jenrry Mejia. However, by July of that season, he was merely an afterthought as he was beset by injuries that included Tommy John Surgery. His status as a Mets prospect had shrunk to nothingness.

The more and more people I talk to about Tommy John Surgery, the more of them tell me that if you’re young enough you usually come back better than before. Could this be the case with Mejia?

In one fell swoop, Mejia has placed himself back to the top of young Mets royalty with a performance that had to be seen to be really appreciated. Here was Mejia, now 23, making putty out of the Washington Nationals. Here was this long-forgotten prospect firing cut fastballs, sliders and changeups that were buckling knees all day long.

I’m not talking about garden variety stuff – we are talking three plus offerings. And the best part? His impeccable control and mastery of the strike zone. Wow, what a performance.

Making his season debut, Mejia delivered a scintillating start that had Terry Collins backpedaling on his pre-game statement that Mejia was slated for the bullpen after this start. Hey Terry, open mouth – insert foot.

Mejia dominated over seven scoreless frames, befuddling the Nationals with a 95 mile-per-hour fastball, a knee-bending slider, and a lethal changeup.

“I think today he showed you he should be in the mix,” Collins said afterward. Gee Terry, that’s rich…

So now the plan is for the Mets to include Mejia on the team as part of a six-man pitching staff. This will allow the team to continue using Mejia while cutting down the workload on Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. By the way, Zack, I hope you were paying attention when Mejia was on the mound…

Harvey sure was…

“I don’t think he allowed a walk the whole time”, an excited Harvey said after the game. “That was so huge for him to go seven innings and do what he did. It was fun to watch. He’s got nasty stuff, that’s for sure.”

Nasty is right…

That cut fastball looked just as good as it did when it was being compared to Mariano Rivera‘s by Jerry Manuel back in the day.

“Everybody says it’s a cutter, but I say it’s my fastball, my normal fastball” Mejia said to reporters with a big smile. “I never throw a cutter. But they say it’s a cutter so I guess it’s a cutter.”

Mejia says he feels 100% healthy, but there’s some suggestion he may have a bone spur removed from his elbow in the offseason. Are you kidding me? He did this while pitching with a bone spur in his elbow? Oh my… Matt Harvey, meet your new No. 2 for the 2014 season.

Mejia made light of his outstanding command saying that his command has never been an issue with him. He only had a three ball count twice during his stint. Can I get a Hell-Yeah? He had a 2-0 count only twice yesterday. Can I get another Hell-Yeah? He threw 66 of his 97 pitches for strikes. Damn, that’s outrageous.

Welcome Back Jenrry… Thank God the organization came to their senses and called you up as I demanded over a week ago when they were toying between Chris Schwinden and Jacob deGrom.

You see… They can make a good decision when they try… Maybe they’re turning a corner….

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The MMO Grind: Terry Collins Is Safe At Home, But His Foot Missed The Plate http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/the-mmo-grind-terry-collins-is-safe-at-home-but-his-foot-missed-the-plate.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/the-mmo-grind-terry-collins-is-safe-at-home-but-his-foot-missed-the-plate.html/#comments Sat, 04 May 2013 13:55:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117451 terry collinsAs of now, Terry Collins’ job is safe and deservedly so. Based on getting the most out of what he has been given and basic fairness, there’s nothing justifying Collins’ job being in question.

However, fairness is irrelevant in sports. A manager’s job security always becomes an issue when he has lame duck contractual status and his team has lost six straight games.Losing streaks get everybody edgy, with questions directed to management, in this case, GM Sandy Alderson, who was asked the inevitable by The New York Post.

“That’s not something that has entered my mind or any mind within the organization,’’ Alderson said. “Has it entered the minds of others in the media or what have you? Yes.’’

Well, of course it has. It’s been on the back burner since pitchers-and-catchers in February. And, I don’t think for a second it hasn’t crossed Alderson’s mind, either.

Walter Alston used to work on one-year contracts, but he was Walter Alston and his Dodgers teams were perennial winners. They were an organization that believed in consistency. They were the exception to the rule.

By contrast, Collins manages the Mets, a franchise that last went to the World Series in 2000. Thirteen years later, and they are on their fifth manager. That’s not even three years each, and that’s no stability. While this trend doesn’t suggest good things for Collins, it might work in his favor for at least this summer. If the Mets aren’t going anywhere, there’s no reason to make a change and have owner Fred Wilpon pay two managers.

Bobby Valentine managed that World Series team, but frequently clashed with then GM Steve Phillips – one of four since 2000 – and with his personality wore out his welcome. Art Howe was the polar opposite of Valentine, and that didn’t work, either. I thought Willie Randolph had a chance, but he was hamstrung from the beginning when he wasn’t given full reign to hire his coaches and had to deal with clubhouse spyTony Bernazard, who usurped his authority. Jerry Manuel was overmatched, but that’s what you get when you sack a manager after midnight.

Now there’s Collins, who was brought in by Alderson to clean up the mess. However, Alderson doesn’t have free economic authority to spend, and consequently Collins doesn’t have the pieces. He’s basically a custodian; here to keep things clean.

The pieces he’s been given don’t fit, but here’s the rub, Collins is judged on what he does with those pieces, much like on those cooking shows where the contestants have to make something out of a basket of random ingredients.

“He came into the season without a contract for next year and may not have one for next year through this season,’’ said Alderson, meaning don’t expect an in-season extension. “But as I’ve told him and said before: This isn’t just about wins and losses. It’s about how we approach the game and fully taking into account what he has to work with.

“We talk from time to time and the [job status] subject comes up. I’m not trying to avoid the topic. It’s status quo. You go through a tough week and people like to immediately jump to conclusions and start discussing a doomsday scenario. A good first week isn’t necessarily any more of an indication than a bad fourth week.’’

So, there you have it: Collins is the care taker for 2013.

Alderson wants to know more if his roster can work and play nice with each other rather than if it has any talent. He’s telling us – again – that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but how you play the game.

Unfortunately, they keep score and results do matter. Major League Baseball isn’t new wave, liberal physical education where everybody gets a prize for showing up.

Winning does matter on this level. Teams pay big money to get players capable of winning and fans pay big money to watch those players.

If the losing continues, attendance will eventually drop as it has every year since Citi Field opened. But, the players will get their money. And, Collins could be out of a job. Not fair, but that’s how they play the game. It is also something Alderson needs to think about concerning his own job status.

Thoughts from Joe D.

While I don’t think any manager can get more out of this team than Terry Collins is — and that is mostly because he’s been dealt a rotten hand by GM Sandy Alderson — I see too many flaws in Collins for me to defend him.

As an in-game strategist I disagree with more than half of the decisions he makes. No manager is perfect, but Collins makes too many bad decisions, many of which have negatively impacted the results of a game.

I thought it was a bad idea to let Collins play this season out as a lame-duck manager. Any of my regular readers know that. I wasn’t worried as much about his status becoming a distraction as much as I was concerned over the impact it would have on Collins as the manager and his decision-making process.

He’s making far too many bad decisions now than at any other time since taking over for Jerry Manuel. I think it’s a result of managing with a monkey on your back or your boss constantly hovering over your shoulder.

I don’t believe Sandy Alderson wants Terry back and that’s fine by me. But it should have been delineated that way before the season began. They could have handled it differently and just announce that this would be Terry’s last season as manager before assuming a new role in the front office. That would have made more sense, avoided all the constant questions, and let Tery and the players breathe a little easier throughout the season.

I got the sense from something David Wright said last week, that he and the team need to perform well because they like Terry and don’t want to let him down. ERRRRRRGGGHHHH. Wrong answer.

Collins has had to manage a team that is unworthy of being called a big market team and attendance has never been worse than this recent three-year run. As bad as the results have been, I doubt Gil Hodges or Davey Johnson could have done better with the same bad outfield, bullpen and backend of the rotation. This isn’t Terry’s mess, it’s Sandy’s mess – and he should be the one responsible for any of the bad results as well as cleaning it up.

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Parnell Should Remain Mets Closer When Francisco Is Activated http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/parnell-should-remain-mets-closer-when-francisco-is-activated.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/parnell-should-remain-mets-closer-when-francisco-is-activated.html/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 01:52:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=115878 bobby parnell

Most everything about the Mets these days is about the future. From Matt Harvey, to extending David Wright, to the trade of R.A. Dickey and protecting Zack Wheeler, we’re talking about 2014 and beyond.

Sure, it would be great to compete now, but 2013 is mostly for establishing the foundation. It is the development of Harvey and Jon Niese; giving Wheeler major league experience – while avoiding free agency for a year – and hope Ike Davis and Lucas Duda improve their offensive efficiency while still producing power.

This trend should extend to the bullpen, where Bobby Parnell, despite limited save opportunities, has performed in the role that should hopefully define his career.Manager Terry Collins told Parnell at the beginning of spring training he would be the closer if Frank Francisco were not ready. Collins should pull Parnell aside tomorrow at Citi Field – today is an off-day – and tell him he’ll have the job when Francisco returns.

Parnell spit the bit on previous chances, but is grasping the brass ring now. And, tightly. Parnell struck out two Washington Nationals in a perfect ninth Sunday to earn his second save of the season. Parnell is following up last year’s strong second half with a blistering start.

He has a strong traditional statistic in a 1.35 ERA – mostly overrated for relievers – with an even stronger new wave stat of a 0.45 WHIP.  He’s given up three hits and a run in 6.2 innings. He’s been virtually untouchable.

More to the point, he’s pitching the way the way the Mets always hoped.

Collins and GM Sandy Alderson saw that coming at the end of 2012, when with Francisco on the disabled list, Parnell went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA and paltry .196 opponent’s batting average in 17 appearances.

The Mets might feel obligated to return Francisco to the closer role based on his $6.5-million salary, but they need to resist that temptation. It is not an obligation to return Francisco to the closer role, especially because it is anticipated he will not be re-signed this winter.

If Francisco were in the Mets’ future plans, I might think differently. Parnell, however, is expected to be here next season and beyond. The Mets – namely Jerry Manuel – have jerked around Parnell to the point of messing with his confidence. They must not do it again by changing his role.

Perhaps this is nothing more than a hot stretch for Parnell; perhaps it is the beginning of something special. We need the time to see.

We don’t know to what degree Parnell will develop. What we do know is Francisco will not be here next year and Parnell will. Parnell must stay in the closer role, and remain there in good times and in bad.

That’s the way to build for the future, which is now for Parnell.

Thoughts from Joe D.

I don’t think this will be an issue when the Mets activate Frank Francisco. Having the highest paid pitcher on your active roster doing mopup duty isn’t exactly an ideal situation. But that’s exactly the way the Mets should handle Francisco until he can work his way back into a more significant role.

I thought that Francisco two-year deal was an awful signing to begin with, but now that’s past and his $6.5 million is just something we’ll need to deal with and if it means ultimately eating it – so be it.

That said, I don’t think the money situation will keep Terry Collins or Sandy Alderson from doing what is best for the team.

I would be absolutely shocked if Parnell were to go back to a setup role when Francisco returns. I just don’t see that happening.

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Why Do Mets Pitchers March To The Beat Of Their Own Drums? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/why-do-mets-pitchers-march-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drums.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/why-do-mets-pitchers-march-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drums.html/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 13:22:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=111508 shaun marcumWhat is it with the Mets and their starting pitchers? Giving them near total control hasn’t worked. It didn’t for Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel, and it isn’t for Terry Collins.

The impression is the tail is wagging the dog when it comes to Mets’ starters, and this isn’t new. Pitchers tend to be divas by nature, but it has gone to another level with the Mets.

Clearly, free-agent Shaun Marcum did not report to spring training ready to go by telling Collins and GM Sandy Alderson he only needed four starts to get ready. He was allowed to set his own pace, but obviously didn’t have the track record to deserve it.

Marcum received cortisone injections in each of the last three years, and last spring was down for nearly three weeks. Without question, this is a guy who should not be setting his own program.

Marcum vows 200 innings, a level he’s only reached once since 2005. His lifetime 57-36 record was why Alderson gave him the benefit of doubt, but his 124 innings last year should have accounted for something.

Wasn’t Marcum’s history and workout program discussed? If it was, then why agree to this?

Santana does have the resume to set his own program, but abused it when he threw off the mound without Collins’ knowledge the first week of March.

johan santana mets dodgers 072012The Mets said they monitored Santana in the off-season, and told him to go easy since he rehabbed the previous two winters. Something was lost in the communication as Santana wasn’t ready when spring training began and will open the season on the disabled list.

Collins said Santana knows his own body, but here’s a guy who hasn’t worked an inning all spring and at the beginning wanted to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. Had he done so, the results could have been career threatening.

Early in camp, after Alderson questioned Santana’s conditioning, the lefthander, angry with the Mets and media, threw off the mound without his manager’s knowledge. Collins wasn’t happy then and now must be fuming because Santana has done little since and has no set timetable. One must wonder how much that stunt set him back.

There are other examples of how the Mets let their starting pitches get away with setting their own routine that ended badly.

In 2009, Mike Pelfrey refused to go on the disabled list and miss a start and insisted on the start being pushed back. To placate him, the Mets brought up a starter from the minors, but to make room released reliever Darren O’Day, who only proved to be a key in the Rangers getting to the World Series twice.

O’Day has worked 247.2 innings in his five-year career with 217 strikeouts, 63 walks, a 2.73 ERA and 1.058 WHIP. The Mets don’t have anybody with that production in their current bullpen.

The Mets also let Pedro Martinez march to his own tune with mixed results for several years. Is Pedro pitching today? What’s going on with Pedro? It was like that every spring.

The Mets did everything they could, including alienating a future Hall of Famer, Tom Glavine, to placate Martinez and his whims.Of course, don’t forget Oliver Perez, whom former GM Omar Minaya signed to a disastrous three-year contract. The height of the absurdity is when Perez refused a minor league assignment – as was his contractual right – to work on his mechanics.

Consequently, the Mets carried him the rest of the season rather than release him and eat his contract, which they eventually did the following spring.

Funny, the Mets once had the stones – but no brains – and traded Tom Seaver, who wasn’t happy with his contract. Now it seems they don’t have either, as the trend is obvious, from Alderson to Minaya, and with each of the managers, to let some starters dictate to them how things would be and it turned out for the worse.

Will it be that way in 2013 with Marcum and Santana?

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Mets Time Machine: Seattle’s Price Tag For Lee Is Mejia or Flores http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mets-time-machine-seattles-price-tag-for-lee-is-mejia-or-flores.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mets-time-machine-seattles-price-tag-for-lee-is-mejia-or-flores.html/#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2013 06:17:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110358 In this edition of a not-so-regular MMO feature that first appeared in 2007, our reader Pietro Sinapi gets the well deserved hat tip for taking us back to June 30, 2010 when the big news of the day was the Mets and their pursuit of Mariners ace Cliff Lee.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that if the Mets wanted Lee they needed to up the ante and make the M’s an offer they couldn’t refuse:

You are not getting Lee for Fernando Martinez and Josh Thole. That would be painless for the Mets. I don’t know if an injury-prone outfield prospect (Martinez) and a fringe catching prospect (Thole) are worth as much as the two first-round compensation picks an acquiring team would receive if it lost Lee to free agency after the season. So why would the Mariners gift-wrap Lee and those two picks for such a meager return? Flip it; if you ran the Mets would you trade Lee for the equivalent of Martinez and Thole? Of course not.

Thus, if the Mets want Lee — and, boy, do they ever — a trade will have to be built around Jenrry Mejia, whom Seattle likes, but does not love, or Wilmer Flores, an 18-year-old infielder already thriving at High-A. In conversations with Mariner officials, I strongly sensed they would accept no less than one blue-chip prospect or they will not do this trade.

One key impediment for Seattle is that Lee has been traded twice in the past 23 months for seven prospects — none of them blue chip — as teams dealing the lefty valued quantity in return over quality.

The Mets were feeling their oats that June after an 18-8 run that had them at 44-34 overall and in second place, ten games over .500. They were well within grasp of that coveted division title.

Desperate for another starting pitcher and unable to dole out another nickel as the Madoff scandal started to hit home, the Mets stood pat and there was nothing Omar Minaya could do about it. The team paid the price and it all went downhill from there going 31-45 the rest of the way and finishing the year in a disappointing 4th place.

The always dapper Omar Minaya and his gangsta Jerry Manuel were rubbed out while pulling up in front of Sparks Steakhouse in NYC two days later. It was a bad scene, man…

The Texas Rangers wound up winning the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and got him along with Mark Lowe for some of their one-time top prospects Matthew Lawson, Blake BeavanJosh Lueke and Justin Smoak.

Huh… Who? Wait… What?

Talk about getting Smoaked…

joe pesci

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Sandy Alderson’s Philosophy On Evaluating Terry Collins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/sandy-aldersons-philosophy-on-evaluating-terry-collins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/sandy-aldersons-philosophy-on-evaluating-terry-collins.html/#comments Sat, 02 Mar 2013 16:32:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=108912 collins alderson springGeneral manager Sandy Alderson stopped short of saying manager Terry Collins’ job was secure, but in a conference call this week, left the impression he will be judged with a broad paintbrush.

As GM, Alderson’s job description entails building for the future, and while Collins has nothing guaranteed to him beyond this season, it doesn’t mean the two perspectives can’t co-exist.Collins’ extension will be assured if the Mets have a winning season, but even if they don’t – very possible considering their holes – he could be back in the dugout in 2014, when the spending is supposed to begin.

“Well I think there are two things upon which a manager is evaluated,’’ Alderson said. “One is wins and losses, and the other is the improvement of the players on the team. And regardless of whether you have a veteran-dominated team or a younger team, players have to improve.

“And more importantly, they have to be motivated to improve, and that’s really partly where the manager comes in. I think that Terry will be evaluated on both of those bases, with the understanding that the wins and losses are not an absolute – to some extent they are relative to the talent that we have.’’

And, that talent level is thin, with a patchwork bullpen, questions at all three outfield spots, a new catcher and questions throughout the rotation, including a heavy dependence on Matt Harvey, who has but ten starts in his career.

A lot has to happen for the Mets to surpass last year’s 74 victories. Several times Alderson has spoken on changing the Mets’ culture and it has evolved since the dark days of the Jerry Manuel-Omar Minaya era.

At one point last season the Mets were eight games over .500, but Alderson did nothing to upgrade the franchise at the trade deadline and the summer spiraled out of control as the offense collapsed in the second half.

Collins deserved some responsibility, but in fairness he had little to work with to turn the team around. Alderson takes some of the blame for that, and admits he waited too long.

Even so, Collins can’t afford to lose things this year. He has to maintain the teaching along with motivation.

“So part of this whole analysis is having a good feel for the talent level that we have and the success that we have and how those two correlate, as well as some of the other less tangible aspects of leading a team over 162 games,’’ Alderson said.

Those tangible aspects include keeping the Mets focused and motivated, regardless of how much they skid. If he does that, we’ll see Collins again next year.

On a side note, not too many GM’s are as open and forthcoming with the media as this one is. After our conference call, Joe D. said something to some of us who participated that nobody disagreed with.

“Say what you want about, Sandy,” Joe said. “But one thing I respect him for is that he always gives us a thoughtful, well-detailed and analytic response to our questions.”

Thinking back to the last three general managers the Mets have had before Alderson, Joe is right.

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#LOLMets Is Still Alive and Well http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/08/lolmets-is-still-alive-and-well.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/08/lolmets-is-still-alive-and-well.html/#comments Fri, 17 Aug 2012 17:52:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=93353

SAY WHAT???

From the NY Post:

Evidently, Citi Field isn’t the place you go where everybody knows your name.

On Friday night, the Mets official Twitter page tweeted a video of Daniel Murphy’s first-inning RBI single. The only problem? The message referred to the second baseman as “David Murphy,” who happens to play for the Texas Rangers. The post has since been deleted, but not before being dug up by Deadspin.

That wasn’t the only bizarre Mets occurrence in Washington before a 6-4 loss to the Nationals. According to ESPN.com, when manager Terry Collins went to pick up his rental car, he found that it was registered under Jerry Manuel, who was fired as Mets skipper after the 2010 season.

Apparently, the Mets bullpen isn’t the only thing in the midst of an epic meltdown.

The Mets are having one heck of a bizarre week..

A good luck bracelet being snipped off Dickey’s wrist while on the mound…

Johan Santana having his gold Rawlings logo covered with duct tape last night…

But registering Terry’s car under Jerry Manuel’s name? We must be in Crazy Town…

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Collins Says Reyes Isn’t Moving Anywhere http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/06/collins-says-reyes-isnt-moving-anywhere.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/06/collins-says-reyes-isnt-moving-anywhere.html/#comments Sun, 05 Jun 2011 04:33:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=51594

I piqued your curiosity didn’t I?

Collins actually did say that, but he wasn’t referring to the trade deadline – he was responding to a question about moving Jose Reyes from the leadoff spot to batting third in the lineup.

As ESPN pointed out last night, there are plenty of reasons why some people look at Terry Collins as the anti-Jerry Manuel.

Collins provided yet another reason to support that theory on Saturday night.

Despite Jose Reyes being the team’s top run producer, Collins said he would never — never — move Reyes to another spot in the lineup.

“He’s going to stay right where he is,” Collins said.

Who can forget when Jerry Manuel put Reyes in the No. 3 hole last season in what ended up being a disastrous move for the shortstop and for the Mets. Reyes hit just .207 while batting third and looked like a fish out of water. For nearly a month, Reyes struggled and was visibly agitated batting third - his entire game was turned upside down by Manuel. It even affected Reyes’ performance on the bases as he failed to get one stolen base but was caught three times.

During his first day back in the leadoff spot, Reyes responded with a big day at the plate and his signature smile, which hadn’t been seen in weeks, was back too.

Reyes was also asked about shifting to third in the lineup after last night’s game.

“Come on man, you know what happened last year,” Reyes said, laughing off the question. “That didn’t work out too good. I’m comfortable in the leadoff.”

Collins was quick to squash the notion of taking Jose Reyes away from the leadoff spot and never hesitated. It’s just another reason among many others, to like the new Mets skipper.

By the way, according to Elias, Reyes is the fastest player to 10 triples since Curtis Granderson got to 10 in the Tigers’ 58th game. All of Reyes’ triples have come at Citi Field – the house that Reyes built?

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One Thing Is Clear; Terry Collins Is No Jerry Manuel http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/04/one-thing-is-clear-terry-collins-is-no-jerry-manuel.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/04/one-thing-is-clear-terry-collins-is-no-jerry-manuel.html/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2011 14:15:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=48711

Were any of you wondering what transpired the other day in Atlanta, when Daniel Murphy tried to steal third base and was out by a mile?

You may remember an enraged (or was it embarrassed) Terry Collins taking Murphy into the back of the dugout as soon as trotted off the field with his head down.

Here is what transpired according to a source that told Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.

Daniel Murphy, standing on second base with none out, staring at a three-run deficit, attempted to steal third — a monstrously bad decision that ended in failure.

Terry Collins watched in quiet rage as Murphy was thrown out — waiting while his player collected himself and returned to the dugout — before exploding.

“What the [bleep] are you doing?” Collins shouted, according to a person who’d been made aware of the exchange.

“Mike [Nickeas] was up, [Mike] Pelf[rey] was on deck; I was trying to get something started,” Murphy responded.

“So now you’re the manager? I was going to pinch-hit [for Pelfrey],” Collins shot back. “I’m the manager, not you. Get your head out of your [bleep].”

Wow… He really let him have it, but I bet Daniel Murphy never makes a stupid decision like that again.

Think about all the repeated gaffs and blunders of the last two seasons under Jerry Manuel and imagine how differently things would have been had he demonstrated that same kind of in-your-face and immediate response.

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The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/02/more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/02/more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same-for-the-mets.html/#comments Tue, 22 Feb 2011 22:00:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=44925 “The more things change, the more they stay the same” seems to apply for the Mets after the last few days.  On Friday I posted here that Terry Collins told reporters that it would be up to Carlos Beltran on whether or not he would move from center-field and start playing right-field.  Yesterday Brandon Butler posted that Oliver Perez has already been guaranteed a roster spot by Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.  I was hoping with a new regime things would be different but at least in these two instances that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel, the last 2 managers of the Mets ran their teams much like this. They would let the player decide things instead of managing the player and doing what was best for the team. I’m surprised that he would let a player decide where he would play. Everything we’ve heard about Collins is that he’s a take charge manager, the opposite of Willie and Jerry. In a perfect world it would be nice if Beltran would go to Collins and admit his days in center are done but we don’t live in a perfect world. Collins needs to do the job he was hired to do and manage the team. We’ve seen what happens when the manager does not have the control to do this.

What doesn’t surprise me is that Oliver Perez might have been given a guarantee that he’ll make the team regardless of his performance this Spring.  I knew Alderson would never allow a player making that much money to be released, regardless if his performance is not going to help the team. I understand wanting to get some value from Perez who is making 12 million dollars this season but this makes no sense. Sometimes you have to go against your “moneyball” philosophies and realize a player is just a lost cause.  I don’t understand the logic of having Perez occupy a roster spot again this year.  It’s not like the Mets are a team that can win with a 24 man roster, they need all the able players they can get to be productive.  I would much rather see a young pitcher like Gee who is hungry and wants to help this team win, make the team instead of Perez who twice refused to accept a minor league deal so he can rack up service time.

I understand Alderson and Collins inherited an aging Beltran and an awful Perez but they could do things differently than the past regimes.  The whole reason the Mets got rid of Omar and Jerry was because the way they were running the team was not working.  I don’t understand why Collins and Alderson are doing the same thing.  Hopefully they’ll learn from history otherwise we’re doomed to repeat it.

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John Franco: Terry Is A Good Fit, But Players Better Be On Their Toes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/01/john-franco-terry-is-a-good-fit-but-players-better-be-on-their-toes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/01/john-franco-terry-is-a-good-fit-but-players-better-be-on-their-toes.html/#comments Tue, 25 Jan 2011 04:20:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=43298 In this video produced by SNY, John Franco speaks highly of Terry Collins who he worked with when he played for him in the Dodger organization.

Franco calls him a straight shooter, a stickler for fundamentals and very focused on speed and defense which is exactly what the Mets need right now. He also added that Collins will not put up with any lackadaisical play and that those players better be on their toes. 

It’s going to be interesting to observe how all the players react after several years of laid back managers like Jerry Manuel and Willie Randolph.

There’s no doubt that this team has needed a heavy dose of discipline for quite some time, and I’m glad that they will get plenty of it with Collins. Although he wasn’t one of my top choices for manager, the more I hear from him with regard to his managing style, the more there is to like.

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