Monday, June 15, 2009

Honeymoon Over For Manuel?

In an article by Ken Rosenthal - Fox Sports, Rosenthal surmises that Jerry Manuel, in complete contradiction to Joe Torre, ‘throws his player’s under the bus.’

Rosenthal documents his assertion by some of the following:

  • Making the absurd statement that Jose Reyes might be the #3 hitter on the team, and Luis Castillo will bat leadoff. Apparently this idea was made public to the media before it was made to Jose Reyes.

  • In late March Daniel Murphy is declared the starting LF because he is a ‘better hitter’ than Ryan Church. Murphy is now playing 1B part time along with Fernando Tatis due to his poor defense in LF.On his decision, Manuel said, "I don't want him to get strictly into a platoon situation. I think he's a little better player than that."

  • In April Manuel removes Ramon Castro for pinch hitter Omir Santos, who had to come in from the bullpen, and delayed the game. Santos wound up popping out to 2B. Castro had two hits in the game, but Manuel wanted to go with Santos due to ‘his shorter swing.’

  • Manuel not mentioning Ryan Church by name after the Mets RF missed third base, and was promptly called out on the appeal play. Manuel said, "A guy missed third base. That's unbelievable. I can't explain, why, how or anything."
    Rosenthal leaves out what preceded this. Manuel didn’t neglect to use Churches name, he was speaking on a mistake as such, not this particular instance.

The list goes on, and if interested check out the above link.

Personally, I haven’t been as happy with Jerry this year as I was last year. I do believe he has his players’ backs, unless your name is Church. He verbally doesn’t tolerate poor play, but that being said, his team play’s terrible fundamental baseball. This team needs the Jerry Manuel circa June 17, 2008 where, in his first game as Mets manager, he ordered Jose Reyes off the field in the first inning when Reyes pulled up lame on an IF hit. Manuel showed the world he was in charge. The Mets need that now. Manuel started out loving, but tough. He instituted some great ‘team rules’ such as the pitcher must wait at the mound until the new pitcher (reliever) arrives, and the pitcher being relieved hands the ball to his teammate. Another: the team took batting practice and IF practice as a team.

Although these rules might seem simple, they paid of greatly in the beginning of Manuel’s tenure. Unfortunately he abandoned them. No more do we see the pitcher being relieved wait at the mound until his teammate arrives to replace him. There isn’t a gutsy leader on this team other than Johan and Francisco, but they are pitchers, not everyday players. This organization doesn’t just need their players to step up; they need the Jerry from June 17, 2008 to step up.

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