Someone Help the Mets

If Machiavelli ever penned a manual on how to operate as a general manager he would have undoubtedly included a chapter on how to extinguish the proverbial hot seat. Way number one: Win. Way number two: Win more. Way number three: Win even more. And so on until the options become more about shifting the responsibility of burden and the actions include firing personnel or trading players.

Fortunately for Omar Minaya, Jerry Manuel is giving him all kinds of signs that he’s ready for a post-managerial career. Unfortunately for Minaya, it would be the second manager he’s axed during his Mets’ tenure, and would place the heavily glowing spotlight over his own head. The way things are going, Minaya may not have a choice. He can cut Manuel loose and save his own job for the time being, or allow Manuel to drive the team into the wall and have them both dismissed at once.

Ignore the extra innings mismanagement of Francisco Rodriguez. That’s merely another bullet point on Manuel’s pink slip. Consider the horrendous handling of Jenrry Mejia to date. Manuel has instructed him to focus on his fastball – presumably the pitch that needs the least work for Mejia to become a good starter. If telling the organization’s best pitching prospect to disregard developing his secondary stuff isn’t enough, then how about then using that pitcher in lower leverage situations than just about everyone else in the bullpen? Manuel is actually using Mejia in the perfect developmental situations, yet he’s capping that development by disallowing him to throw his curve and change-up as often as he wants. Meanwhile, Mejia’s service clock continues to tick.

As for the other act of ridiculousness, it was an in-game maneuver that Manuel pulled earlier this afternoon. After allowing Fernando Tatis to pinch hit, Manuel elected to keep him in the ballgame … by removing David Wright. This decision came after Jason Bay had been removed, leaving Gary Matthews Jr. and Jeff Francoeur as the Mets’ corner outfielders. Rather than replace one of those with Tatis – the Mets’ emergency catcher, which is only important because that’s Manuel’s stated reason for keeping him in the game – Manuel decided it would help the team to replace his best player. You know, just in case Rod Barajas suffered an injury.

The Mets fittingly lost on a walkoff home run by Orlando Cabrera. This team is too big of a mess for one with so many excellent and enjoyable players like Jose Reyes, Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Johan Santana. It’s not just Manuel or just Minaya. It’s a combination. I’m not sure a great manager can overcome a poor general manager, and I don’t believe a great general manager would endure a poor manager. But when you get a pair of the same quality it leads either to beautiful fireworks or a bunch of self-inflicted burns. The Mets currently employ the latter. Truthfully, it’s hard to find an uglier design than what the Mets have in place with these two.

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12 years ago

Some quick fix moves to start!

step1. Move the best lead off hitter back to lead off.
step2. Remove Pagan, from leadoff (since he is not a lead off guy) and go back to step1.
step3. Move Castillo from the two hole (I would like to see a hitter who can take advantage of those fastballs and not hit 18 hoppers to the second basemen)
step4. repeat step1

12 years ago
Reply to  james

Reyes in the 3 hole isn’t really a problem. Ideally I’d have Castillo #1, Reyes #2. But really putting someone who should be one of your top 4 hitters in the 3 hole so he can have runners in front of him isn’t terrible.

What is terrible is starting GM Jr., double switching out your few good hitters, overworking Pedro Feliciano and Fernando Nieve, messing with Jennry Mejia, and using Frank Catalanotto as your first pinch hitter.
That’s terrible.

The lineup order…..just be happy when he has the best 7 hitters out there (Pagan, Castillo, Reyes, Wright, Bay, Davis, Frenchy…either Barajas or Blanco is fine at catcher).

12 years ago
Reply to  garik16

The best lineup, in the short term, would be Reyes/Francouer/Wright/Bay/Davis/Barajas/Pagan/Pitcher/Castillo.

I know, Francouer in the 2-hole? But he’s a) been walking a ton lately, and b) would probably benefit most from seeing fastballs with Reyes on.

12 years ago
Reply to  garik16

Frenchy in the 2 hole is not the answer if you want him to see more fastballs. Frnechy can’thit fastballs. He feasts on off-speed stuff. His OPS is like 200 points lower vs. power pitchers than against off-speed pitchers.

12 years ago
Reply to  garik16

In what world has Francouer been ‘walking a ton lately?’ He has two walks in his last 16 games and four in his last 20. Moving forward expecting him to walk more than 5 or 6% of the time is something only the Mets could believe.

12 years ago
Reply to  garik16

so you want the guy who is arguably the team’s worst hitter getting the most PAs?

james S
12 years ago
Reply to  garik16

The problem is Castillo and Pagan are the worst hitters on the team and shouldnt be batting one and two.
Heres my lineup:
Reyes, pagan, wright, bay, davis, frenchy, barajas, pitcher, castillo.

Castillo acts like a lead off hitter but Reeys gets the most abats on the team. Pagan will see more fastballs with Reyes on base and Wright behind him.

12 years ago
Reply to  james

lead off hitter isn’t a special enough role to warrant that kind of argument.