So um....I don't know if you have heard, but he Mets fired their manager. Is that still even being talked about?
I did not have time yesterday to fully dive into the depths of my brain to say everything I wanted to say about the issue. Luckily, I do not have to today as Rob Neyer had a chat and many of the things I wanted to say were illustrated perfectly by others which saves me oodles of time.
When a team wins, the manager generally gets a great deal of credit. More to the point, while the Mets' losing record may not be -- almost certainly is not -- strictly Randolph's fault, it's fairly obvious that something had to change. Willie Randolph may be a fine manager, but he does not seem to be the right manager for this team, right now. Maybe this team isn't good enough to win, no matter who's calling the shots in the dugout. But there's only one way to find out.
To continue down the road of mediocrity and not do anything is criminal. Changing Minaya mid-season would have ZERO outcome on the Mets in '08 and '09, however, the managerial change might have an effect. Something had to be done and this was the only option.
Those of you calling for Minaya's head may be justified, but it would be fruitless. It might serve the point to satiate your need for blood being spilled, but Willie's blood at least may lead to something good. Again, it may not, but as Rob said, there is only one way to find out.
Nick (NJ): How was this team supposed to win 90 games? They have Wright/Beltran/Reyes on paper with Alou (he's more fragile than paper)/Castillo (couldn't hit a ball through paper) and Delgado (umm...can't think of a paper analogy) who was done last year. This roster is horribly constructed - and don't even start on the bench. This is all on Omar.
Rob Neyer: (12:21 PM ET ) Here's what I can tell you, Nick ... Before the season, I looked at five "computer" projections -- that is, projections based on data rather than blue sky -- and all five showed the Mets with somewhere between 92 and 98 wins. One thing I've learned over the years is that if you try to outsmart the data you're usually going to be wrong.
Blame Minaya if you want, but the same roster everyone is ripping him for putting together was also the same roster that many other people thought was good as well. Simulations are not real life, which is obvious, but all you can do is put together the best team you can on paper and hope for the best. The Mets won 88 games in '07 and added Ryan Church and Johan Santana which is a significant upgrade that theoretically should have pushed them in the mid 90's for wins.
Enter reality, that is not happening and the manager is the easy target.
Mario (Queens, NYC): Willie's been on more championship teams than everyone in the Mets organization combined. Aside from the horrendous handling of his dismissal, it was simply the wrong move. There are no legit managerial alternatives, so it was clear that it was just a shot across the bow to shake things up and deflect responsibility. While I've been an Omar fan to this point, I'm now glad to see that he's now directly next in line for a canning if the team continues to falter. By the way, what are the stats on a team making the playoffs after a mid-season managerial change?
Rob Neyer: How is Jerry Manuel not legit? He's got experience, and a career winning record as a major league manager. Seems to me there are few *more* legitimate options than Manuel.
This is my most favorite-est argument in the universe. Willie is just a BORN winner with so much class, dignity, and grace. That mustache is so elegant and demands soooo much respect. I mean, really. Are there actually people out there that think anything Willie has done as a player or third base coach means he should be managing a big league ball club?
Since he has been the manager, he has proven to be inept (lack of strategic ability), stubborn (especially with young guys), childish (playing favorites and making many snide remarks), delusional (blaming SNY for being racist and calling Met fans out for being fair-weather fans), and too hands off at times ("There’s no certain point you get to where you’ve got to make any speeches. We know where we are").
Yes, Willie may have been a good big league ballplayer. Yes, he has a few championship rings. Yes, he is probably a good father and husband. Yes, he probably has a good soul and does not look at child porn. Yes, he is a local guy. However, none of that has anything to do with being a good manager and especially not for this Met team.
As for Jerry Manual, everyone knows he has more managerial experience than Willie does, right?
Terrence (NYC): The Mets should go against every inkling of their beliefs, tendencies, and beliefs- and hire Wally Backman. Pull a George Costanza, and just do the opposite. He's exactly what this team needs.
Rob Neyer: Perhaps. If the Mets don't make a strong second-half push, Manuel's probably gone. And maybe Backman is just what the millionaires need.
I really need Terrence to be the special assistant to the Grand Puba of the Mets.
Justin (Massena, NY): Well, if the Keith Hernandez for Manager '09 campaign is starting here, I'm throwing Ron Darling in for Pitching Coach. Those two, as broadcasters, have at least made watching the blunderous Mets games really entertaining this year.
Rob Neyer: Yes, but as a TV watcher I must vociferously protest. Don't free Mex and Ronnie!
Please...keep them in the booth.
Justin (Queens, NY): I believe your assesment was correct when you said "Randolph may be a fine manager, but he does not seem to be the right manager for this team, right now." The Mets need a disciplinarian, someone who won't be afraid to bench Reyes after he has a mental gaffe (then smiles) or tell Delgado he isn't playing verus lefties. I suggest Keith Hernandez manager for next season.
Rob Neyer: Specifically, I don't think Hernandez has any interest in managing. Generally, I think the Mets should hire someone -- if they don't keep Manuel -- who's actually managed before, even if only in the minors.
And really, this is the basis of every argument I had for not hiring Randolph in the first place. This team was on the precipice of what we all thought would be multiple playoff births and the first World Series win in twenty+ years and leading the charge was a guy who was a third base coach and bench coach for one season. Ummm.....am I missing something?
Anders (Montreal): I don't know who to finger point at - Minaya gave Luis Castillo a 4/25$ contract, but Randolph is the one batting him second. I'm so confused.
Rob Neyer: It's funny, I was completely on board with the anti-Castillo sentiment ... until I noticed this morning that he's got a .368 on-base percentage. I'm far from his biggest fan, but Castillo's not the problem. Not this year, anyway (the contract's still a joke).
That was the best one of the day....
Did I lose you? Ok...then let us continue....Easley can't get to ball in the hole that Reyes would have at least had a shot on, can't turn a double play that Reyes probably makes, and then makes a mental gaffe by not covering second on a pick off move. Basically, not having Reyes might have cost the Mets the game as the tone was set early.
Yes...there is no mistaking this is the Mets. Just as dysfunctional as ever. Manuel's first day at the office was a rough one, but let us not go crazy about one game. Everyone relax...please. For all of our santity relax...THERE IS NOTHING TO GO CRAZY ABOUT. Things are fine and rosey...just relax! Anyone buying this?
Buster Olney: Pat: You and Hank Steinbrenner are thinking along the same lines. I wish the rules were uniform; I wish they played without a DH. But that is not happening, it will probably never happen in our lifetimes, so to worry about it is a little like fretting about the weather; it's just not going to change.
Did I miss the point in time where pitchers became comprised of egg shells and pixie dust? Should quarterbacks start wearing flags in their pants so they no longer get tackled?
Main Entry: ath·lete
Pronunciation: \ˈath-ˌlēt, ÷ˈa-thə-ˌlēt\
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest
Date: 15th century
: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina
I really love sports. However, I really hate the point in time when players stopped becoming athletes and starting becoming investments. Not just investments, but they were deemed extremely fragile investments.
I get it. The Mets firing Willie when they did seems absurd. I agree they had plenty....and I mean PLENTY...of opportunities to do so. However, to call them back stabbing is just silly. He was under .500 69 games into the season and he just captained the largest collapse in the history of the galaxy and they are paying him MILLIONS of dollars through 2010. I think Willie will be able to remove the knife from his back and find a way to carry on.
"I wear this bracelet because I’m … very in tune with Eastern philosophy and universal law. [The bracelet rings signify] faith, compassion, equanimity and love. … The Eastern language writes in symbols, and the symbol for crisis they also use for opportunity. I’ve been given a great opportunity here, and as I walk out that door, I seek my next opportunity. I walk out in peace, and I wish everybody else here the best. … Hopefully, the Tuscany tile will do a lot better than a hardwood floor."