Tag:Jerry Manuel
Posted on: May 27, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 6:51 pm
 

If 'coverage is good,' then the Mets are winners

NEW YORK -- The owner ripped his players. Then the owner said he was "bleeding cash."

Oh, and then the owner announced that he'd found someone to buy part of the team, someone who would give him some much-needed cash (but not enough cash to make all that much of a difference). And another player got hurt.

You could say it was a crazy week for the Mets, but when they showed up for work Friday, it felt like just another day, just another week.

And maybe that's exactly what makes the Mets what they are. The craziness has become so common that it doesn't even feel like craziness anymore.

The bad news has been so expected that a bit of good news becomes something to joke about.

"We finally got a good report," general manager Sandy Alderson said about pitcher R.A. Dickey. "We must have changed doctors."

The good report? It was that Dickey only has a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot. It was that Dickey may not miss a start (although maybe he will).

"I was expecting something more dire," Alderson said.

Oh, and in the meantime, David Wright and Ike Davis are still on the disabled list, with no return date certain. And in the meantime, the Mets have been outhomered 9-1 in the nine games since Wright went out.

And fans have basically stopped showing up.

Alderson is learning. Just as Jerry Manuel learned.

It was two years ago that Manuel, then the Mets manager, said of a Gary Sheffield injury: "They're calling it cramps -- surgery on Tuesday."

Alderson is learning that weeks like this just aren't out of the ordinary here.

"Everybody says, 'This is New York -- it's different,'" he said. "I would admit, 'This is New York -- it's different.'"

This isn't Oakland. This isn't San Diego.

At his previous stops, Alderson's week would have been different.

"There would have been a little beach time in there," he said with a grin.

Instead, he's still fielding questions about what owner Fred Wilpon said to The New Yorker.
 
The players are fielding questions, too. A crowd gathered around Carlos Beltran in the Mets clubhouse Friday, even though Beltran had already answered his own Wilpon questions in Chicago.

"What happened, that's in the past," Beltran told the crowd.

He understands already. This is the Mets. This is New York.

It's always like this.

"I just try to keep my head and think about the game," he said. "Of course, there are distractions. But all we can do is concentrate on what's important."

But what is important for the Mets? Is it surviving this season? Is it trading away their players? Is it surviving the crisis of the day?

"We're in the entertainment business," Alderson said. "Coverage is good."

By that standard, then, this was a good week at Citi Field.

Another good week.



Posted on: May 28, 2010 10:42 am
Edited on: May 28, 2010 1:30 pm
 

3 to watch: The What now? edition

A month ago today, we told you that the Mets were a mess to figure out.

Well, guess what? A month later, the Mets are a mess to figure out.

One week, they're changing three-fifths of the starting rotation, and everyone thinks they might change the manager, too. There's a mess with John Maine, a mess with Darryl Strawberry and a mess with Francisco Rodriguez.

Then the Mets win a series from the Yankees, and sweep a series from the Phillies -- on three straight shutouts . Anyone need reminding that the Yankees and Phillies are the defending league champions?

So now the Mets are rolling again, just two games behind the Phillies in the National League East. Now we see all the Mets' potential, with two ace-like starting pitchers atop the rotation (Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey), with grit that they haven't shown in years, with Jose Reyes looking like himself atop the lineup, with Carlos Beltran coming back sometime (although not soon), with a rebuilt rotation, and with a team that sure does seem to respond for Jerry Manuel.

And a team that still owns the worst road record in the entire National League. A team that plays in a ballpark where it sometimes seems impossible to hit a home run, and still features a key middle-of-the-order hitter (Jason Bay) who has homered only at home.

Oh, and a team that's about to open a road series against the team with the worst home record in baseball.

Sounds like a perfect place to begin this weekend's 3 to watch:

1. At this point, we'll have to assume that Manuel's job is safe for another . . . no, we're not going to say it, because with the Mets, there's always another crisis around the corner. But what about Ken Macha? A week ago, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel , "I can tell you unequivocally, we are not making a manager change on Monday." That was last Monday he was talking about, and the Brewers unequivocally did not change managers that day. Macha was still the manager when the Brewers finally won a home series (against the awful Astros), and we're going to have to assume he'll be there when Santana faces Yovani Gallardo in Mets at Brewers, Friday night (8:10 EDT) at Miller Park .

2. There's still a lot of doubt that Roy Oswalt will actually get traded, given the limited list of teams he's said to be interested in going to, and Astros owner Drayton McLane's limited (or non-existent) history of trading away his favorite players. But one popular destination, at least when baseball people talk about Oswalt, is the Angels, who have been searching for an ace for more than a year now. The Astros aren't on the Angels' interleague schedule, so they won't get to see Oswalt in person. They will, however, get a close look at another even more likely-to-be-available ace, Cliff Lee, in Mariners at Angels, Friday night (10:05 EDT) at Angel Stadium . Lee starts Friday, Felix Hernandez starts Sunday, and Chone Figgins will be back in Anaheim for the first time in a Mariner uniform.

3. Josh Johnson hasn't allowed a run in more than two weeks. The Phillies haven't scored a run off a starting pitcher in a week. Josh Johnson is the scheduled starter, against Roy Halladay, in Phillies at Marlins, Saturday night (7:10 EDT) at Sun Life Stadium . Sounds like maybe the Phillies ought to think about scoring a run Friday night against Chris Volstad.

Posted on: May 23, 2010 10:04 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2010 10:06 pm
 

3 to watch: The Most Important Player edition

Just before opening day, we told you that Cole Hamels was not only the most important player on the Phillies, but the most important in the entire National League.

With Hamels off to a 5-2 start and the Phillies in first place despite injuries that have hit their rotation, their lineup and most notably their bullpen, we may well have been right -- except for one thing. The way the Phillies look with Jimmy Rollins out of the lineup, Rollins is starting to look like the Phils' most important player.

Rollins' right calf injury has kept him out of 31 of the Phils' first 43 games. Their record when he plays: 9-3. Their record when he doesn't: 17-14.

Not only that, but after beating the Red Sox 5-1 on Friday night with Rollins in the lineup, the Phils put Rollins back on the disabled list Saturday. Sure enough, they nearly got no-hit by Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday, and didn't score until the ninth inning of an 8-3 loss to Tim Wakefield and the Sox on Sunday.

So as the Phillies go to Citi Field this week, their ability to score runs without Rollins is every bit as interesting as Jerry Manuel's future with the Mets.

Speaking of which, this could be an interesting week for managers, with the Baltimore Sun already speculating that the Orioles could finally fire Dave Trembley.

On to this week's 3 to watch:

1. With Josh Beckett on the disabled list with back trouble, the Red Sox need Jon Lester even more than ever. Lester threw a complete game to beat the Twins the day Beckett went on the DL, improving to 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his last six starts. A bigger test comes in Red Sox at Rays, Tuesday (7:10 EDT) at Tropicana Field , when Lester faces the team that beat him 7-1 last month at Fenway Park.

2. The Yankees believe Javier Vazquez is getting things figured out. Or, at the very least, the Yankees hope that Vazquez is getting things figured out. We'll know more after Vazquez's next start, which for now is scheduled to be in Yankees at Twins, Thursday (8:10 EDT) at Target Field . One unanswered question is whether the bruised index finger that forced Vazquez out of his Friday night start against the Mets will affect him, or even keep him from starting. Another unanswered question: Will Jason Kubel's grand slam off Mariano Rivera last week at Yankee Stadium give the Twins any more confidence against a Yankee team that won all four games in Minnesota last year (three in the regular season, one in the playoffs).

3. The last time the Mets and Phillies met, the Mets could at least dream that they were ready to challenge the Phillies in the National League East. That's not really the case this time, not with R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi the scheduled Mets starters in the first two games of the series. But the Mets have a chance against anyone with Mike Pelfrey on the mound, and he's Hamels' scheduled opponent in Phillies at Mets, Thursday night (7:10 EDT) at Citi Field.


Posted on: May 21, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2010 7:47 pm
 

Mets have a Maine mess

NEW YORK -- The always-in-turmoil Mets enter this weekend's Subway Series in, you guessed it, turmoil.

The front-burner subject: starting pitcher John Maine, who was pulled after five pitches Thursday night in Washington, wasn't happy about it, and now has landed on the disabled list.

It's yet another Mets injury, but also yet more Mets trouble, because Maine's anger with the team, and the team's anger with him, played out in public.

Told that the right-handed Maine said Friday he wanted to pitch even if he had to throw with his left hand, manager Jerry Manuel responded, "He might have better stuff lefty."

Just before Friday's game against the Yankees, the Mets announced that Maine was going on the DL with "right shoulder weakness," and that he would undergo tests on the shoulder next week. They called up veteran Elmer Dessens to take Maine's roster spot.

But the Maine issue involves more than just whether he can pitch. Maine and Manuel argued in the dugout after Maine was removed from Thursday's game, and club sources said Maine had another uncomfortable conversation with pitching coach Dan Warthen on the Mets' charter flight home.

Manuel didn't dismiss a suggestion that Maine was guilty of insubordination.

The Mets, who already made two changes in their rotation in the last week (the awful Oliver Perez and the injured Jonathan Niese out, R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi in), spent part of Friday afternoon discussing who will now take Maine's place, even before they had officially scratched him from the rotation.

It seems clear that the Mets (or at least the manager and coaching staff) have no interest in putting Perez back in the rotation. But one Mets official added that "money talks," referring to the $12 million the Mets are paying Perez this season.

The Mets have insisted that Maine see a doctor, because his velocity hasn't been consistent all season. It was a particular concern Thursday, when he wasn't throwing hard in the bullpen, then began the game by throwing five pitches clocked by MLB.com's GameDay at 82-85 mph.

Maine told reporters that he was healthy, causing Warthen to then call the pitcher "a habitual liar," at least when it comes to his own health.

Meanwhile, the Mets are 20-22 and in last place in the National League East, and New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro has already called for Manuel to be fired.

That just adds to the sense of turmoil around the team, particularly since Manuel hasn't shied away from the job-status talk.

Asked Friday whether the season feels less like a marathon when he's fighting daily for his job, Manuel responded, "Regardless if it's short for me, I have to manage as it's a marathon for the team."

Does it feel short for him?

"It could be," he said. "But I don't look at it that way."

Just another day in the life of baseball's messiest team.


Category: MLB
Posted on: May 21, 2010 5:38 pm
 

Mets have a Maine mess

NEW YORK -- The always-in-turmoil Mets enter this weekend's Subway Series in, you guessed it, turmoil.

The front-burner subject: starting pitcher John Maine, who was pulled after five pitches Thursday night in Washington, and wasn't happy about it. That's fine, because it's clear right now that the Mets aren't very happy with Maine, either.

Told that the right-handed Maine said Friday he wanted to pitch even if he had to throw with his left hand, manager Jerry Manuel responded, "He might have better stuff lefty."

Manuel didn't dismiss a suggestion that Maine was guilty of insubordination, and club sources said that Maine's angry discussions with Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen continued on the Mets' charter flight home after Thursday's game.

The Mets, who already made two changes in their rotation in the last week (the awful Oliver Perez and the injured Jonathan Niese out, R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi in), spent part of Friday afternoon discussing who will now take Maine's place. While Manuel held off on saying that Maine definitely won't make his next start, at least until Maine is examined by a team doctor, that much seems clear, no matter what the doctor says.

It also seems clear that the Mets (or at least the manager and coaching staff) have no interest in putting Perez back in the rotation. But one Mets official added that "money talks," referring to the $12 million the Mets are paying Perez this season.

The Mets have insisted that Maine see a doctor, because his velocity hasn't been consistent all season. It was a particular concern Thursday, when he wasn't throwing hard in the bullpen, then began the game by throwing five pitches clocked by MLB.com's GameDay at 82-85 mph.

Maine told reporters that he was healthy, causing Warthen to then call the pitcher "a habitual liar," at least when it comes to his own health.

Meanwhile, the Mets are 20-22 and in last place in the National League East, and New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro has already called for Manuel to be fired.

That just adds to the sense of turmoil around the team, particularly since Manuel hasn't shied away from the job-status talk.

Asked Friday whether the season feels less like a marathon when he's fighting daily for his job, Manuel responded, "Regardless if it's short for me, I have to manage as it's a marathon for the team."

Does it feel short for him?

"It could be," he said. "But I don't look at it that way."

Just another day in the life of baseball's messiest team.
Category: MLB
Posted on: April 16, 2010 10:05 am
 

3 to watch: The 'In trouble already?' edition

The headline in the New York Daily News reads, "Mets may have to call Bobby," as in Valentine. The Baltimore Sun says, "Listless Orioles lose 7th straight" and "Too early to panic?"

The season isn't even two weeks old. On this day a year ago, the Angels were in last place (as they are today). And the Blue Jays were in first place (as they are today).

With those thoughts in mind, here's the weekend edition of 3 to watch, focusing on teams with trouble (and maybe teams in trouble):

1. When Johan Santana lost to Livan Hernandez last Sunday, Jerry Manuel called his Mets "unprepared," setting off the latest frenzy about his future as manager. So imagine what happens if Santana loses to 23-year-old Jaime Garcia, in Mets at Cardinals, Saturday afternoon (3:10 EDT) at Busch Stadium.  One thing to watch: While Santana is undoubtedly the Mets ace and sole dependable starter, scouts say he isn't the pitcher he once was. The velocity on the fastball just hasn't been there. "If you took away the [uniform] number, he looks like just another pitcher," one scout said after watching Santana last week.

2. The Orioles had signs of trouble in spring training, when Brian Roberts got hurt, closer Mike Gonzalez looked terrible and observers complained that too few of the Oriole players approached the game with a professional attitude. Now both Roberts and Gonzalez are on the disabled list, the O's have one win, and general manager Andy MacPhail is answering questions about manager Dave Trembley's future. One scout who spent last week in Baltimore came away convinced that this team is certain to finish in last place. The one bright spot? Young starter Brian Matusz, and in Orioles at Athletics, Sunday afternoon (4:05 EDT) at the Coliseum , Matusz meets up with Brett Anderson in a matchup of two of the most exciting young lefties in the game. As we told you this spring, A's people believe that Anderson is going to throw a no-hitter some day. The way the O's are going, is this the day?

3. We're cheating here, because the Rays and Red Sox aren't in trouble. But the Yankees have looked good enough out of the gate that it's fair to wonder if Tampa Bay and Boston will eventually be fighting over one playoff spot. The Rays and Red Sox meet for the first four of 18 times this weekend, and we'll pick Rays at Red Sox, Sunday afternoon (1:35 EDT) at Fenway Park , because of the matchup of Jon Lester and Matt Garza. They met twice in the 2008 ALCS, with Garza besting Lester both times. But Garza had an advantage then, with David Price available out of the bullpen to close Game 7. Now Price is in the rotation, Rafael Soriano is Tampa Bay's closer, and one scout who watched Soriano last week said, "Terrible. I'd love to hit against him. He's fastball-slider, and he's guaranteed to make a mistake with the slider."
Posted on: July 7, 2009 7:15 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2009 7:17 pm
 

Mets rely on . . . hope?

NEW YORK -- The Mets say they don't know when Carlos Beltran will be back. They say they don't know when Jose Reyes will be back.

They have some idea when Carlos Delgado will be back, but they say he likely won't make it back before mid-August, and in any case shouldn't be back before Beltran and Delgado.

Oh, and the Mets say that we really shouldn't expect any problem-solving trades anytime soon.

So here's what the Mets have to offer: hope.

"We're battling," general manager Omar Minaya said. "We hope as guys get back, we're in contention."

He never said how he expects that to happen.

As for manager Jerry Manuel, at least he has stopped saying publicly that his remaining players aren't good enough (they're not, but it doesn't really help when a manager says they're not).

"We might have to play good with this group for a longer time than we anticipated," Manuel said. "That's my responsibility. I've got to find a way for this group to mesh and play good baseball."

He's hoping.

Posted on: September 28, 2008 6:32 pm
 

Mets expected to retain Manuel

The Mets lost out again on the final day of the season, but that failure isn't expected to cost anyone a job.

General manager Omar Minaya's four-year contract extension became public knowledge a few days back, and after today's 4-2 loss to the Marlins, major-league sources said that it's almost certain that Jerry Manuel will remain as manager.

Manuel took over as interim manager when Willie Randolph was fired late on the night of June 16. The Mets, who were a game under .500 at the time (34-35), went 55-38 under Manuel. Mets players have repeatedly praised Manuel, and several Mets players endorsed him again after today's loss.

"I believe he should be back," Carlos Beltran said. "He's a great man, and he did everything possible. He did his part, and he did his best."

Minaya also praised Manuel, saying he did "a very good job going into a difficult situation."

Minaya wouldn't directly comment on Manuel's future, saying he first had to discuss the situation with club ownership. But it's believed that the decision has already been all but finalized.

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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