Tag: Jerry Manuel

New York Mets Clean House, Fire Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya

It was Black Monday at 126th street and Roosevelt Ave.

In a much-anticipated move, the New York Mets said goodbye to GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel on Monday. This is no surprise to anyone who has followed this team over the past couple of years.

Let’s start with Minaya first since he is mostly to blame for the Mets’ mess recently. The biggest problems with the way Minaya he ran the Mets was that he had no game plan and had no creativity.

What was the Mets’ game plan under Minaya (besides being chokers)? They had none. Were they a team built around pitching and defense? Or were they a team built around speed and power? Were they a team that was going to build through the minor league system?

They were a jack of all these trades, but a master of none.

It seemed the Mets were just a mish-mosh of talent that really was never a team. They were a team that was saddled with bad contracts and a team that always lacked any depth.

The Mets under Minaya were always very top heavy. The best example of that was the 2009 season.

Yes, the Mets had a ton of injuries that year, but that season also exposed the lack of organizational depth under Minaya. The Boston Red Sox had just as many devastating injuries in 2010 as the Mets had in 2009 and the Red Sox almost won 90 games.

The other issue with Minaya was that he always made the obvious move. If the Mets needed a closer, he would go out and get a Francisco Rodriguez, but not address any other of the teams needs or improve what they already had.

He also lacked any creativity. Where was his acquisition of a Nick Swisher-type player? How come Minaya couldn’t find a guy coming off a down year and buy low on him? He would buy high on mediocre players like Jason Bay.

The new GM coming in needs to do a couple of things right off the bat…

1. Eat the contracts of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. These guys represent the worst of the Minaya era and need to be released. They bring down the clubhouse and nobody wants them around.

They need to be gone at any cost.

2. Same can be said for Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez has about $15 million remaining on his contract when you consider his $3.5 million buyout for 2012, but after what happened this year, there is no way the Mets can bring him back.

3. Pick up the $11 million club option on Jose Reyes. I am a firm believer that Reyes will never be the player he was from 2005-2008 again, but the Mets need him to regain some trade value. It would do the new GM no good to get rid of him when his value is at an all time low.

4. Change the culture. This might be the most important. The culture around the Mets’ organization is a disaster right now.

The new GM must figure out a way to reconnect the team with it’s fanbase. In my 25 years of following New York baseball, I have never seen the Met fan as disconnected and infuriated with the organization as they are now.

It’s very bad.

Sandy Alderson, Josh Byrnes, Chicago White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, and former Kansas City Royals GM Allard Baird are early candidates for the GM position.

As for Jerry Manuel, he had no shot as Mets manager. Replaced a laid back manager like Willie Randolph with another laid back manager is never a good strategy.

Regardless, he was dealt a pretty bad hand in New York. But also think he didn’t command much respect from the team and just as important, the media. I don’t think anyone in New York believed he was the long-term answer as manager of the Mets.

Wally Backman, Joe Torre, and Bobby Valentine are early candidates for the Mets managerial job. However, Jeff Wilpon on the Boomer and Carton Show on WFAN said the new GM will be able to pick his guy as manager.

I don’t buy that for a second, but that’s what he said.

Whomever the new GM and manager are, they will have their hands full at least for the first year. With questions surrounding Johan Santana and the rest of the pitching staff and with a questionable roster because of some unmovable contracts, the Mets figure to be a .500 team at best next year.

Met fans need to be patient regardless of whoever the GM is. He has a lot of work to do.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Mets: Will The New GM Break Up The Core For 2011 Season ?

The Mets have begun their offseason transactions by relieving Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel of their duties.  This came as no surprise to fans as Manuel’s contract expired once the season ended, and Minaya still had not proven himself to be a GM that will make the moves necessary.

Jeff Wilpon has said on a few occasions in the last few days that the new GM will have complete control over placing the manager, who in turn will have a say in the coaches and players who will be on the roster this spring.

Every opportunity should and will be explored to ensure that the Mets will be competitive in 2011 and beyond, and this needs to start with the new GM.

Omar Minaya has drawn a lot of ire for not making moves either during the off season or at the mid-year trade deadline the last two years in July.

While it is easy for fans to think that next year will be different with the same people, you realistically can’t expect the same results.

The change in GM and management should help with the current players even if no free agents are acquired for budget reasons.


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Mets Owners Own Up to Failure: A Lesson in Open Leadership

Owners of professional sports teams are a fascinating set.  Usually wealthy, some charismatic, some stoic, others intensely private.  Only a select few people accumulate enough wealth to own a professional sports team, so naturally they draw a fair amount of interest.

What has changed in the past 20-odd years,however, is what is expected of owners.  For quite some time, owners thought of teams as their own personal toys.  Owners enjoyed the perks of an owners box, courtside seats, being thought of as a member of the team without having any kind of athletic ability, and, of course, the privilege of accepting the championship trophy from the league commissioner.  Owners didn’t run clubs to make money, and had minimal involvement in the day-to-day operations of the club, usually filling the front office with friends, colleagues, and, um, nice scenery (wink wink nudge nudge). 

But as evidenced by Mets owner Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon’s comments yesterday after the dismissal of manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omay Minaya, that reality has changed.  Owners now bear the direct responsibility for the successes and failures of their teams, forcing them to take on heightened involvement and participation in the club’s day-to-day operations.  When surveying the landscape of professional sports, it’s a general truth that successful clubs have a common element of good ownership, whereas losing clubs usually have bad ownership as a common element.

The comments the Wilpons made floored me:

Jeff Wilpon: “Last year, I said that we’d put together a championship caliber team on the field.  We failed. . .we are all responsible here, ownership is responsible. We’re frustrated and upset like our fans, ownership is accountable”

Fred Wilpon (on that it’s like to watch the Mets the last couple of years): “Painful, very painful. Disappointment is one thing, but it’s really painful, and I live it everyday.  People who know me would understand that I’m anguished when we lose a game” 

SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt: “You think that people realize that. . .that you live and die with every pitch?”

FW: “Perhaps not, and maybe that’s my fault for giving them that perception. . .we’re not any less disappointed than the fans.”

It amazes me how such masters of the universe, who are wealthy beyond belief to be able to own a professional sports franchise in New York, so willingly accept the blame for the teams failures and admit that it is their own doings, and not just those of the people they just fired, that resulted in the team’s shortcomings.  

However, in this age of heightened transparency, where news spreads like wildfire and the more open businesses and entities are the ones that succeed over the closed and secretive ones (reference the BP Oil Spill and ensuing aftermath), such admission of wrong doing is not simply appreciated by leaders, it’s required.  The paying public simply will not give their business and hard earned dollars to organizations and entities that don’t care about their customers and constituents.  

And in this modern era of professional sports, fans simply will not support teams where the ownership is asleep at the wheel, the same way customers will not buy from businesses whose leadership appears to not care.  That’s why it was important for the Wilpons to come clean and make the comments they made yesterday.  

To be an owner of a professional sports team today requires more than an enormous bank account and an ego.  It requires savvy, smarts, desire, and good business sense.  It requires a team of dedicated, knowledgeable, and talented professionals in the front office who are always ahead of the competition, not cronies and bombshells just there to have a job in sports.  And finally, it requires the ability to take responsibility for failure if expectations are not met.

SNY’s interview with Fred Wilpon:


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New York Mets: 10 Reasons Even Retreads Don’t Want to Be in Flushing

The New York Mets cleaned house Monday, officially parting ways with manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya.

After finishing the season with a disappointing 79-83 record, a whopping 18 games behind the first-place Phillies in the National League East, the writing was on the wall for both men.

Now, in need of new leadership at the top, the Mets suddenly face the prospect of rebuilding from the farm system all the way up to the major league level.

They also might be forced to resort to plan B, with a growing reputation of being one of the more unsettled organizations in all of baseball.

Here’s a look at 10 reasons the Mets will have a difficult time luring an experienced manager and general manager to begin picking up the pieces next season:

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New York Mets: Jerry Manuel Will Not Return and Omar Minaya Will Not Be GM

According to reports, manager Jerry Manuel and GM Omar Minaya will not be returning to those roles next season. Jon Heyman of SI.com released the news.

This should not be a surprise of anyone around baseball as the two men have been under fire last past two seasons. With yesterday’s loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Mets are assured a second straight losing season.

An official announcement by the Mets is expected to come before the Major League Baseball playoffs begin on Wednesday. The 2010 regular season ends Sunday.

The organization holds an option on Manuel’s contract and will not be picked up.

Minaya appears to have options. While he will not return as General Manager, Minaya is expected to be given an opportunity to take on a different role within the organization. Would anyone be surprised if that roles is something like Latin American Scout, or a general Scout?

Read full article at Double G Sports.

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The Obvious Sometimes Eludes New York Mets Manager Jerry Manuel

I have long believed a manager and his coaches know their players better than any fan second-guessing lineups and decisions.

One of the things that boggles my mind about the Mets coaching staff is their seeming inability to see what every fan sees.

Ask any Mets fan if David Wright should bat cleanup in the lineup and I’ll guarantee you most will say no. Wright seems to tighten up when batting fourth. He also seems to go into slumps and strikeout more from the four hole.

So why does Jerry Manuel insist on hitting him cleanup? Why can’t they see what all
Mets fans are seeing?

The same thing happened with the whole Jose Reyes batting third episode. Here you have the most electrifying lead off hitter in the game and because Manuel doesn’t like the lower-than-should-be on-base percentage, he wants to fit a square peg in a round hole.

A deaf man could hear the less than enthusiastic embrace Reyes had of the idea.

Yet Manuel went ahead with the idea and disrupted the whole team only to revert back to what everyone knew was the right answer. Do you think Manuel hurt his credibility in the clubhouse on that one?

The first tenet of management in any profession is to never put a person in a position to fail.

Manuel is a dead man walking and I don’t want to pile on but I cannot understand how the obvious escapes the Mets coaching staff. Does anyone believe Joaquian Arias or Luis
Hernandez are playing because of their skill or because their name is not Luis Castillo?

I know Ruben Tejada was not hitting but if he is remotely in the plans for 2011, why take at bats away from him now when he can get more looks at how pitchers operate in the Major Leagues.

If Lucas Duda is going to be in the picture in 2011, why waste at bats on Chris Carter or Jesus Feliciano? I don’t want to be cruel or rude to these players because everyone deserves a chance, but the team needs to start looking ahead.

Heck, it was obvious to everyone the Mets were toast after the disastrous west coast fling following the All-Star break. The Mets are not the Rockies or Phillies, so most Mets fans knew the fight in the team was gone.

If most Mets fans knew the team’s chances were dead why didn’t the front office see it?

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Desperate Teams Like New York Mets Require Desperate Measures

The New York Mets have good news and bad news right now. As the season is winding down, they are finally at the .500 mark and for those keeping track at home, 13 games out of the division. That’s not the news I refer to.

They have multiple injuries on their roster (see Jason Bay, Jenrry Mejia, Johan Santana, and several others) and even in the farm system (Reese Havens) too. That’s not the news either. They have had more drama this season (see the veteran’s hospital incident and K-Rod) than a daytime soap opera. That’s not even the news I am speaking of at this current time.

I am an optimistic person at heart, despite recent articles, so I will start with the bad and work my way to the good. The bad news is that the Mets are a desperate team. They are desperate for a few reasons. One, they are desperate for new leadership and direction from that leadership. The current regime has not been the answer.

Earlier this season, ownership gave GM Omar Minaya a pat on the back and said his job is safe. Now there are so many stories floating around about a new general manager taking over, so that once rock-steady secure position has been shaken to its core. It may be a foregone conclusion that the once securely employed Omar Minaya will be gone at the end of the season.

If the rumors and the speculation are all true, then Jerry Manuel’s job will not be safe. In fact, he will be the first on the chopping block, I’m sure. Why would a new GM keep the old manager? He wouldn’t, not in this case anyway. Those rare exceptions are reserved for winning managers.

These players need a rude awakening. They need motivation. If they see the organization is serious about performance on the field, they may play harder and perform better. Who knows?

The next thing they are desperate for is to relieve themselves of the burden and weight of so many massively large contracts they bear. They have realized this. They have tried this past July to shop Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez.

They only managed to trade off Jeff Francoeur in August and Rod Barajas prior to that, but neither one had a large contract. They were inviting to other teams since they came cheap.

No team the Mets shopped Ollie and Luis to were desperate enough. It seems the Mets are stuck with those contracts. That’s the bad news. Now that this is out of the way, allow me to present the good news.

The Mets are NOT the only desperate team in the league. They may be next to broke or financially strapped next season, but that does not mean they can’t make moves, if they are wise.

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New York Mets: Top Five Reasons to Believe in 2011

Another baseball season is nearing its conclusion and for the fourth consecutive October, the New York Mets are absent.  With the front office sending out signs that the team will not make a big free agent splash this offseason, many fans are depressed.

Many have given up on the Mets’ 2011 season already, but there are certain things that the team has in place that should keep fans optimistic.

Here are the top five reasons to believe that it will be different for the Mets in 2011.

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2010 New York Mets: Where Did the Season Go All Wrong?

If you can remember back to April 5th, you’ll recall a beautiful Monday afternoon when the New York Mets defeated the Florida Marlins 7-1 and everything in Mets Land was perfect. Nothing is better than a 1-0 record.

Since then, however, the Mets have been thrown into the bowels of mediocrity, cursed to a 69-71 record and playoff irrelevance as the season heads into its final weeks. Since the beginning of summer, inconsistent play and poor hitting have put the team in this dire situation, and the Flushing Faithful into a “next year” type mindset.

For every team that sees its season go down the toilet, there is usually more than one reason for that. The case is no different for the Mets.

The Mets season was great heading into the summer. On June 24th they were tied for first place in the division and were about to play the Detroit Tigers in an attempt to gain first place. They lost that game 6-5. Since then, they have very slowly lost 11 games of ground in the division. Since then, they have only won two games in a row twice, doing so against both Washington and Pittsburgh.

You can pinpoint that date as the time of the Mets’ demise, but what was the cause? 

It’s always easy to blame management, but in the Mets case it’s a pretty good reason. The team hit a small bump in the road, and instead of changing things up after the All-Star break, they kept going with what didn’t work. Beltran kept hitting in the middle of the order despite not hitting over .220 for most of his time with the Mets this season. 

Sub .200 hitters are not the types of players that you want in your lineup, but that is who was in the lineup consistently. It seems as if the Mets were trying to develop players like Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole before their playoff run was over. Thole has done well, but Tejada cannot get above that Mendoza line, nor can Mike Hessman or Fernando Martinez. Don’t forget that Alex Cora was playing almost everyday this summer before the Mets released him.

The Mets are also paying a whole bunch of players on their roster a lot of money who they don’t actually want to have there, including Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, and others. The only reason the Mets were ever good in the first place was because of surprise players like Angel Pagan, R.A. Dickey, and Ike Davis. 

Now, as they await the final game of this season, possibly the most sad season the Mets have had in quite a while, they will be testing out the young guys. Guys like Lucas Duda who, since coming up is batting .045 (1-22). Others include Jenrry Mejia, Nick Evans, and Luis Hernandez. 

So as they say in Chicago, wait ’til next year!

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For The New York Mets, What’s Really Missing? Unity!

I have a few choice words for the New York Mets. In particular three specific players that did not partake in a life-changing experience. Those players are Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo. They recently denied the chance to take part in visiting wounded veterans to thank them for their service.

The choice words: solidarity, brotherhood, camaraderie, unity, and one accord.

These terms apply to a team or a group of people with one common goal to achieve. The terms do NOT apply to the Mets, however. Time and time again this season, this team has displayed a lack of unity and solidarity.

Disrespect and disunity have run rampant in the clubhouse. It shows on the field too. We all know by now of the many incidents where players have been in discord. The list of examples are as long as the list of excuses. Wise-cracking, chuckling, griping, finger-pointing, and ill-fated comments are all the end result of a deeper issue.

Looking back on this season thus far, we can recall, not just once, but several times a Mets player has commented about a teammate being traded by saying, “can I join him?” While this has repeatedly been laughed off in the clubhouse by the players and Morgan Freeman, I mean Jerry Manuel, it is not a laughing matter, despite what “Snoop Chuckles” Manuel thinks. It is a slip of the tongue from players regretting their state in the season.

Any time a player has spoken out against such behavior, they have been cast into exile. Alex Cora and Jeff Francoeur come to mind. This organization embraces laziness and ignorance. It ridicules hard work and respect for the game. How can any team succeed with that type of mentality.

The latest sacrilege occurred yesterday. It seems that the team decided to visit a veterans hospital. It was NOT mandatory for all players to participate, but it was encouraged that they all do. Furthermore, for the sake of the image of this team which is constantly under attack, it would be welcomed that all team players participate. With that in mind, all of them except for three did so.


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