Down On Willie

Before you read on, believe me when I tell you I sincerely LOVE Willie Randolph. I loved him as a player, love his old-school mentality, and wish him the greatest success. But, it’s a love/hate relationship (can a “relationship” be one way?), and sometimes the man drives me crazy.

Down On OP

Five days ago, Willie Randolph criticized Ollie Perez after six innings of shutout ball. Based on what happened in his latest start, I’ll go on a limb and say Willie’s tough love failed to motivate OP. Maybe he should try pumping the kid up instead of bringing him down. We’ve known all along that Ollie is something of a head case, a guy who needs confidence. Throwing him under the bus after 11 2/3 innings of shutout ball is a real head-scratcher.

Bullpen Management



The first number — 103 — is the appearances Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoeneweis and Jorge Sosa will make if Willie keeps up the current pace. The second is the number of times we’ll see Billy Wagner take the mound.

I realize Wags is paid to save games, and isn’t supposed to come in unless it’s a save situation. But something is terribly wrong when he’s being used as frequently as Aaron Sele was last year.

Heilman, by the way, will resemble Dan Quisenberry soon. It’s only two weeks into the season and he’s already fatigued, based on his submarine-like arm angle.

Sosa, on the other hand, would be more effective if his slider — which he throws 97% if the time — resembled Sparky Lyle’s. It doesn’t, so expect that ERA to rise with the temperature.

The infatuation with Schoeneweis is especially intriguing. Perhaps Willie grew up in an anti-semitic neighborhood, and Show resembles the poor Jewish kid who got his butt kicked every day (Willie’s trying to reverse the wrong done by the bullies). It’s either that or Willie keeps waiting for Show to blow out his elbow or rotator cuff.

Bunt Defense

Some day, Willie’s going to invoke the “wheel play” in a bunt situation with a man on second, so that Johan Santana has a chance to nail the runner going to third. Or not.


Willie doesn’t drink enough of it. In fact, he doesn’t seem to drink at all. Perhaps he should start. It worked for his old boss Billy Martin, after all. Maybe if he knew how great Champagne tasted, he’d do a better job of managing his team toward a championship.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. julie April 14, 2008 at 6:35 am
    In my opinion Willie manages American League baseball. I don’t like American League baseball, I want to see National League baseball. Willie will always seem like Joe Torre Jr. to me.
  2. whatdatmean April 14, 2008 at 8:14 am
    top 10 reasons why Willie sucks…

    10. defensive strategy…not sure he has one. the bench is filled with guys who play less defense than the starters, and the starters arent getting any better. its ok, bc willie isnt alarmed that wright cant throw, delgado cant catch, schneider cant stop a ball in the dirt, & beltran cant charge a ball…why should we. free bases for anyteam that knows how to bunt or put a ball in play!
    9. offensive strategy… shhh…there is a secret style of play that only gets used against us..SMALL BALL. willie’s AL brain just doesnt get it. ill take a guaranteed run anyday, especially when the bulk of the lineup is struggling.
    8. in game management…lackluster play doesnt matter, unless injured, he goes with his guys. willie seemingly roles over in losing games bc he doesnt make adjustments when guys just arent having a good day
    7. defending his players. he doesnt really do it. sometimes i wonder what he is thinking, or if he is, when he speaks.
    6. making roster decisions…yes, omar has the final say, but you know this is willies club to chose, and he has a certain affection for the AARP class-which always backfires. use some youth…last year gotay, gomez, and lmilz had more fire than the rest of the team, but were used sparingly. this year, they are all gone and our bench’s average age is 30+! dont see many spark plugs there. btw…especially with our BP depth this year, and lack of SP this year and next, should heilman be tested as a SP again? maybe gotay could have learned OF/1b, or castro/cassanova can learn to be a backup 1b to add some versatility!!!
    5. the double switch…how does he not know how to do this by now? he made a vital error in the homeopener again! ugh!
    4. lineup decisions…if a guy is slumping, put him in a spot where he could see better pitches or hurt the team less in key spots. no one leaves the lineup unless hurt. even torre put AROD 8th…and willie is torre light[no rings]. im no saying bat beltran last, but mix it up when needed.
    3. starting pitching management…100 pitch counts are only relevant with young arms or players that arent stretched out. STOP DOING IT!!!! let your starters make or break you, rather than making poor decisions and burning up other arms that we can use at other times. also, stop throwing top notch talent like OP & maine under the bus, especially when we all say you kiss glavine’s a** for years. oh yeah, glavine should have been pulled when they scored 3 runs in that last game. when a SP doesnt have is stuff in a key game….pull him!
    2. bullpen management…does every guy have to pitch everyday? why callup guys from AAA or have long RP if you dont want to use them. willie ruins year after year with his poor management! here are the rules…
    mopup/loogy/roogy-sosa & show
    key outs/8/9th-feliciano, heilman, & wags [sanchez]
    general-smith & wise [el duq/figgy]
    1. motivation…i dont think he motivates anyone, not even himself. he is too blah on a blah team. only reyes & wright have personalities, and wright looks stressed out. willie needs to show some fire and get this team moving. he has too much faith in his vets and believes players motivate themselves….. throw a damn cooler already!!! give me sweet lou anyday!

    i hated willie for a while now, and hate him more each day. i didnt want to, but his ineptness and lack of personality made it only natural. he will be a good manager in the AL, but not for this team. ugh, how many more years is his contract?

  3. Timo April 14, 2008 at 8:43 am
    I’m not a Willie fan and was sad to see that the Mets extended his
    contract in 2007. I agree with Joe about Willie as a player and person. He was great. But as a manager he stinks. However, i just see him going somewhere else and doing excellent and then eveyone say how the Mets were idiots to lose him.

    Willie Randolph : Manager
    3 years/$5.65M (2007-09), plus $2.5M 2010 club option
    signed extension 1/07 (replaces final year of previous contract)
    07:$1.4M, 08:$2M, 09:$2.25M, 10:$2.5M club option
    3 years/$1.875M (2005-07)
    05:$0.55M, 06:$0.625M, 07:$0.7M
    may earn additional $0.3M annually in performance bonuses
    hired 11/04, replacing Art Howe (fired 9/04 with 2 years/$4.7M left)

  4. Micalpalyn April 14, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Does this aalude to the fact Willie does not have this team? Is he in control or is the ship omn auto pilot and he provides the voice over?

  5. Micalpalyn April 14, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Does this aalude to the fact Willie does not have this team? Is he in control or is the ship on auto pilot and he provides the voice over?

  6. isuzudude April 14, 2008 at 10:42 am
    I really can’t believe some of the crap and utter nonsense I’m reading. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s only Met fans that get so panicky when their team loses. It’s almost as if every loss signifies the end of the season. I really feel bad for some of you who live and die with every single game. You must go through Rolaids like they’re tic tacs.

    It’s all well and good not to be a fan of Willie. He gives plenty of reasons not to be liked. But some of these things I’m reading about why he’s disliked, or why he’s being blamed for the team’s slow start to the season, has me scratching my head.

    To begin with, I want to address whatdatmean’s post. The bench is filled with players who play bad defense? You realize this is the same bench that includes Endy Chavez, as well as guys like Damion Easley and Marlon Anderson, who practically play every position on the field? What’s so bad with that? Likewise, only a Met fan can complain about their gold glovers. To criticize Wright, Beltran, and Schneider’s defensive abilities is absolutely ridiculous, not to mention how do their miscues give an excuse for Willie “sucking?” You mean Willie is to blame for their sporadic defensive miscues? Wow. Is this to be taken seriously? Just wow. I don’t know how to respond to that. I can’t even go into the rest of your post because it would take all day to refute. You hate Willie, good for you. But many of your reasons for hating Willie are either unfounded, inaccurate, or pure conjecture. And it seems like for every wrong he does, it gets stored in the memory bank, but every right he does goes forgotten. Pay attention to the next game the Mets play and write down what you believe to be the good and the bad decisions by Willie. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find.

    Overall, I agree that his lack of a wheel play is detrimental, and he has often mismanaged the bullpen and said some lame-brain things to the media. But on this issue of the bullpen this year, it needs to be given a rest. He’s finally using Schoneiweis, Sosa, and Smith in specialist roles, something we’ve been praying for for forever. He’s resting Wagner in non-save situations. He’s extending his starting pitchers well. It’s easy to say he’s using certain guys to much, but what else is to be done when Perez gives you just 4+ innings, or Maine stinks in Atlanta, or Pedro gets hurt in Florida? The bullpen has been used often to this point due to necessity, not because of poor decision making. I see all the projections for Heilman, but do you really think he’s going to appear in over 100 games? Come on, please. It’s been 15 days. EVERYONE is overusing the bullpen right now, because starters aren’t up to full throttle. Case in point: Heilman is one of 43 pitchers so far to appear in at least 7 games. 43!!!! So obviously, Willie is not the only manager going to the same guys all the time. It seems like sincekindergarden is the only person here with his head on straight. Things will all even out. Every team is going through rough patches, or will at some point. Every team has their flaws. The Mets are not alone in this struggle. And if everyone insists in getting their panties all in a bunch after every 2 game losing streak this is going to be one very long, depressing, psychotic season. Please stop the insanity.

  7. joe April 14, 2008 at 11:19 am
    ‘dude, if we don’t freak out then there isn’t much point in a blog … LOL!

    this is why MLB shouldn’t have so many off days … it gives us too much time to think and panic.

    but I still think Willie is having serious problems with bullpen management. The point about Heilman on pace to appear in 100 games is not about the 100 games but about the PACE. Only freaks like Turk Wendell — or people on PEDs — can pitch at MLB stress level three out of every five days without breaking down. Heilman is not one of those freaks, and in fact has a motion and physical makeup that requires more careful management. The more Sosa throws his lousy slider, the more homeruns we’ll see … so pitching him every day makes little sense for a team that wants to win a championship. I will, however, agree that Willie appears to be using Show a little better — more as LOOGY, and then get him the heck out.

    In contrast, Billy Wagner has to get more work in games — save situation or not. He can’t go a week w/o pitching in a game, and yes it sounds like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth (too much work / too little) but bullpen management is a delicate balance and requires different use based on individual traits.

  8. Micalpalyn April 14, 2008 at 11:26 am
    Isuzu: normally I dont contradict what you write, normally I dont disagree with you.

    i have not posted alot, mostly because I am more inclined to wait and see. The fact Pagan, wright and Beltran are off to good starts and Del has not exactly been an albatross give me reason to smile. Also the fact Willie seems to be managing his bullpen very well.

    However YOU yourself point to… ‘the and he has often mismanaged the bullpen and said some lame-brain things to the media’….

    Obviously after a very frustrating cold weather display the manger will be apt to give the quote that makes the fans shudder…but Willie needs to mind his words.

    I am NOT a WILLIE fan. I felt that a various points in all of the last 4 yrs he could not mtivate the team. Joe is right in pointing out in a previous post the “Willie double standard’. WHAT Joe DID NOT include was the converse; THE mets notably DW and Beltran have been nothing but supportive of Willie….i mean NEVER a quotable whisper. my point in simply attaching the above link is to point out how quickly Willie targets the player!!…15 games into the season, I might like the guy to say…Brady as a veteran player felt he coould make the play, the fact he didn’t was just good baseball by the opposition………. Imean even if it wasnt his call, why cant he say I called that play and it just didnt work, no fault of Brady’s…even if it isnt true.

    I am ripping Willie more because he stands to distance himself FURTHER from his team.

  9. isuzudude April 14, 2008 at 11:59 am
    A few more thoughts…

    It seems like yesterday’s game sent a lot of people off the handle. And many, if not all, are pointing fingers at Willie, and I don’t think that’s fair. Is Willie to blame for the 5 double plays? Is Willie to blame for Clark running home on a grounder to 1st? Is Willie to blame for the team not hitting with RISP? Is Willie to blame for Gabe Kapler owning left-hand pitching? Is Willie to blame for the usually sure-handed Schneider looking like a bum behind home plate? I see it as a lot of things out of Willie’s control, and a team that is (again) failing in the clutch.

    I also disagree with the comments that Willie is not standing by his team, and not motivating them correctly. I mean, everything is 20/20 in hindsight. It’s way too convenient to blame Willie for Perez’ poor outing because of what he said after Ollie’s last start. Perez is a professional. He’s in a contract year. If that’s not enough motivation to pitch well, I don’t know what is. Also, we all jumped on Willie for not getting on Reyes enough last year when he wasn’t running out pop ups and foul balls. To me, that signifies a manager “standing by” his player, giving the player the benefit of the doubt and sending the message that he trusts his players will discipline themselves and they will make the right decisions when put to the task. Can Willie be at fault for trusting his players too much? Perhaps, but what else is he to do with what is considered a “veteran” team? Is he to go marching through the clubhouse screaming and carrying on? That would make him look like an ass and could have adverse effects. Willie is the strong but silent type. Keep problems and issues within, no matter how much they may be eating him up, and project to the media/fanbase that all is okay. The philosophy goes unquestioned when the Mets are winning, but when they lose Willie is blamed because he doesn’t have enough “fire.” And that’s totally unfair. If you really believe Willie doesn’t care enough about winning then you’re just not paying attention. After all, he’s willingly managing one of the most frustrating teams in baseball with the most critical fans. Either the guy is a glutton for punishment, or he is extremely devoted and passionate about getting this team on the right track. I’ll pick the latter.

    However, I will say that I believe Willie is not perfect, and that there could be a better managerial candidate out there. I’m defending Willie now because I don’t see how he is entirely to blame for all the Mets’ misfortunes. But I will criticize Willie when he does make a mistake, like not using the wheel play and when he does mismanage the bullpen. And as long as it would make the Mets a better team, I’d be for getting rid of Willie – which I think will certainly happen if the Mets miss the playoffs this season. But as of this moment I don’t rationally see how allowing Willie to shoulder ALL of the blame for this season’s slow start and the 2007 collapse is fair.

  10. RockStar78 April 14, 2008 at 12:30 pm
    To be honest, maybe we should be blaming Omar for not firing Willie immediately after the collapse. To me, that was the most logical thing to do. It would have helped this 2008 team start off with a true clean slate. Now with Willie still leading this ship, it feels like Santana is just an expensive band aid. Omar did good in bringing in Santana, but maybe not so good in keeping Willie around.
  11. Micalpalyn April 14, 2008 at 12:39 pm
    After my last post and Isuzu’s post, i want to point out also that while I was for replacing Willie, and possibly hiring Giradi or Carter, i think firing willie within the season would be detrimental.
  12. RockStar78 April 14, 2008 at 12:59 pm
    I agree in that it could be detrimental. Which is why Omar missed the perfect opportunity to do it at the end of last season. I suppose the new contract he was awarded in early 07 contributed to his retainment.
  13. whatdatmean April 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm
    dude…i hated willie from day 1, i am not just looking at this year…he is not an NL manager, nor does he have the style that will be good for our young guys. also, we have a team that should be manufacturing runs and A+ defense…which has not been seen.
    he should have been fired at the end of last season. someones head needed to roll for what happened, and willie was the guy to blame. the team didnt perform, but it is his job to motivate and make changes, none of which he has done.
    as far as bench….marlon is the best ph in baseball, but a terrible defender. easley is not the ph marlon is, is a slightly better defender. they are redundant. endy has a great glove, but is a lesser pagan and will be redundant when alou returns, as is clark. we need a spark plug off the bench to sub and make a difference when someone is struggling, which will eventually be pagan. but there are no legit answers to give guys breathers and keep the team going. im sorry, seeing easley, clark, and anderson in the other day was depressing.
    as far as the BP…. he has only used smith & feliciano right, as specialist types. sosa & heilman have been overused, and wags underused. show has been seeing too many righties[home opener]. there was no need to call muniz up, he was barely used. he doesnt trust other players, just “his guys”.
    starters-he doesnt know how to handle OP & maine, and is too nice to Pelf. while pedro and glavine could do whatever they wanted. awful! 100 pitch counts are a thing of the past.
    squeeze play, wheel, even hit & runs….you rarely see stuff that keeps you in games like that.
    wright’s D is horrible, reyes approach at the plate is bad, and church cant take the 1st pitch.
    where are the coaches and manager? it is his resposibility to mold and arrange the cards he is dealt to make things right. it almost seems like he turns his cheek to it.
    send him to the AL, where he will win and be happy. get him out of here as soon as possible. give me carter, even hojo…

    i will/do thank him for the best years the Mets have seen in a long time. he has done a lot of good. there arent many managers that do so many obvious things. he just never learns.

    willie isnt to blame for the teams poor play….but he is for the lack of fundamental baseball, lack of focus, and often a lack of passion & enthusiasm. his decsion making is questionable at best…
    ugh….he drives me nuts.

  14. isuzudude April 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm
    Whatdatmean, I don’t understand…

    1. How Willie has not “motivated and made changes.” We’re not in the clubhouse so who knows what tools he uses to motivate his team. Even so, what motivation do these players really need? Shouldn’t they all have the desire to win? And if they don’t, why are we blaming Willie for their poor attitude? Nonetheless, what do you suggest Willie do to motivate them? Offer them prostitutes? Free healthcare? Also, I remember Willie making a few significant changes…like demoting Delgado in the order last year when he slumped, turning Schoeneweis into a mop-up guy when he sucked, and making huge (correct) decisions not to give up on guys who have played big roles in the past like Valentin, Ollie, and Heilman. Why does he not get credit for this?
    2. How Easley and Marlon are redundant. One is right handed, the other is left. Also, I believe it’s Omar’s job to re-sign free agents, in which he did to both this offseason. Again, how is this Willie’s fault?
    3. How Schoeneweis was overused in the home opener. Remember, Feliciano was unavailable, so the Mets were working with a short bullpen.
    4. Why it was bad to call up Muniz. After all, he was replacing Matt Wise, another right handed reliever, on the roster. Do you have a better suggestion? Would you have rather called up Fernando Martinez? (Oh God, don’t say yes.)
    5. How Willie doesn’t know how to handle Maine and Perez. Didn’t they both just win 15 games a season ago, far exceeding expectations? Seems to me like Willie and Peterson did just fine.
    6. How 100 pitch counts are a thing of the past. Um, don’t all teams keep pitchers on strict pitch counts nowadays? Regardless of whether you think they should be a thing of the past, they most certainly aren’t.
    7. How Willie doesn’t use enough squeeze plays. Are you expecting him to use on once per game? I remember they won a game last year in extra innings on an Endy Chavez squeeze play against the Rockies. Again, it seems like some of us have selective memories.
    8. How Wright’s defense is horrible, and how that is Willie’s fault. Didn’t Wright just win a gold glove? Yes, he has his throwing boo-boo’s from time to time, but compared to the rest of the crap floating around the majors these days, Wright’s defense at 3B is at least in the top-5. Still, how do you point fingers at Willie when Wright throws a ball into the stands? Oh wait, that’s right, Wright isn’t motivated enough to throw the ball accurately to firstbase. Give me a break.

    Anyway, I’ll agree to disagree with you. To me, you sound like a disgruntled fan who still has a sour taste in your mouth from last year and you’re looking for a scapegoat. And Willie is the perfect target. I know you say you’ve “hated” Willie from day 1 (isn’t that a pretty strong word to use?), but I just want some of us to take a step back for a minute. This team is one 5 game winning streak away from everybody praising Willie and Omar for being the best manager/GM tandem in Mets history. I just wish we can make it through April without everyone on the team – from manager to ball boy – getting fired and re-hired 20 times because of hasty opinions. And again, take a look around the rest of the division. No one looks superb to this point. It’s a wide open race. And I, for one, am still confident that with Sanchez, Pedro, Wise, Reyes, and Alou on the mend, the Mets are only going to get better from here on out.

  15. sincekindergarten April 14, 2008 at 6:54 pm
    ID, great post. You’ve said a lot, and you’re right on all of your points.

    The one point that needs to be restated comes four lines from the bottom–“Take a look around the rest of the division. No one looks superb at this point.” Chase Utley lost the game for the Phillthies last night by making an error. Tom Glavine threw 16 pitches last night before straining a hamstring. Mike Hampton should be placed on the permanent DL. Both the Phillies and the Braves have been listed (on MLB Trade Rumors) as possibly being interested in Joe Blanton, and that might change the balance of starting staffs in the division. As for the Nats, when Odalis Perez is the #1 starter, you’ve got to have a deep bullpen. The Marlins are the leaders in the division, but for how long?

    As for the Mets coming back this week . . . Reyes has sat for three days now. Moises Alou is nearing a rehab start in the minors (though I can’t remember where at the moment). Matt Wise is due to come back this week, as is Duaner Sanchez. Pelf and Figgy are holding down the #4 and #5 slots rather nicely. (When Pedro comes back, who goes back to N’awlins? I say Pelf, where he will pitch every fifth day.)

    Though I don’t see the division as being as stacked top-to-bottom as it was in ’05, it’s still a vicious division. But, we’re arguably the best team in the division.

    As I’ve said numerous times this year: The pendulum always swings back. We’ll be alright.

  16. whatdatmean April 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm
    ok dude….im going to agree to disagree. you make good, well organized points…i just dont agree with you. seriously though, i am not the only willie hater out here. actually, i could care less about the collapse.i mean, it sucked, it was embarrassing…but it wasnt the end of the world. it happens. what did bother me is how the team didnt seem to care, better yet, willie disappeared.
    1. we can tell willie doesnt do a good job motivating. the team is low key, low tempo, and easily rattled. its kind of sad. it was clear at the end of last season how things went down in the club house. if there were a few more leaders, sorry, beltran & delgado dont count, then willie wouldnt be as much of a factor. but the team is what it is, and he doesnt seem to get it done. with the talent this team has, there is no reason we should be seeing some of the things that we have over the last few years.
    2. easley and marlon ARE redundant. their talents soley lie as PH, they are defensive liabilities, and are far from youthful sparkplugs. omar brings in the personell, willie makes his recommendations and his cuts. the choice lies with willie. i would like to see some youth on the bench that can show some spunk when willie’s vets disappear. sorry, the team was better when gomez, lmilz, and gotay were mixing in regularly. they arent that much better players, but change the atmosphere on the field.
    3.following the show rules. he should be strictly a loogy. especially during the homeopener, especially against the phillies. feliciano unavailable doesnt kill the roster. not using the proper matchups does. i am one of the few who like show and know that he is useful, and that was not the spot.
    4. calling up muniz is not the problem…not using EVERYONE on the team to contribute is. willie runs down everyone but his starting pitching, even when help is available. you wouldnt use him in a big spot, but he can certainly start off an inning if needed. but he chose to only use him 2x and everyone else everyday. lets get that fatigue going extra early willie!
    forget about what other teams are doing…this is your team, and you know willie’s M.O., and that he needs to manage the bp better. that job starts day 1.
    5. even hernandez & darling are starting to say what everyone else thinks. hell, minaya said he had the same conversation…. let the kids pitch. they get into jams, even with a lead, and they get pulled. they may still get the win, but they are not getting the exercises that will make them better in the long run. i for one dont mind losing a few games bc you are teaching “your guy” something, learning a little moxy, and challenging them. in the media, he refuses to talk up maine and ollie. he is like the father that is never pleased…not sure if thats the right approach. confidence goes a long way, especially since they both lose their heads at times.
    6. 100 pitch counts were a thing of the past…the Mets keep that # way too literally. teams have been showing a newer willingness to let pitchers go 100+, as long as they are feeling good. however, this wouldnt be the issue if the Mets were nibbling the plate so much. every pitcher, except johan, picks around the plate. they need to be much more aggressive…not sure if thats willie & peterson, but if they are all doing it…it must be a team thing. pound the zone boys. this year, i see a new swagger in all the pitchers, and they are attacking more, but they still get pulled in the 6th.
    7. the team does not use small ball to put up runs…which is a shame, bc they have the perfect lineup for it.if you watched all the tape, you could use 1 hand to count the amount of times the squeeze/wheel plays were used. i dont remember 1 play that they did do it…i remember trends…small ball isnt in that mix
    8. ummm…playing sports my whole life, you learn 1 thing…coaching is everything. ultimately, the players fail themselves, but we are talking about years of professional sports and training for them to improve. teams regularly bring in special coaches and extra practice to develop their players. wright has an amazing glove with a 2 cent arm. even forgetting the arm, he has made a lot of mental errors in the field and not communicating with the players in the in field. you dont see this kind of play from guys like this. again, wright is to blame, and a manager must right the ship. it goes along with reyes’ approach as a leadoff hitter, delgado losing his touch, church not taking pitches… this is stuff that is coached up in baseball. a few years of seeing the same type of stuff, it starts to look like things are not being attended to and coached up, rather than a player being totally inept.

    we all know…you dont fix something unless its broke. the problem is, we all know what the problems have been over the years, and willie has been slower than the average manager at addressing these issues.
    on most rosters in baseball… stars have been benched during slumps, prospects have been called up & asked to contribute, veterans have lost jobs, and more guys than the starting 25 get chances to step up…its just not willie’s style. he is joe torre light. i think joe torre is an amazing manager and has a tremendous pedigree. would have hated him as a met coach. although, even he has learned to trust the youth, bench veterans, and stock the roster with young potential vs older-know-lesser quantities….maybe willie can change his stripes too.
    anyway…my disdain for willie developed right away. its about personal style…i dont like his style, but i cant argue with his success. I think there are better ways to handle the team and we wont get over the hump with him. i was really hoping that he would be making different decisions and talk a little differently, knowing what we have seen the last few years. i hope willie can adapt, and soon….
    all will be fine in met land….we have santana, wright, reyes, maine, ollie…and the rest of the crew…its going to be a great season!
    lets go mets!

  17. Coop April 15, 2008 at 12:27 pm
    Although I hear what everyone is saying about us not being the clubhouse but I think it goes without saying that Willie is NOT the great motivator. One of the pro-Willie camp’s arguments was that he is a player’s manager – he knows his “guys,” and they played hard. My argument is…when is the last time they played “hard?” I would even go so far to say sept 29, 2007, the “John Maine game” when Maine really took the bull by the balls and kicked those punks off campus (sorry, watched Animal House this weekend) and the frustrations of the team’s season really spilled over and onto the field. That had NOTHING to do with Willie and everything with the team being like – we are one loss away from elimination, let’s show these bastards what we’re really made of.

    Plus, I read articles like Carlos Delgado being interviewed after what I guessed to be Sunday’s game and they asked if he was frustrated, you know, for blowing a decent lead on Sunday. He was like – what are you talking about? I don’t have the link but I tell ya, I think Delgado is a nice guy, one of the best, but if HE is one of the figure-head leaders on the team, the team is in TROUBLE with a Capital “COOP.” You’ll hear me screaming from jersey. In fact, this is the problem with Willie – he sticks up for guys like Delgado who has no clue, then David Wright is basically shunned
    because this is HIS clubhouse to run (eventually…) and it’s like – you’re not 30, one day, you’ll understand, little guy.

    I mean, seriously what does Willie have to do to get fired? Be taped having sex with goats? Even then, we’d hear – that has nothing to do with baseball. Furthermore, if the team were WINNING games they were supposed to, I wouldn’t have a real beef with this.

    The fact remains, if they don’t take at LEAST two of the next three with the Nats, expect to see more of the same. Cutting losses and Willie’s overused cliches after the game.

  18. Micalpalyn April 15, 2008 at 1:23 pm
    given the comments that are posted here its hard to say the fans are not passionate.

    I have seen too much time as a fan to let this yrs Mets give me a heart attack…but its still not easy, having watched Mookies grounder, the Scossia Hr off Doc Gooden, The several armando meltdowns, BV’s Graucho Marks stunt I think (we) have seen it all.

    For record I am somewhat ambivalent on Willie, but remember how Tim McCarver was ALWAYS dissecting BVs strategies? It just reminds me of how little (it seems) that Willie employs strategy. I am somewhat glued to a 3rd party cooment in the close season in which it was written that the collective ownership in particular Jeff wilpon felt that Willie was NOT an asset but that the group of players were a reflection of the team success. It has also been written (cant recall the link…MetsGeek?) that a good manager could be worth 5 wins to his team.

    But to bring a new slant: If Willie WAS fired (in season) who would he be replaced with?

  19. Coop April 15, 2008 at 1:30 pm
    I vote for Bobby V but I have a better chance of seeing Elvis and the Beatles reincarnated for that to happen. I say either Ken Oberkfell or Wally Backman
  20. Micalpalyn April 15, 2008 at 2:35 pm
    Where is Wally?
  21. julie April 15, 2008 at 3:06 pm
    Never liked Bobby V. either.
  22. joe April 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm