Fifty Percent is Unacceptable

manuel-ghandi-smPerhaps as egregious and disappointing as Luis Castillo’s dropped popup was Jerry Manuel’s postgame quote in regard to the next 6-10 weeks the Mets face without Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, etc., etc., etc.

I can’t find a media scribe who published the quote, so can’t link to it, but he stated that the Mets need to keep their heads above water and “try to play .500 ball” through the next month or so, and hope to go on a run once all the injured ballplayers return from the disabled list.

Excuse me?

A journalist or TV personality can suggest that idea. A manager — or a GM — can THINK such a thought, but it can never, ever be verbalized. What kind of a leader tells his squad that the goal is to win 50% of your games? A bit defeatist, wouldn’t you think? Certainly not motivating.

And here I thought I was the pessimist.

Again, the theory of playing .500 ball makes sense, and is a very realistic goal, and something we can all discuss as non-members of the Mets. But as the man in charge you can’t state that publicly, because you’ve essentially lowered the bar. Maybe the wisdom in this is to take pressure off the team, but if so, I disagree with the plan. It sends the wrong message, and de-motivates players’ psyche. Suddenly, it’s OK if you throw a bad pitch or drop a ball or swing and miss, because if you lose today, well, there’s always tomorrow. One out of two.

But then, it fits right in to the rest of this team’s attitude. They hustle 50% of the time, they execute 50% of the time, they keep focused 50% of the time … so why not aim to win 50% of the time?


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. […] until the key Mets — Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado — come off the disabled list. We addressed this concept less than a week ago, but since Manuel brought it up again, we’ll examine it […]
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