Tag: frankie rodriguez

2009 Analysis: Francisco Rodriguez

krod-75After Francisco Rodriguez set an all-time record for saves in a season on the Left Coast, he went cross-country to the Right Coast to cash in with a 3-year, $37M contract from the very desperate New York Mets — desperate because they had suffered their second consecutive collapse in the final days of the season, and all fingers pointed to ineffective relief pitching as the culprit. Surely, the best closer in baseball could make the Mets problems go away.

As fate would have it,

READ MORE +

Manuel Perpetuates Blame Game

manuel-ghandi-smAh, now it’s all clear. Perhaps I was too harsh on Frankie Rodriguez, Johan Santana, and Carlos Beltran. By blaming others, finger-pointing, and driving the bus over their teammates, they were merely carrying out the ethos set in place by their field general.

Because yet again, Jerry Manuel does his own finger-pointing to explain the Mets’ miserable season. When asked about the possibility of losing 90+ games this season, Manuel was quoted last night during the SNY postgame (and recorded on MLB.com):

“You have to go back to the health issue,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “If you don’t have those pieces in place, it’s difficult to do anything, and do anything well and do it consistently.”

(hat tip to TheRopolitans)

See? Blame game. It fits nicely. I absolves Teflon Jerry from responsibility. He can blame the circumstances around him for the Mets’ dismal record, as if he is somehow separate from it. How can he possibly win baseball games when he doesn’t have the “pieces” ?

Funny, though, that this time last year the media and much of the fanbase couldn’t congratulate Manuel enough for leading the Mets into the Promised Land (well, they never guessed ANOTHER collapse would occur in the final days). He was some kind of Zen wizard, regaling journalists with his koan-like bits of wisdom, and managing the Mets with a measured balance of father-like encouragement and stern discipline.

Heck, one journalist referred to Manuel as a magician, and suggested he could win “Manager of the Year”.

Carlos Delgado was a one-man wrecking crew because Jerry motivated him to do so. Fernando Tatis hit like Ted Williams for a month because Jerry gave him the chance. Daniel Murphy looked like the next Wade Boggs because Jerry “worked so well with youngsters”. Jose Reyes was fulfilling his superstar promise because Jerry knew how to keep him focused. Carlos Beltran and David Wright were MVP candidates because Jerry was giving them just the right amount of rest. Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez turned their seasons around because Jerry had them working with Dan Warthen.

And if by some miracle the Mets did NOT make it to the postseason, everyone knew exactly why — because the bullpen would fail.

Huh … sound familiar?

Even amidst all the miracles Manuel was spinning on his way to sainthood, there was a built-in excuse. It would be the fault of the men in the bullpen — not the man managing it — if things turned sour. Jerry’s irresponsible abuse of arms from June through August would be forgotten when the relief crew collectively and colossally collapsed. It would be the fault of Joe Smith, Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoeneweis, or the injury to Billy Wagner, if the Mets blew it again. Anyone but Jerry.

This is the culture that Jerry Manuel created — one where the team learns to find reasons why they lose, rather than creating solutions to win.

READ MORE +

Mets Game 146: Loss To Braves

Braves 6 Mets 5

Shades of ’62 re-emerge.

Once again, the Mets find a creative way to lose.

The Mets jumped ahead 3-0 in the second inning, but that lead was quickly squandered by Bobby Parnell, who allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Remarkably, the Mets fought back to tie the game and then went ahead 5-4 on a pinch-hit homerun by Omiracle Santos (nickname hat tip to TheRopolitans).

Then, it was up to the bullpen to hold the fort. Brian Stokes got two outs before walking Nate McLouth, which led to Jerry Manuel’s inexplicable decision to bring in Frankie Rodriguez to convert a four-out save. Ask Mike Scioscia how many times he called on K-Rod to get more than three outs in the last three years — and his team was ALWAYS playing “meaningful games” in September.

Anyway, as expected, Frankie Fantastik failed to clean up. He got that last out in the eighth but quickly faltered in the ninth, allowing a leadoff double to Garret Anderson down the right field line (that might have been stopped by a better-fielding first baseman — or not) and hitting Brian McCann to put the tying and winning runs on base. Frankie then misplayed a sac bunt by Yunel Escobar that nearly loaded the bases with none out, but K-Rod recovered in time to get the first out of the inning by a hair. The next batter hit a deep sac fly to score the tying run, and then Ryan Church hit a two-out bouncer to first base that Dan Murphy mishandled three times in Throneberryesque fashion to allow the winning run to score.

Notes

In an incredulous lack of class, K-Rod was quoted by Kevin Burkhardt as saying about Murphy’s error (or possibly the double down the line), “That ball has to be stopped”.

Nice. Seems there’s only one driving school in Venezuela — and the vehicle is a teflon-coated bus.

Hmm … I didn’t see Murphy on the mound when Anderson hit the double, McCann was hit with the pitch, or Gorecki hit the deep fly … but yeah, let’s blame him for the loss. Makes plenty of sense. Not.

This is the sixth blown save of the season for Frankie Fantastik, out of 37 tries. Billy Wagner blew 7 of 34 last year, so K-Rod’s still doing better. But not by much. So much for the “improved bullpen”.

And for all his questionable quotes and public dress-downs of his teammates, I don’t recall Wags ever blaming someone else for a loss. Stay classy, K-Rod.

On the bright side, Parnell lasted longer than Derek Lowe, who left after 2 innings and allowing 3 runs. Both Jeff Francoeur and David Wright went 3-for-5, and Josh Thole went 2-for-4 in the two hole.

The Mets pounded 16 hits, and still couldn’t win — they left 14 on base.

Next Mets Game

The series finale begins at 7:00 PM on Thursday night. Nelson Figueroa faces Jair Jurrjens. If nothing else the Mets will have a standup, respectful guy on the mound, who will take responsibility for his actions. So there’s that.

READ MORE +