Tag: jerry manuel

Quote of the Day: Greg Pomes on Prevention and Recovery

I know some laughed at the Mets with the slogan of prevention and recovery but it made sense.  I don’t understand why Manuel would rush Reyes’ recovery.  If the Mets are going to be contenders they need Jose Reyes in the lineup.  It amazes me how this team continues to make these kind of mistakes.  They did not prevent Reyes from aggravating this injury, hopefully the won’t ruin his recovery this time.

(Greg Pomes of Mets Merized Online – “Whatever Happened to Prevention and Recovery“)
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Tracking the John Maine Not-So-Magical Mystery Tour

It’s been quite a whirlwind of comments swirling around John Maine — from various sources.

Originally — meaning, back in March — he claimed he was “fine”, despite poor performance and an inability to break 88 MPH. There was a point where Jerry Manuel suggested — to the media — that Maine’s spot in the rotation was in jeopardy. After a meeting between the two, Maine claimed that throwing secondary pitches ruined his velocity, and would make a mechanical tweak and go back to his style of throwing almost all fastballs.

After a few bad games, it was discovered that his LEFT arm was bothering him — as opposed to the right one, which underwent surgery and was the limb responsible for the 10 MPH drop in velocity.

A few more bad starts later, Jerry Manuel removed Maine from a game after walking the leadoff batter. The two then exchanged heated words in the dugout. Afterward, pitching coach Dan Warthen called Maine a “habitual liar”.

Maine was placed on the DL, and recently rehabbed in the minors. Despite more poor performances, Maine again claimed himself fit, and there was some buzz that he wouldn’t be interested in returning to the club as a reliever — though, he publicly stated he’d be OK with pitching out of the bullpen.

This is where things start to get weird

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Fantasy Baseball, Pedro Feliciano and Jerry Being Jerry

Photo: NJ.com

It sounds like Pedro Feliciano might be the new setup man for the Mets, at least according to Rotoworld. The fantasy baseball site is basing their information on an article by Andy McCullough in the Newark Star-Ledger.

I can’t find anything in the Star-Ledger article to back this up. Here’s the best I can come up with:

But with Mets manager Jerry Manuel rummaging through the bullpen for an eighth-inning answer, Feliciano has faced more righties than lefties this year. Both Fernando Nieve and Ryota Igarashi flamed out. So Manuel says Feliciano leads the team’s set-up committee alongside 39-year-old journeyman Elmer Dessens.

So will Feliciano retain his niche as the team’s left-handed specialist? Or does the team need him to set the table for closer Francisco Rodriguez?

“I know he wants it,” Rodriguez said. “He wants that job. He’s working so hard to establish himself in the set-up role.”

Feliciano led all of baseball in appearances these past two seasons – 88 in 2009 and 86 in 2008. After a clean eighth inning on Saturday, he notched his 37th appearance and extended his lead for this year’s title.

“There’s a ton of value,” assistant general manager John Ricco said, “for a guy like that – especially the way he can get lefties out – in our division.”

When I read that article, it seems like the Mets haven’t yet found an 8th-inning guy. In other words, it is still bullpen-by-committee. That’s fine, the committee has been working and Feliciano is a big part of that. But let’s not assume the Mets have figured out their bullpen situation for the long term.

Don’t discount RotoWorld because it is a fantasy baseball site. It is usually a great place to find out what’s really going on with injuries, bullpen roles and playing time controversies – they have a way of cutting through the media reports and PR spin from MLB teams. But in this case, I think they’ve fallen victim to Jerry being Jerry. To think the Mets have a hard and fast plan that they can stick to in the 8th inning is a bit presumptuous, until it is demonstrated in game situations, over a period of time.

If we believe every idea floated by Jerry Manuel, then Carlos Beltran will be the DH this weekend…

Read the article yourself and share your conclusions in the comments section.

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David Wright Sugercoats No More

After last night’s loss, Mets manager Jerry Manuel offered up this quote (courtesy of Adam Rubin):

“We have to keep positive,” Manuel said. “I think there were a lot of good things that happened tonight for an early-in-the-season ballgame. We fought back. We had a few chances, too. We have yet to solve the issue of men in scoring position getting hits. I mean, we hit a line drive the last out. Other than that we haven’t solved that riddle yet. But there were a lot of good things that happened for us tonight.”

The typical blah-blah, earth-non-shattering rhetoric we normally hear from just about any MLB manager. Which is saying something for the loose-lipped Manuel these days.

And normally, you would expect Mets Official Mouthpiece David Wright to echo those sentiments, and provide similarly uncontroversial, throw-away quotes.

Instead, we got this:

“I don’t, and I don’t think anybody else in here, takes too much pride in the fact that we fought back,” Wright said. “It is what it is — and that’s another loss. We are going in there with the preparation. We’re going in there with the right attitude. We’re just not executing. That’s a problem in this league when you’re not going out there and doing what you’re supposed to do. It is still early, but it’s gotten to a point where we need to turn this thing around and really get going and get some momentum on our side. It’s good to see us fight back. It’s good to see go in with that kind of attitude. We need to start winning these close games if we’re going to accomplish what we set out to accomplish.”

Is the REAL David Wright starting to emerge from beneath the many layers of public image filtration? Could be. Could also be a sign of Wright finally taking over the vacant role of Mets leadership.

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The Goal is Mediocrity

Last June, I jumped all over Jerry Manuel for his goal of winning 50% of the Mets ballgames.

Now I feel kind of bad, because that rather modest winning percentage is, in fact, the organizational goal. Jerry was only pushing his team toward the expectations set by his bosses. Sorry, Jerry — my misunderstanding.

See these quotes by Omar Minaya, from the Daily News (hat tip to loyal MetsToday reader “gary s”):

“The home stand, we had an opportunity to be 4-2,” Minaya added. “I think we showed some fight, that we’ll battle and come from behind. We need to get more clutch hits. I thought the pen did a good job and the starters held their own.

“It’s early in the year. One week you have one concern, the next week you have another. You always like to be around .500 and we have a tough road trip. But we got Jose Reyes back. … If we had won (Sunday), we would’ve ended the home stand at .500.

“I feel good that we’re going to win some games.”

Apparently, “some games” equals about 80 or so by season’s end. Hmm … I’m not sure that’ll be enough to put the Mets into the postseason. Though, it might fool some Mets fans into thinking that their team is “playing meaningful games in September”.

My guess is that Omar and Co. are looking at the past NL Championships in Mets’ history, in particular the NL crown won in 1973, when the team went 82-80. Perhaps they point to that season as evidence that a .500 team can go to the playoffs.

And perhaps, their next move is to coax Rusty Staub, Don Hahn, George Stone, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, et al, out of retirement.

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Late April Fools Joke

Kevin Burkhardt and Matt Cerrone are three days late with their April Fools Joke; below is what is posted on MetsBlog as the Mets’ Opening Day starting lineup:

1. SS Alex Cora
2. 2B Luis Castillo
3. 3B David Wright
4. 1B Mike Jacobs
5. LF Jason Bay
6. CF Gary Matthews Jr.
7. RF Jeff Francoeur
8. C Rod Barajas
9. SP Johan Santana

Or maybe the above was orated by Jerry Manuel on April 1st, and Burkhardt didn’t realize it was a joke.

Because only a fool would bat Alex Cora leadoff, and Mike Jacobs ahead of Jason Bay.

There’s also some humor in playing Gary Matthews instead of Angel Pagan, and placing him in the #6 spot — though, I guess it’s arguable. Maybe Pagan didn’t prove anything based on his performance last year, and maybe Jeff Francoeur isn’t a better hitter than GMJ.

What I like most about this joke is the lefty-righty going on. You know, you don’t want to have two lefty hitters in a row, because then the Marlins will have an advantage when they bring in a LOOGY.

You know what? If I were manager of the Mets, I’d purposely stack two LH bats or two RH bats in a row, to entice Fredi Gonzalez to bring in someone crappy like Clay Hensley or Renyel Pinto. Don’t you WANT the other team’s 11th- and 12th-worst pitchers in the game?

I can’t decide which is the most laughable aspect of this joke: Jacobs in the cleanup spot or Cora at leadoff. Cora, of course, has a career OBP of .313 — and even when he was so great for the Mets last year, he reached base only 32% of the time. His speed, never great, is average at best now that he’s 34 years old. But hey, let’s make sure he comes to the plate more often than anyone else on the team!

Similarly, when the Wilpons shelled out $66M for Jason Bay, was it with the idea that he’d provide protection for Mike Jacobs? Not to mention that Jacobs’ career numbers are worst when he’s hitting fourth (we’ll get into that in further detail later).

If the above is NOT a joke, then it may be time to schedule a lobotomy for Manuel, because something is not right inside that man’s head. It’s scarier than the lineup seen in my nightmares. Speaking of that nightmare:

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Manuel Will Focus on Pitching and Defense

Pitchers and catchers have yet to report, yet we’re already being treated to “Manuel Being Manuel”.

A few weeks ago on MetsBlog, it was reported that Jerry Manuel will be focusing on pitching and defense this year:

“Pitching and defense, that’s going to be the game plan. We spent a lot of time last spring on the hitting program. We think we have that in place. It probably needs some tweaking here and there, but we have to play better interior defense. And if we can do that, we feel it will make our pitchers better. That’s going to be the big emphasis.”

First off, what in the world is “interior defense”? Does that mean “infield defense”? Some kind of self-defense (such as karate or tae-kwon-do) in the clubhouse? And, if there is “interior defense”, is there also “exterior defense” ?

Also concerning is Manuel reminding us all of the special focus put on developing offensive skills last spring. For those who forgot, it was centered around Manuel’s inane and exhausting “100-swing drill”, and an emphasis on hitting to the opposite field.

Anyone recall how that offensive strategy worked out last summer? Perhaps you can ask David Wright … or simply check out the Mets’ final hitting stats.

After seeing the results of last spring’s “focus on offense”, I can’t wait to witness how the “pitching and defense focus” works out in 2010.

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