I suppose in the end there was a dignity to allowing Jerry Manuel serve out his contract as the field manager of the Mets but there was so little doubt it was time to go at season’s end that the last days (ok, last month) were hard to watch or write much about. I called for an end to the Jerry Era in May, arguing that his passive offensive strategies and skittish bullpen management were losing us too many close games and contributing to morose feel about the team. And sure enough Jerry went to the finish with a club that couldn’t score enough and often, lost games as a bullpen fatigued by months of nightly matchup duty eventually coughed it up. To Jerry’s credit, he handled his setbacks with class and a smile, and for a time in 2008, brought some real magic to the Mets. But at the risk of sounding like Jeff Wilpon, it’s time to look in a new direction.
Jerry turns in jersey No. 53. The fate of coaches including Howard Johnson, Dan Warthen, Razor Shines, Dave Jauss and Chip Hale seem wobbly as well, although Hale was terrific at third base and I’d like to see him back. The first of many things to watch this off-season will be for Ike Davis to take over No. 20 once Johnson gets his walking papers: It’s apparently his favorite. Could we see Josh Thole take a lower number as well?
May those two guys provide us reminders of a few of the things Omar Minaya did well, because Minaya is also out of work as of today. I liked Omar but he too earned his way out, probably two years ago, mainly for his lack of creativity and imagination, particularly when it came to acquiring pitching, and of course press conferences which could make your hair hurt. Not to mention a poor choice to mange the club.
Jeff in his remarks today promised a new GM “as soon as feasible” after which a hunt for a new manager and staff will begin: Stay tuned!