Friday, October 2, 2009
Mets need an early Valentine's Day
For several years, the Mets were a team that appeared to be a piece or two away. In 2006, they needed a closer and cleanup hitter, so they signed Billy Wagner and traded for Carlos Delgado. In 2008, they needed a staff ace, so they traded for Johan Santana. In 2009, they needed a closer and a setup man, so they signed Francisco Rodriguez and traded for J.J. Putz.
Each of these moves worked out for the most part, with the exception of Putz. But going into next year, the Mets are not just a piece or two away. Even if the Mets somehow signed both Matt Holliday and John Lackey, they are not going to the playoffs with a team that is lacking in fundamentals and does not have a winning attitude.
As Newsday's Ken Davidoff points out, the Mets have lost 41 of their last 59 games. Injuries are an excuse for not making the playoffs, but not giving up on the season. Getting swept by the Nationals is merely the latest embarrassment.
Davidoff suggests it is time for Manuel to go, and Metsblog's Matthew Cerrone has endorsed bringing Bobby Valentine back to manage the Mets. Everything that Davidoff and Cerrone say makes a lot of sense to me.
Squawker Lisa wants Manuel gone without hesitation, but I do feel that he has been dealt a bad hand with all the injuries. The biggest problem the Mets have is that, when people got hurt, there was no one to replace them, and that has to fall on Omar Minaya. Maybe I would feel better about getting rid of the likable Manuel if Omar went as well.
But it comes back to losing 41 of 59 in such a listless fashion. The manager may have been dealt a bad hand, but he has played it badly.
For much of the year, the mantra has been, wait till everyone is healthy. But David Wright, Carlos Beltran and John Maine all made it back, and the team lost even more.
By spring training, everyone could be back, but the swagger (whether earned or not) of the last few years is gone). This team no longer looks like a surefire playoff contender, and that starts at the top.
Should Manuel be fired? Should the Mets bring back Valentine? Tell us what you think.
Update: Squawker Lisa has weighed in on Manuel at The Faster Times. Check out her piece "Throw Out the Manuel: Why the Mets Need a New Manager" here.
Photo by jpellgen.