The Mets season has gotten off to a terrible start, but I don't want to see Jerry Manuel fired anytime soon. It's not because I think it's too early to panic - I've been in panic mode since the Mets refused to address their starting pitching needs in the offseason.
And it's not that I think Manuel is doing a good job - batting Mike Jacobs fourth was practically a fireable offense in itself.
But the reason to change a manager during the season is if you think the team is underachieving, and, sad to say, the Mets have mostly lived down to expectations.
Manuel has made some bad moves, but there's a good chance that he can correct them. Already he has moved Jacobs out of the cleanup spot against righties. If John Maine gets dropped from the rotation, we should finally see Johan Santana pitch every fifth day, rather than make sure that all five starters get to pitch. The Yankees are willing to skip Phil Hughes, but the Mets can't skip Maine or Oliver Perez?
Sure, I'd love to see Bobby Valentine back, but even he would have trouble with Omar Minaya's roster - and the lack of a budget he apparently had after signing Jason Bay.
Manuel should get more time, but not much more - maybe three weeks. If the Mets approach mid-May in last place behind the Nationals, there won't be any debate about getting a new manager.
But even more important will be getting a new pitching coach. And bringing up Ike Davis. And Fernando Martinez if Carlos Beltran looks like he won't be back anytime soon. (I don't want to hear about how Martinez is now a corner outfielder - if he is hitting, he will be a better option than Angel Pagan or Gary Matthews Jr.)
And by the end of the season, firing the GM.
Fortunately for Manuel, but unfortunately for the Mets, there are plenty of scapegoats to go around.
What moves would you like to see the Mets make now? Tell us what you think.