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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sandy Alderson can do better than Lee Mazzilli for Mets manager

If the Mets want to energize their fan base, Lee Mazzilli as manager is not the way to go. I was surprised when Fox 5's Russ Salzberg made that suggestion last night after the World Series game and now Squawker Lisa has written about how the Daily News' Bill Madden has said the same thing.

I don't even want the real Joe Torre, much less another of his bench coaches after the unsuccessful tenure of Willie Randolph. The only person with a Yankee connection that would interest me at all would be Joe Girardi if he somehow became available. Unlike Randolph or Mazzilli, Girardi has actually been a successful manager, in two different places, and has a ring to show for it.

Girardi's bullpen moves in the postseason were certainly questionable, but after watching Jerry Manuel make questionable bullpen moves all year, I'd be more than happy to endure them in the postseason if it meant the Mets would actually have a postseason.

Plenty of managers were more successful the second time around, such as Terry Francona. Maybe Mazzilli deserves another chance. But it shouldn't be with the Mets.

I never understood why the Mets were considering Allard Baird for GM after his poor showing in Kansas City. And Josh Byrnes ended up getting fired in Arizona after some questionable moves.

In retrospect, the Mets should have looked more closely at Omar Minaya's record in Montreal, which included one of the worst trades in recent memory - a brief rental of Bartolo Colon for top prospects Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips and none other than a 23-year-old Cliff Lee.

The most important thing about a new manager is that Alderson be allowed to make his choice and show that he is his own man.

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As for Game 1 of the World Series, I don't think it's necessarily bad news for Texas, which had an even more devastating loss in Game 1 of the ALCS and came back to crush the Yankees. But San Francisco is looking like a team of destiny, getting great production from a patchwork lineup that has Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Cody Ross in key roles. It sounds like something Omar Minaya would have tried, except that the Giants made it work.

With all the speculation about Cliff Lee, nobody ever stopped to think about what would happen if he did not pitch well. Suddenly, Lee has a career World Series ERA of 4.79. And it's not just from this game - as Lisa already noted, Lee gave up five runs in Game 5 last season against the Yankees. So that makes two straight World Series starts in which Lee has given up at least five runs.

Lee's overall postseason ERA is still great at 1.96, but he's no longer in the same statistical class as Sandy Koufax and Christy Mathewson.

The best thing for the Yankees would be if Lee gets shelled again, costing the Rangers the Series. Texas would be a lot less inclined to break the bank for him, and the Yankees could probably get him at a cheaper price than when he was being compared to Koufax and Mathewson.

5 comments:

FHPromos said...

With Alderson's reputation for veteran managers, maybe he can convince Felipe Alou to come out of retirement for one last stab at the World Series. Alou is respected, credible and a very good manager.

Jonmouk71 said...

Mets underachievers need a kick in the pants - how about Larry Bowa?

Uncle Mike said...

Bowa has never won, but he won't tolerate lackadaiscal players, which, as Jonmouk suggests is exactly what the Mets need: Wright, Reyes and Beltran acting like it doesn't matter as long as they get paid. And since Dallas Green -- who managed the 1980 Phils, including Bowa, to a World Championship -- has already been there, done that, and appears to be happy and well-paid in his consultant's role in Philly (and is too old to manage every day at this point anyway), Bowa might be a good choice.

Alou's old, too -- he played for the Giants in the Sixties, a good-hitting outfielder while Green was a mediocre pitcher for the '64 Phils (the collapse was hardly his fault) -- but he did lead his team to the best record in baseball when the '94 strike hit, and that was the Expos, whose owners (even the Seagram-rich Bronfmans) never spent much on them. What could he do with Wilpon money? (Hopefully, not bring back his son Moises, except maybe as a coach.)

Mazzilli? A failure as a player and a manager. Randolph? A success as a player, but as a manager, he didn't fail, he was sabotaged. He got the Mets to within a run of a Pennant despite having a dang fool for a GM. It wasn't Willie's fault in the slightest, and everybody except the most stubborn Yankee-haters among Met fans knows it. The smart Met fans (there are a few) know that Willie could do it right with the right players behind him.

FHPromos said...

The issue with Randolph is would he go back to arguably his most humiliating place in baseball. the way he was dismissed was reprehensible. Plus, would the players feel the need to play for him after they practically quit on him.

Though Alou is old (he is only 5 years older than Torre who people are clamoring for) his track record with both young and veteran speaks for itself. If not for the strike, the baseball landscape might look different both in Montreal and among the majors with the glut of Expos players (Walker, Guerrero, Martinez, Wetteland, Cliff Lee among a few) maybe staying in Montreal. Post strike, Alou basically managed with nothing and did quite well. Will the players listen to the almost octogenarian?

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Not defending Mazzilli but I do remember he was not able to name any coach or maybe a couple. Similar case for Willie Randolph, not defending him either.

Showalter I'm pretty sure DEMANDED to be able to choose freely among his supporting cast.