Mets fire Manuel, Minaya

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Mets

This will certainly be one of the more busy offseasons the Mets have had in quite some time.
As expected, the team dismissed general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel today in moves that were long overdue.
I really wanted Jerry and Omar gone after the second straight September collapse in 2008. If not then, they clearly should have been let go after last year’s 70-92 disaster.
The team actually improved a bit record-wise (79-83) but that’s only because they got off to a good start, reaching a high-water mark of 11 games over .500 in late June. Then, the trip to Puerto Rico happened, and the team was never quite the same.
Still leading the wild card standings at the All-Star break, the Mets proceeded to go 2-9 on a disastrous West Coast swing. And the Wilpons continued to lay silent, not even firing anyone from the coaching staff. So, today’s news was good. I still lack confidence in the Wilpons’ decision making, but hopefully they get enough help to make a solid choice and bring someone in with an actual long-term plan for the organization. As I said in my last post, Omar was too much of a patchwork GM. He would identify what he viewed to be a problem at the end of the season and try to improve that for the next year, virtually ignoring the rest of the team or trying to fill holes with minor-league signings, some of which worked and some didn’t.
I’m hoping the new GM will put more of a focus on the draft, hopefully convincing the Wilpons to spend more money there. Lower budget teams like the Twins and Rays are having great success because they know how to develop players. And while the Mets’ farm system is better than most people think, it still could use more depth, especially in the pitching department.
As for Jerry, he seems like a good guy. He was at times entertaining and had a good rapport with the press. However, his on-field moves were questionable, especially his handling of the bullpen. He also had the tendency to bury guys on the bench and occasionally bad-mouthed guys in the press (Ryan Church comes to mind here). His lineups sometimes seemed to be picked out of a hat (like that early-season game against the Cardinals where the soon-to-be-DFA’d Frank Catalanotto batted cleanup) and he also had the tendency to stick with crappy players way too long (playing Matthews Jr. over Pagan early). He also was a little too laid back for my taste. I’m not saying laid-back guys can’t win, I’d just like to see the team go with someone with a little more fire in the belly to shake up this complacent squad.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the coming months. I’ll have my opinions as each move materializes, so stay tuned.

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