The New York Mets have waited long enough to see if the team constructed by Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel has the look of a champion. It clearly does not. Wilpon’s job as Chief Operating Officer is safe, while Minaya’s is less so (but like Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, money owed is great for job security) and it seems once again that Manuel’s in the crosshairs.
Manuel’s a great bench coach. He’s great with the media, everybody enjoys him, but like Don Zimmer, is far more useful in an advisory capacity than in the pilot seat. He’s also a nice guy, and deserves to be put out of his misery quickly, rather than be left twisting in the wind. It’s not fair to him.
But it has to be done. Given the Mets’ unlikely chances of making a significant deal before the trade deadline, and the fact that Alex Cora seems to be the only guy willing to throw around some f-bombs st a few teammates who don’t seem too heartbroken about falling short of the postseason (again), it’s time for a new sheriff.
Giving Wally Backman — a man who deserves consideration for the job in 2011 — an interim tag in the middle of a season with no say with his coaching staff on a team he doesn’t know is equally unfair. I’d love Bobby Valentine to get the job, but the only skipper to ever take the Mets to the postseason in back-to-back years wants far more say in personnel decisions than this ownership would ever give him.
I’ve said countless times, and written here that the Mets have the perfect man for the job in-house.
But really, what needs to happen is a complete change of the way the Mets do business.
A little less Fredo Corleone, a little more his kid brother Michael.
I mean the Mets spend more time weighing their options, delaying any decision to the last possible minute, than any team in baseball. And when they do act, the decisions are either bizarre (Gary Matthews, Jr., Kelvim Escobar), costly (DFA’ing Darren O’Day, trading Matt Lindstrom and Heath Bell for, well, zip), or bordering on the insane (a combined seven years and about 60 million dollars on a singles hitter with bad knees and an erratic left-hander coming off a year in which led the National League with 105 walks and threw a quality start in only 50 percent of his 34 outings.
I keep hearing how the Wilpons really want to win, and they have the money to make the moves needed to win a championship. But like the quote at the top from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, it is time to prove to the fanbase that you mean what you say.
Like Goethe, Mets fans believe in redemption; even for the Wilpons. But time is running out on 2010. Slow down that clock a little bit by bringing in new blood.