Last season I was completely on the bandwagon to fire Willie Randolph and I still think it was the right move. At the time I thought the Mets should have hired someone from outside of the organization to manage the team. They didn’t, and I really liked the way Jerry Manuel led the team for the remainder of the 2008 season. But I have to admit that he’s starting to wear on me already this season. Now I can see how he lost the team in Chicago in 2003. He plays favorites with the players to the detriment of the team.
I’m definitely not saying that Manuel should be fired. He won’t be this season no matter what. Omar Minaya just signed him to a 2-year deal before the season started and the team won’t eat the money. Besides, they’re still paying Randolph and there’s no way that they’ll have three managers on the payroll for this season.
What I am saying is that I’m paying much closer attention to his moves now than I have in the past. I’m looking at him with a much more critical eye than I did last season. The honeymoon period is over. Manuel always impressed me with his talk, and actions, about how if players produce they’ll play. That’s the way it should be. But this season he’s not showing it.
Luis Castillo – He was awful last season and deserved the backlash that he received. That being said, he appears to be healthier and in better shape this season. He’s hitting .370 with a .878 OPS. What more does he have to do to get out of the bottom of the order? Alex Cora is hitting at the top of the order when he plays for Castillo. That doesn’t make sense.
Ryan Church – Manuel chided him all spring, then the Mets brought in Gary Sheffield and Manuel said he’ll see time in right field. Church is hitting .313 with a .845 OPS and playing a very good right field. Why is he the outfielder to lose playing time and be chided all spring? Daniel Murphy can’t play the field and has a lower OPS than Church. He should be losing plenty of playing time to Sheffield.
Ramon Castro – The guy is a solid #2 catcher. Sure, he’s not a star player but how does he get pinch hit for by Omir Santos? Castro has 2 hits against the Marlins on Wednesday and gets pinch hit for with two outs in the ninth and the bases loaded. It makes no sense. Castro can hit, let him do his thing.
I’m starting get tired of Manuel’s stubborn attitude. That’s one of the things that I disliked about Randolph. Omir Santos, Daniel Murphy, and Alex Cora are getting favored treatment over players that deserve better. This is a classic recipe to lose the team. Manuel needs to wake up before it’s too late.