Jerry Manuel Career Death Watch Part 1

New York Mets Jerry Manuel walks with his head down to the dugout against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field in New York death watch on Jerry Manuel’s managerial career is in full swing this week. I fully expect Manuel to be history if the Mets don’t have a good showing against the Yankees and Phillies over the next week. I’ve always thought that the Mets would give him until the end of May and this week is close enough to that time line to make a judgment.

Of course, the Mets problems aren’t all Manuel’s fault. It never is completely a manager’s fault. But when things are going bad, and they certainly are for the Mets, someone has to go. And you can’t fire all of the players. So Manuel will take the blame. Some say is should be Omar Minaya. Maybe it should.

Ken Rosenthal writes that this week could be pivotal for Manuel. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports put Manuel on his list of “Barely Managing“. Later this week, Rosenthal wrote about the inside scoop on which Mets coaches will survive Manuel’s firing. Mike Lupica wrote that if the Mets are going the wrong way, Minaya should go, not just Manuel. But Mike Vaccaro writes that the Mets should fire Manuel.

It’s hard to argue against someone getting fired soon. I won’t even get into what happened over the last two collapses seasons. Right here and right now this is a last place team with the fifth highest payroll in baseball and third highest in the National League with vastly declining attendance figures.

At this point, I’m on board with a shake up that results in Manuel being out. I agree with NY Sports Dog that Wally Backman is the right man for the job. I also agree with Clayton Caldwell that HoJo has to go too. It’s time for a change.

Mets’ Howard Johnson Should Go

New York Mets first base coach Howard Johnson ...
Image via Wikipedia

With the team struggling, Jerry Manuel is on the hot seat, and rightfully so! Manuel and Mets management had a 90 minute meeting before Monday’s game at Atlanta. Manuel’s job insecurity is one that is expected. One thing that hasn’t been looked at is the hitting coach position. Howard Johnson should be on the hot seat at well and many of the teams struggles should be placed on him.

Yet the offense as a whole has been struggling, especially with runners in scoring position. Coming into Thursday’s game against the Florida Marlins the Mets are batting a dismal .247 as a team which ranks 23rd in the majors. Over the offseason they brought in Jason Bay who is hitting a whopping .277 with one homer and just 16 RBI’s so far in 2010. It seems for the last few seasons the Mets have been lacking the “big hit.” The fans and the media have been quick to blame the players, yet I think the philosophy at the plate with RISP is the problem. That problem is placed on the shoulders of Howard Johnson the New York Mets hitting coach. Has Howard Johnson worn out his welcome as New York Mets hitting coach?

I understand Johnson was an outstanding player in his hay day and Omar Minaya has stated that having Johnson around is a link to Mets history. Yet the offense has been down this season. Is it time to replace Howard Johnson as the hitting coach? I think it’s a legitimate argument!

Mets Links: Oliver Perez, No Offense, More

The Mets are in a bad way right now. Dropping below .500 yesterday could be a dangerous sign for the 2010 season and where it’s headed. Expect the Wilpons to enter their first decision point in two weeks. If the Mets aren’t moving in the right direction at the end of May, it could spell the end for Jerry Manuel as manager. I would also expect Dan Warthen and Howard Johnson to be fired as well. If Manuel, Warthen, and HoJo make it into June in their current jobs that’s a very good sign for them.

So much has happened over the last few days, here are the links.

The Mets are 4-11 on the road this year and have no offense in those games at all. You would think they would take advantage of getting away from Citi Field but they haven’t. It’s been just the opposite.

It’s been well documented that Oliver Perez lost his spot in the rotation yesterday. But ESPN broke the news that Omar Minaya brought up the possibility of going to the minors and Perez refused. Perez has nine years in the bigs and doesn’t have to agree to go to the minors if he doesn’t want to. I wouldn’t either. If he went, he would have no control over when he came back. They could leave him in the minors all season. The difference between this situation and Steve Trachsel going to the minors in 2005 is that the Mets would have released Trachsel. They won’t release Perez. He doesn’t have to worry about that because of his big contract. There’s no motivation for him to go to the minors. Continue reading “Mets Links: Oliver Perez, No Offense, More”

Willie Watch Is Hot Today!

David Lennon and Ken Davidoff of Newsday are reporting that Willie Randolph has this weekend to show management something or he’ll be fired. The last couple of days have given us opinions from Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal that Randolph’s job is day-to-day at this point. Only Jayson Stark from ESPN is reporting that Randolph is safe for now.

From Newsday:

"He’s got the weekend," a person familiar with the situation said.

It’s also interesting to note that Rick Peterson and Howard Johnson’s fates are being tied to Randolph. That’s bad news for them.

All reports seem to be in agreement that Mets bench coach Jerry Manuel will take over the team for the rest of the season.

Rosenthal: Peterson, Johnson On Chopping Block Too

NEW YORK - APRIL 26: Manager Willie Randolph #12 (L) and pitching coach Rick Peterson #51 of the New York Mets confer in the second inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium April 26, 2008 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal reports that Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson has fallen out of favor with some in the front office. Rosenthal says that if the Mets start dropping games at an alarming rate again that Willie Randolph won’t be the only one on the unemployment line.

He says that Peterson and hitting coach Howard Johnson would be fired with Randolph. That’s near total house cleaning.

Rosenthal says that it wouldn’t be long before another team picked up Peterson. He’s well respected in baseball.

Personally, I think that the value of coaching is overrated. It comes down to having players with talent much more than the influence of coach’s. I won’t be shedding any tears if Peterson or HoJo are gone.

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Poll Results: Randolph Is The Biggest Problem

The Mets Report latest reader poll results are in. Thank you to those that participated.

The question was “What is the biggest problem for the Mets this season?”. The results are:

30%- Manager

26%- Hitting

19%- Bullpen

11%- Fans booing

11%- Starting pitchers

4%- Front office

0%- Media

The majority of the respondents answered that the manager and hitting are the biggest problems. There’s plenty of talk about Willie Randolph being on the hot seat. But I don’t hear any talk about hitting coach Howard Johnson being in trouble. Maybe Johnson is getting a pass because he’s a former Met.

It’s also noteworthy that the media received no votes. Randolph made it clear that he thinks SNY’s coverage is a big problem. So we have a major disconnect between Randolph and the fans on that point.

What are your thoughts? Comment below.