The Mets manager from the end of the 1996 season through 2002, Valentine has proved he is capable of bringing rejuvenation to the franchise, but the question is at how high a price it would cost this time around? Bobby V. is a New York guy with a New York attitude and exercises the underdog persona that the Mets fan base can cling to. On paper, the teams he brought to the playoffs in ’99 and 2000 were very ordinary. However, he got the most out of his rosters and put a scrappy, competitive, and excuse-free product on the field. There has been a lot of speculation about how interested the organization is in bringing Valentine back to Queens. We have reason to believe that Mets people were in his ear when he bowed out of the Marlins managerial candidacy earlier in the season. Continue reading “Mets’ Managerial Possibilities for 2011”
The Mets offense only had 6 hits and 3 walks. Jose Reyes and Ike Davis had two hits apiece. The Mets put up one run in the first on a sac fly by Carlos Beltran and it looked like this was going to be a cake walk over the Pirates. Davis singled in the ninth but the Mets couldn’t do anything to move him along. It was odd that Jerry Manuel didn’t pull Davis for Luis Castillo to get a little more speed on the bases. But it didn’t matter as the Mets couldn’t get anything going behind Davis.
The Mets take two of three in Pittsburgh and have an off day tomorrow before facing the Marlins and Astros at home.
I’ll be shocked if Carter isn’t batting cleanup again tonight after the Mets 7 run outburst last night. Jerry Manuel might have finally found the right mix to score some runs. Too bad it took 122 games into the season to find it.
Here’s some post-game video from Carter last night in Pittsburgh:
Wally has not been a stranger to the press, but much about the man is told in anecdote. To get a closer look at Wally, I spoke with John Fitzgerald, the man behind the much talked about “Playing for Peanuts” series. Before he began his project on the South Georgia Peanuts, John was a production assistant for several motion pictures. He then took on a project in Ireland about the Irish National Baseball team. There he filmed and worked amongst players who were sacrificing for the love of the game. In continuing with this theme, John approached the South Coast Independent League about doing a potential project. They gave him a list of teams that he could potentially cover. Amongst them, John saw a familiar name listed as manager of the Peanuts.
John Fitzgerald grew up a Mets fan in the eighties. In 1983, at six years old, John can remember his father’s typical Met fan jargon “They lost to the Cubs again!”. Nevertheless, the Mets began an upward trend and John can remember people wanting to mimic the Mets’ aggressive brand of baseball. The name on the list of teams and managers was Wally Backman. John took the opportunity to connect these interests. I had the pleasure to talk to John about “Playing for Peanuts”, the Mets, and “Uncle Wally”. Continue reading “John Fitzgerald on “Playing For Peanuts”, Wally Backman, and the Mets”
I’ve been silent for almost two weeks because what I have been watching has left me speechless.
I could definitely say I told you so when, before the season started, I predicting this team was not much better than a 4th place team. I also continue to believe that the GM, Omar Minaya, is the root cause of this teams problems.The Mets inspired play of May and June left me hoping that things were finally going to change. Wrong on that count. Omar’s high priced players are back and with it came the downfall of a lovable team that played above it’s talent level for at least 6 weeks.
Why is Omar the root cause of this teams problem?
Any business student could tell you the reason why and they wouldn’t even need to now anything about baseball. Anyone in the military could tell you the same thing. Anytime you have a breakdown in the chain of command your team will know it and respond accordingly. It always gets ugly!The only explanation for a team-wide collapse is that someone just above the manager (cough, cough, ahem… the GM) is cutting the managers feet out from under him by making some decisions that only the manager should be making. A GM should not be making out the lineup card and deciding who plays.
When this happens the whole team team chemistry gets screwed up. Players who earned playing time are no longer playing. Players who were leaders are now asked to sit the bench. Playing your butt off no longer earns you playing time, the size of your contract now determines your playing time. There is no incentive to perform.
Although I have enjoyed Jerry Manuel’s ability to deflect and laugh in the face of his utter demise, Met fans are looking for someone to throw a water cooler when they are playing like this. With Wally Backman stirring in the minors and Fred Wilpon’s love for the ’86 team, is there a doubt that this is the inevitable move?
Wally Backman is the current favorite to replace Manuel and he is a stark contrast to the current head of the team. Backman has a history of success in the minors with affiliate clubs of the White Sox and the Diamondbacks. In 2004, Arizona took notice and looked to bring Backman to the big club. However, in November of that year Arizona learned about the baggage that tends to come with the hard nosed types. Wally found himself a target of Bryant Gumbel’s HBO Real Sports. The show took a look at Backman’s DUI arrest in 1999. More unsettling news was soon coming to the surface as reporters began to uncover the truth. In 2000, Backman was arrested due to an altercation in his home. Backman also had financial woes and filed for bankruptcy to avoid over 20 creditors. Continue reading “Who is Wally Backman?”
Here’s the post-game audio.
Jon Niese post-game
Jerry Manuel post-game
Carlos Beltran post-game