Friday, May 21, 2010

Spring Cleaning, Revisited

This weekend's Subway Series and the 3 game visit from our friends in Philadelphia is basically Jerry Manuel's last stand. I don't think that's being dramatic at all. If things don't go well, he's going to be fired, and I don't think any Mets fans will complain about it.

There's a sort of sick, sinking feeling that's surrounding the Mets right now, particularly as they continue to go out and make the same stupid mistakes, put forth the same lifeless efforts and come up with the same frustrating losses. It's beginning to become evident that most of the Mets fans who aren't complete idiot lunatics like myself have just become fed up and stopped going to games. I don't think the Mets are even on pace to draw 2,000,000 fans right now, and if you go by people who actually show up to games, 1,000,000 is a dicey proposition.

So, what's the solution? Well, right now, the Manuel death watch has begun to reach Willie Randolph-like proportions. The only difference is that Willie had that quick-talking likability that made everyone overlook the shortcomings until it became painfully obvious that he'd lost the team. But basically, May, 2010 feels an awful lot like May, 2008. While the people's choice to replace him is our beloved Bobby Valentine, it seems like the organizational choice is bland, boring Bob Melvin whose track record in Seattle and Arizona is about as memorable as, say, Mike Cameron's tenure with the Mets: Short, unspectacular and quickly forgotten about.

But it's not just Manuel that's the problem. Dan Warthen needs to go, too. Probably the training and conditioning staff as well. I'm surprised that we don't discuss this more often, but doesn't anyone find it sort of strange that EVERY Mets pitcher has had some strange issue with their velocity dropping? It's not just Maine and Perez, it's EVERYONE! If it's a couple of guys with injury problems, that's one thing. If the entire staff has this issue, the coach needs to do some explaining. Why is Santana now throwing 89-90 instead of 93-94? Why is Niese not throwing his curve? Why can nobody seem to throw Strike 1? And say what you will about Rick Peterson, but who was the pitching coach when Maine and Perez were pitching so well? And who was the pitching coach when it was a tall order to ask the Mets bullpen to get 3 outs without screwing up the game at the end of '08? I can't even give Warthen credit for Mike Pelfrey's resurgence, because I think he just got mentally tougher and learned to trust his stuff as opposed to anything Warthen would have done for him. It's at the point where I cringe when I see him waddling out of the dugout. So you can get rid of him too, I don't think anyone's complaining.

Finally, there's beloved Ho-Jo. Mr. Met, the organizational hero. The only guy who survived the 3:14am massacre in 2008. I thought he should have been fired then, and guess what? He should be fired now, too. Much like it's a little too strange that the entire pitching staff stopped throwing hard and can't throw strikes, it's a little too strange that half the offense seems to have no concept of bat control or situational hitting. Not to mention the fact that Jose Reyes still isn't hitting line drives. I could waste more breath discussing this, but, quite honestly, I don't have the energy. Just get rid of him. I don't care if he was an '86 Met, we can remember him for that forever. HE'S NOT A GOOD HITTING COACH! FIRE THAT ASS!

So, there's the Spring Cleaning for 2010. That might solve a few problems, or at least wake some of the players up. If that doesn't work, then it's time to start getting rid of some of them, too. You hear me, Jeff Francoeur, Luis Castillo, Alex Cora and Gary Matthews, Jr.? You're all next on the hitlist if things don't start to get better. The NL sucks right now and all that needs to be done to keep things interesting is to just hang around on the fringes of the Wildcard race and get hot late in the year. We know this team can get hot in fits and starts. But if they play like this for 3 months, it's not going to make a damn difference come September.

The annoying thing about the way this is playing out is that if the Mets have a good week, everyone stays. Even Omar, who ought to get the axe too if the house is going to be cleared out. Part of me almost wants the Mets to get swept and embarrassed just to expedite the process.

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