NY Sports Dog: Of Mice and Manuel

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Of Mice and Manuel

The Mets are below .500, and I am here to hold Jerry Manuel partially accountable for that.

Jerry is not a good manager.  He is not a good tactician.  He doesn't put together a good lineup.  He doesn't know when to give guys a rest.  He certainly doesn't handle the bullpen well.

While I think Jerry is a great guy and well liked by his players, he is not a winner and he should be relieved now.

During his tenure with the Mets, Jerry has put up an overall .490 winning percentage.

Rk   Year Age                Tm                 Lg    G   W   L W-L% Finish
1    1998  44 Chicago White Sox                 AL  162  80  82 .494      2
2    1999  45 Chicago White Sox                 AL  161  75  86 .466      2
3    2000  46 Chicago White Sox                 AL  162  95  67 .586      1
4    2001  47 Chicago White Sox                 AL  162  83  79 .512      3
5    2002  48 Chicago White Sox                 AL  162  81  81 .500      2
6    2003  49 Chicago White Sox                 AL  162  86  76 .531      2
7    2008  54     New York Mets        NL 2nd of 2   93  55  38 .591      2
8    2009  55     New York Mets                 NL  162  70  92 .432      4
9    2010  56     New York Mets                 NL   37  18  19 .486      4
                        Chicago White Sox  6 years  971 500 471 .515    2.0
                            New York Mets  3 years  292 143 149 .490    3.3
                                    Total  9 years 1263 643 620 .509    2.4

Jerry has a difficult time sitting his "star" players.  To whit, Jeff Francoeur is hitting .102 with a .148 OBP and .102 Slg % in the month of May, yet Jerry tosses him out there day after painful day while other options sit on the bench.  Francoeur finally gets a day off today after striking out 16 times in his last 11 games with just 4 hits.  During Francoeur's brutal stretch he has left a slew of men on base.

Jerry has "hunches" based on "gut feel" and uses them with regularity.  One of those hunches was to bat Jose Reyes third despite the fact that he was struggling and coming back off a long layoff.   This move hurt two players as it moved David Wright out of the 3-hole to fifth in the order.  Moreover, he had Reyes bunt out of the three spot in the order on numerous occasions, which is absolutely the wrong thing to do.  Keith Hernandez was positively apoplectic when Jerry did this, and every Met fan I know agreed with Keith.

Despite the fact that the Reyes experiment was a dismal failure, Jerry again stubbornly refused to change, and I personally believe Omar Minaya had to intervene to have Reyes put back to his rightful position at the top of the order.

Jerry's other issue is the 2 hole hitter.  His utter ignorance when it comes to advanced baseball statistics is baffling.  Rule #1--you want your best hitters to get the most at-bats (see above, re: David Wright)

Jerry ignores rule #1 every time he puts out a lineup that has Luis Castillo or Alex Cora batting second.  Jerry loves the scrappy guy that can bunt in the 2 hole, but that thinking went out the door in the early 90s when stats showed how ineffective bunting and no power is at the top of the order.

The bullpen.  The Mets have the #1 and #2 players in ALL of baseball in appearances.  Fernando Nieve and Pedro Feliciano have appeared in the most games and that trend shows no sign of slowing down--until they get injured, which is inevitable given their current workload.  Jennry Mejia, who is but 20 years old, has appeared in the 12th most games in ALL of baseball.  This is a pace that will likely ruin the young man and prevent him from reaching his potential.  Jerry has no objection to throwing Mejia out there in utterly meaningless blowouts.  It's criminal.

It's time for Jerry to go--the game has passed him by, and it's likely that he was never in it in the first place.

I've posted the 20 major mistakes Jerry has made in 2010 before, but in case you missed them, here they are:
  1. Refuses to set a lineup based on OBP, Slg, OPS to maximize production
  2. Double-switched his best hitter, David Wright, in extra-innings so that his emergency catcher and pinch hitter, Fernando Tatis, would remain available in the off-chance Rod Barajas got hurt
  3. Insistence on starting GMJ to "get him going" with pitiful results
  4. Assigning a permanent batting slot for the 2nd baseman(batting 2nd) 
  5. Frank Catalanatto hitting cleanup
  6. Changing pitchers for L/R matchups before the pinch-hitters are announced into the game-- twice in one inning (see: the St. Louis Grand Slam loss)
  7. Batting GMJ leadoff
  8. Batting Tatis ahead of Frenchy Sunday night
  9. Using Feliciano on Sunday night down 10 which led to him being 4 days in a row and perhaps indirectly to Cabreras HR
  10. Warming up Feliciano on Friday night with an 8-1 lead in the 9th
  11. Warming up his closer 10 times in an extra inning game
  12. Jacobs hitting cleanup
  13. Telling Francessa that Takahashi couldn't come in to the Sunday night Phillies massacre earlier b/c he was taking a dump
  14. Not using a Mejia in extra innings against a lineup with only one good LHB
  15. Fernando Nieve: Every. Effing. Day
  16. Putting in Mejia against a lefty then pulling him after a walk and bringing in Pedro against a righty
  17. Taking Jose Reyes Out of the Leadoff Spot
  18. Jerry's refusal to move Bay out of the cleanup spot
  19. Having Castillo bunt against a position player pitching
  20. Said Pelfrey couldn't start 3 days after getting the save because his arm may be tired out...then goes on to start him
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MikeK said...

Outstanding piece. You are correct on every point.

did you see he has carter batting 4th today and Wright 5th?

And Cora batting second!

the Brooklyn Trolley Blogger said...

Who do you replace him with?

Dave Singer said...

Wally Backman--former Minor League Manager of the Year

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