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The Blame Game

Joyce MandelkernSaturday, April 28, 2007
By Joyce Mandelkern

One bad pitch should not lose you a ball game. Unless it is in the bottom of the ninth inning. And certainly not if it is in the first inning against the Washington Nationals and you are the New York Mets with an "American League" lineup. This loss, I place squarely on Willie's in game management.

I will it keep it short. I don't understand why, with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, with a pitch count of 86, I believe, Willie did not pinch hit for Ollie. A sac fly would've tied the game. A hit could've broken it open. What are the odds that Perez is going to get the job done there? I realize how well he was pitching, but we have a bullpen that can get the job done as well. That is what they are there for. He had a high pitch count at that point and I think Willie pushed it even higher to prove a point after he left him in there. I am sure he assumed that it would be no problem to score the run later on, but I think you have to take advantage when the opportunities present themselves. We have been leaving a lot of people stranded on base and in scoring position and haven't exactly been getting the "big" hit. And where has all the power gone? We are not in a position to assume we can score at this point.

Another thing - Julio Franco. We have Endy Chavez, Damion Easly, and David Newhan sitting on the bench and he sends Julio Franco up to pinch hit. I'm sorry. This may be a personal bias but I just don't ever feel that he is the man to get the job done any more. He may be a great clubhouse presence etc., but he is never my first choice to get us a much needed hit. One last thing and I'll stop venting - Moises Alou - great hitter, lousy base runner. If Endy had been put in there to pinch run for him, he would've easily gone to third on Green's fly ball and scored on Valentine's fly ball to right field and the game would've been tied.

But I know what you are all going to say. Stop worrying. This is one little game in April and means nothing. I like Wille, I really do. And I'm glad he is the manager. It is just that sometimes I am puzzled by his decisions and his in game management. I don't understand why he doesn't play hit and run, why he never squeezes ( ok - one failed attempt due to a misread sign), why he doesn't move David up to the 2 hole just to help him out of his slump. Let him see some fast balls while hitting in front of Beltran and with Jose on base. I don't always understand when he opts to bunt and not to bunt. And I don't always understand when he decides to lift a pitcher and how long he leaves him in there. I guess that is why I am just a frustrated fan right now.

All I ask is that the entire lineup start producing with timely hits and the pitching staff be consistently effective in keeping us in games. Now is that so much to ask for?

About Joyce: I am an insanely passionate die-hard Mets fan since 1962 who is also a season ticket holder and usually can't bear to look and buries her head in her hands or starts pacing when I'm home when things get tense...   Read More -->

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Comments (2)

Joyce, AMEN! Let me say that you are far from alone with your puzzlement of Randolph's in-game decisions. While I continue to praise his ability to keep the team disciplined and on-track, I will also continue to express dismay with his total lack of tactical managing. He now has quite a bit of managing experience, and there is no excuse for not using the hit-and-run, the bunt(and especially the squeeze), and his extremely poor use of the bullpen and his bench players. Last time I checked, games count just as much now as they do in September, and I have never understood the masses being so understanding with the excuse of it "only being April". While there is certainly no reason to panic, there is reason to be concerned with the way these games are being lost. Players will slump and have down times, it is up to the manager to actually "manage" during those times; to make changes, take chances, stir things up a little....however you want to put it. I am very frustrated watching Randolph "manage" a game; for a long-time player and coach, he has very poor instincts ("gut"), and seems to be slow on the draw with the few moves he does make. By the way, is there some kind of rule saying he can't use a double-switch every so often?

AND while we are on the subject:

You both covered 80% of my rant but here is a few more;
1. Carlos Beltran.When he was imported Willie inserted him as #3 PERIOD. Finally this past week he hit in his former #2 hole and with aplomb went 4-6. Granted I wailed and whined this past 2 yrs but knowing Beltran was NEEDED to fullfill an rbi role. But since then we have imported support in Green, alou and Delgado. I am not asdvocating whole sale change but switch up the batting order once in a while......segway

2. The anti-BV...willie virtually never changes his order. Not versus lefties, not versus sinkerballers, he simply rests starters (infrequently). at some point I propose seeing Beltran 2nd, Alou, 3rd and Green 5th, Wright then Loduca.

3. Joyce, I go one further: ollie loses on one bad pitch (a predictable non breaking slider)in the first, then goes on to give a high quality start. after that the Mets go on to leave men on incessantly. ....

4. and George...kudos! not even a double switch a straight Sub. Easley for Valentin, Endy for green or Alou...to introduce speed defense. And WHY iS 47 yr old Franco always the first PH. I think Endy SHOULD have hit for Green...especially given his ability to bunt...possibly for a base hit moving Alou to 3rd....THEN either Easley or Stache hit.

5. DARE i Say it: Acta who used the hit and run to score the winning run, OUT COACHED his former bench partner?...and in doing so exploited Willie's predictability.

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