« The Mets Just Can't Get Out of Their Own Way | Main | Back Tomorrow »

More of the Same

Joyce MandelkernFriday, May 16, 2008
By Joyce Mandelkern

I haven't posted in a while because what could I possibly say that hasn't been said since last June? Every game, every loss, every problem seems the same to me at this point as it did last year. All I can say is that we are not a very good team. I don't expect us to come from behind when we are down and I don't expect us to hold a lead when we are lucky enough to have one. A big hit? I've heard of those, but have yet to see one this year. We make physical errors and mental mistakes over and over again. There is bad energy at the stadium, there is bad energy in the clubhouse and there is bad energy on the field. Not a pretty picture, is it?

I don't want to hear that because the rest of the NL East isn't running away with it we will be okay. That is exactly the problem. They always think they have time to right the ship. The Mets always look for a reason to explain why it will be just fine in the end. How did that work out for you last year guys? A team with this kind of talent and payroll should not be playing this way and making the same frustrating mental mistakes time and time again. In my opinion, they are poorly managed and ill-prepared. They play with no sense of urgency, no baseball IQ, and no sense of accountability or discipline at the plate or on the field. If these issues are addressed behind the scenes (and I hope they are), then these guys are really thickheaded and there is no hope of ever turning things around. Willie's decisions often leave me scratching my head and don't even get me started on why he doesn't have his players' backs with the umps.

So here is my take on it. The Wilpons gave a team that was ready to win to a manager that was not ready to manage. And therein the problem lies. I have never been a Willie supporter. From the beginning I have seen things that I didn't like and I think we are at the point where things are spiraling out of control on the field and in the clubhouse. I'm tired of hearing how we are going to get on a nice a little roll and into a nice little rhythm. At what point should it be decided that this isn't working? When another season is lost? When did this become not fun anymore? Remember when baseball was fun? I am quickly forgetting.

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 -->

Support Mike's Mets by shopping at our Amazon Store

Comments (7)

Joyce, I agree with you. I respect Willie, he has good baseball knowledge and he was a student of the game. With that said, that does not always translate into being a good manager. I don't blame him for the teams performance on the field, that is ultimately the players who need to be accountable for their play. But in the clubhouse, during preparation, and in-game situations Willie does seem to be lacking, and it is more magnified with each loss. It's not so much the losses, but the way they lose. I really don't think he is the right guy for this club. This club has mostly "silent" leaders on the field, it most certainly does not need a silent leader at the helm. There is no fire with these guys, and just how long can they keep on with the excuses that you haved mentioned above. The fans have had it and I don't blame them. I have gotten to the point that if they are down after 6 or 7 innings, I turn from the game, because I don't even think about them coming back. I love this franchise, but right now I am not feeling this team of 2008.

Joyce, I feel your pain! There is a stench surrounding this team, and it's been there since last year. I don't want to hear another thing from any of them about how they will turn it around or they are just about to go on a winning streak........nonsense! If everyone is brutally honest, they would admit to feeling a funk when watching this team; something is terribly wrong. As a fellow fan who was never a Willie guy, his lack of instincts and feel for managing is mind-boggling, and has become an embarrasment. Something is obviously wrong with Reyes; he lack of consistency at bat and in the field is appalling considering his talent level. Is it just me or is he throwing more side-arm this year? He also short-arms the throws so they go into the ground many times too; I don't recall it ever being this bad before. The team looks fractured chemistry-wise as well, and there seems to be no one that can or will hold the veteran players accountable; and to that point, no one that can go to any of the Latin players and hold them more accountable as it relates to the team's responsibility to the media and their fans as well. Most of the Latin players converse just fine in English, and the fans and media don't expect perfect English anyway, just that they be available after both good games and bad alike. The team has already shielded Santana, and he speaks perfect English, so that creates a chasm within the team when American players see that and have to carry all the water with the media. Santana was man enough to sign the big contract (and even held out to get the last penny he could), the least he could do is fulfill his obligations with the media. Allowing him and Delgado to basically duck the hard media obligations certainly must create hard feelings in the clubhouse. Alou speaks to the media, Castillo talks some too (as well as a little from Beltran), but it should be mandatory that everyone who speaks after a win, should speak after a loss too, and everyone should be held accountable for it too. I don't usually favor mid-season managerial moves, but in this case, it has to be done and the sooner the better. Otherwise, I feel another lost season for the team.

Hi Joyce:

I happen to agree with almost everything you've said in today's column except there's more to the Mets' problems than just Willie Randolph and a bunch of "underachieving players". Like you, I've never been a fan of his. He has never had control of this team as witnessed by what happened last fall and the continuing poor play this season as evidenced by the boneheaded baserunning mistakes that doomed the Mets in yesterday's 1-0 loss to Washington.

There is however, one other major culprit in the Mets' struggles who you've failed to mention and that is - - Omar Minaya. He is the person that is ultimately responsible for putting this pathetic excuse of a team together. For whatever reason, he seems to be encased in Teflon. The Wilpons seem to be enamored by him and the press has never taken him to task. Yet all you need to do is to look around the majors to see the young players he has either traded away or let go in exchange for what makes up the current roster Willie has to manage. There's Bannister with KC, Willie Gomez with Minnesota, Keppinger with Cincinnati, Jacobs and Lindstom with Florida, Nady with Pittsburgh, Heath Bell with San Diego. These are the players that instantly come to mind; I'm sure there are others that I've failed to mention. Instead, we are stuck with the likes of Luis Castillo who Omar found it necessary to sign to a 4-year contract despite having two surgically repaired knees; there's "over-the-hill" Carlos Delgado who, despite the fact that he had a very decent season 2-years ago, was obtained for an up and coming star in Mike Jacobs, and let's not forget how Omar "panicked" two years ago when Duaner Sanchez was hurt and traded away Xavier Nady to Pittsburgh for erratic Oliver Perez and long gone Robert Hernandez (Nady is merely hitting .330 for the Bucs); then there's Omar's loyalty to El Duque who has yet to throw a single pitch this season. I could go on and on with how Omar has traded away and mortgaged the entire future of the Mets' organization to try and "win it now" at all costs.

Both Willie and Omar need to be shown the door. What the Mets need is an infusion of young, fresh talent. For the right price (meaning top prospects) I'd trade away the two "non superstars" Carlos Beltan and Jose Reyes along with the rest of this pathetic excuse of a team (with one exception - David Wright)in hopes of building a winner with players who really care and want to win. Wright is the only current player that fits that mold. The Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays are two prime examples of teams who are winning without marquee headliners in their lineups. Let's hope that the Wilpons finally see the light of day and come to their senses before it's too late. Regards.

to my fellow suffering met fans, GET A GRIP!!!the team is not very good and i thought willie should have been let loose last fall..that being said, nobody was upset about the jacobs for delgado trade when it was made.it was a good trade at the time.mike jacobs is a journeyman player.if he didn't have some ability, we never could have traded him for delgado.joyce, i know you are frustrated with willie, but no interim manager is going to do much better with 2 starters.that's all we have.forget about pedro..too old, too broken down..85 mph fastball..the first thing the mets should do when the season ends is to release him and el duque and get some younger starters..the media is talking about willie being on a short leash.if they come back from the 9 game roadtrip under .500 i think willie's reign is over.we'll see.

L.J. - i agree with you completely - it is the way they lose that is so frustrating...they're lack of focus costs them games which they shold be winning

george - the drama that played out in the media today was just too much for me...it was an embarrasment and showed me just how much trouble this team really is in...if it serves to get the players back on the right track then great, i just hope it doesn't make matters worse in the clubhouse. now we will see if willie really does have a handle on things or not...

alan - your point is well-taken re: omar. the castillo signing did not sit well with me. too many years and too much money for a 32 year coming off of a double knee surgery. i would've gone a different route and i too like to give younger players a chance. sometimes i think general managers act to "save" their jobs when they feel the pressure to win now at all costs...i do, however, think omar has also made some good moves as well - general managers are hard to judge, but certainly should not be immune as he seems to be...

gary - i don't usually go for interim managers either, however, jack mckeon in 2003 came in and took a marlins team that was under .500 to the world series...i also have more faith in our starting rotation than you do...pelf's last two starts have been good, ollie can be terrific at times...its our bullpen that scares me...no, we're not that good, but we're not bad enough to give up the season at this point...there is a lot of talent on this team...we need someone who can get them to play to the level they should be playing at...

Guys, Couldn't help my self here. Who said to the media that Wright hasn't accomplished anything yet? Willie. Who essentially benched Jacobs when he was so hot and the fans went nuts to the point that he was put back in the lineup? Willie. Who, this year wanted Reyes to tone it down too the point that he looked like hell and still hasn't got the swagger back? Willie. Who announced that Pagan who without his play we would be in real rough shape would go back to the bench no matter how well he played or hit? Willie. Who let Pelfrey stay in a spring game to get pasted when it was obvious he didn't have it? Willie. Who lets his team get the short end of the stick time after time without showing his team that he really cares i.e. Beltran's homerun in Fla.? Willie. LaDuca spoke out about his handling the situation with the Reyes incident against Fla. and what happened? The guys know that it may be them too if they speak their minds. I could go on and on but the bottom line is ownership will not help the situation at least until the end of the season. He begged on the N.L.All-Star roster so if you guys think anything will happen soon you're wrong.

The Mets will probably fire Willie at the All Star Break if he doesn't turn the team around, or get it within at least striking distance of 1st place. The problem is, is that there aren't that many choices for coaches that are great out there. Davey Johnson doesn't want it, and the other choices really are Bobby Valentine and Wally Backman. Bobby V is under contract in Japan, while Backman's got his own baggage.

Personally, either of the two would be a better manager than Willie; they're far more into the fire and brimstone managerial stuff, and also know (at least Bobby does) how to handle a bullpen. Neither would be afraid to bench Delgado, or pull Reyes out after a pathetic popup. Bobby also knows how to handle a bench- which was why he was able to get such mileage out of guys like Agbyani, Pratt, and McEwing.

The biggest key for me was the recent series against the Nationals, where the Mets should have swept the Nats, but lazily let the Nats win 3 of 4. The Mets seem to get it up for good teams like the Dbacks or the Yanks, but they go to sleep whenever they have to face "bad" teams like the Nats or the Pirates. Another thing I've seen is that everytime Pelfrey actually gets it together, the Mets go silent. That happened last year, and has happened this year. It's getting to the point where I think some of the players don't WANT Pelfrey to succeed. And that's not only sad, but pathetic.

Minaya also needs to bite the bullet and pull the plug on Delgado, Heilman, and possibly also Alou. Delgado's bat has been weak, and a drain on the team (and I'm sure his clubhouse presence denotes why the Blue Jays sucked for a while), while Heilman kills the bullpen. Alou's getting old, and the Mets need a younger outfield, fast. I don't fault Minaya for the majority of his trades back in 2005-2008, but he needs to also see where he failed, and make corrections.

About Mike's Mets

Please support Mike's Mets:

Disclaimer: Mike's Mets is an independent, unofficial fan site, and is not affiliated in any way with the New York Mets or Major League Baseball.

Other Links

General Baseball Links
Internet Radio Shows
Video Blogs
Other Team Links
Other Sports Links
Non-Sports Links
Video Direct

Looking for great deals on MLB Baseball Tickets? Visit JustgreatTickets.com for Cubs Tickets, NY Mets Tickets and a huge selection of Red Sox Tickets, Yankees Tickets and plenty of great concert Tickets for Dave Matthews Band Tickets and Buffett Tickets

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 4.1