09.28.08

The Wilpon Family : Spitting In Your Mouth And Telling You It’s Rheingold

Posted in Baseball at 9:39 pm by

SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports the Mets are finally going to remove the interim tag from manager Jerry Manuel.  Hey, if the Amazins’ inability to get the job done against the likes of Florida, Washington and Atlanta this month was worthy of contract extension, can you imagine what actually making the playoffs would’ve earned the skipper?  Maybe an extension, plus a pair of old Shea seats?

Manuel is expected to be approached to hammer out a new contract in the next day or two. The Mets again failed to make the playoffs after losing 4-2 to the Marlins on the final day of the season. But Manuel’s bosses believe he did an excellent job under trying circumstances, including late-season injuries to closer Billy Wagner and starter John Maine and an overall bullpen breakdown. The Mets were 55-38 under Manuel after starting 34-35 under Willie Randolph.

“I told Jerry we’re going to have a decision sooner rather than later,” general manager Omar Minaya said. ‘He’s done a very good job, and we’re going to sit down and talk about it.”

The Mets lost 12 of their final 17 games last year to blow a seven-game lead with Randolph as manager. This year they were 7-10 over their final 17 games.

Mets owner Jeff Wilpon said, “I feel totally different than last year. I think last year we underachieved. This year we overachieved.”

I don’t have a problem with Manuel being lauded, far from it.  But it does feel as though the organization is trying to pre-empt criticism by putting a happy face on what many fans consider to be Choke : The Sequel. Everyone expects Jerry Manuel to be back next spring. Of greater concern might be whether or not anyone is accountable for Scott Schoeneweis being handed the baseball 72 times.

4 Responses to “The Wilpon Family : Spitting In Your Mouth And Telling You It’s Rheingold”

  1. cro_mags_forever says:

    i agree, few have focussed on the situational overload. were there any better options that they ignored? I think it might have been good to have left some of these guys in there for longer in august, and maybe give the team an actual long reliever (smh). but then that’s when they were streaking.

  2. Skip Lockwood says:

    What Jeff Wilpon was actually saying “Willie Randolph made us look like such a bunch of last place losers and couldn’t perform his Yankee magic on the bullpen that our hero Jerry Manuel did miraculous things and made the team play meaningful games in September down to the last day.”

    Can you imagine if they put a comparable amount of energy into talent assessment as they did into building and marketing and pricing people out of a new ballpark?

  3. David Roth says:

    That last sentence is more or less exactly the thing my Mets-fans friends and I have been talking about since the season ended, albeit more elegantly phrased and notably less profanity-intensive. There’s this problem the Wilps have — and it’s a problem a lot of bad, dumb companies have (Ford, again, comes to mind) — in which their brand or whatever you want to call it is somehow perceived to exist separately from the actual product they produce. And so they build this elegant stadium and good-production-value network (imagine Lee Mazzilli’s tanning bills!) and more or less let the baseball take care of itself. I’m not saying the Hank Steinbrenner option is more appealing — Hank isn’t more appealing than anything, up to and including the penis-surgery vids Butthole Surfers used to project behind them onstage — but some sense that ownership is holding the baseball side accountable would be nice.

    De-linking a brand from a product is one thing for Nike, which is pretty much only a brand and makes shoes more or less incidentally. For the Wilpons to get what they want with the Mets — a national brand like the Yankees, a baseball team everyone knows and that has fans in Paducah and Albuquerque and Baton Rouge and Boise — the team needs to be good. The peripherals are cool, and probably fun to work on. And of course they’ll make money on the park either way. But the four-year extension to Omar EVEN AS the team he built was blowing up and breaking down for a second straight year just seems kind of insultingly dismissive of the very idea of accountability. Maybe there’s pressure being exerted behind the scenes or something, but it’s a lot easier for me to imagine said pressure being directed at Citifield site foremen and ticket-sales dudes than at the director of scouting or the GM.

  4. itsmetsforme says:

    what about all hands on deck? what about bringing Pelfrey or anyone remotely reliable instead of Shitnwise? what about thinking outside the box so that the team could have a fighting chance to go the playoffs? I am flabbergasted that they are going to hand it to the popular Manuel without so much as a consideration of any other candidates. The Randolph regime continues.

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