The Closet Moderate: Good managers and bad teams

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good managers and bad teams

As a part of our commitment to you, the reader of The Closet Moderate, we plan to blog more around here. As a result, the posts will likely be more bloggy -- i.e., ill-informed and amateurish. In that vein, here's a thought that's been rattling around in my head the past few months: Jerry Manuel of the New York Mets is a good manager.

Now, this is hard for a Phillies fan to admit, but let's look at the monstrosity that is the New York Mets and figure out what's wrong with them. Terrible pitching. Players who don't play as a team. Injuries. Two of these are the general manager's fault, as he is the one who signs the players. Injuries are really nobody's fault, but a truly magnificent team like the Phillies can overcome them. So, on its face, what has Manuel done wrong? Nothing.

Now let's look at what the Mets do right. Small ball. They've been stuck with a stadium larger than any seen since the dead-ball era, so the American League-style game (three-run homers) is out. Instead, the Mets have actually gotten good at stealing bases, sacrificing, moving runners, and generally playing old-time baseball. And it works: they're 44-30 at home this year.

This is a manager's job: take the people and the stadium he's given and make it work. Manuel has done this. Yes, he'll still not be back next year, because the Mets' ownership are (lucky for Phillies fans) morons. But the real scapegoat for the past few years' failures in Flushing should be the general manager, Omar Minaya, who signed all of these terrible players. So, if the Mets know what's good for them, and the want to take advice from an ignorant bloggard who hates their team, they should fire Minaya and re-sign Manuel.

Also, fire Mr. Met. That guy's ridiculous.

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