...Let me tell you what I think, for what it's worth.
As for Jerry Manuel, the one thing I will say is that I thought Willie made a serious error in judgment basically shelving the issue of The Collapse as if it were an afterthought, never really adressing it nor dealing with it nor putting it to bed, so I was happy to hear Jerry talk about it and infer that he would use it as a springboard of a sorts to motivate the team. Not that the team looked motivated last night, or anything. Talk about a leaderless bunch of has beens, might bes, and kiddie corps... This team needs strong leadership, motivation, and a resiliency that it simply doesn't have at this point in time.
He made a very eloquent statement without having to utter words in the very first inning of the game last night, pulling Jose Reyes, who grabbed at his hammy after arriving at first base in the first inning. Jose threw a fit, and after Manuel went down the tunnel to talk with him, subsequently apologized to the team, which in the opinion of this opinionated blogger, is a very good sign, indeed.
With regard to Omar's ad nauseum insistence that he has "full autonomy," with all baseball decisions, well, as one of the SNY pundits observed, he "doth protest too much," or something like that. Like the pundit, I did not find Omar's emphatic statement believable, not for a minute.
Another thing that struck me was that the Mets front office is full of back stabbers whispering secrets behind closed doors, so much so that Omar, having made "his" decision (I use the term "his" loosely) felt he has to inform Willie immediately, for fear that someone else will leak the news. This can't possibly be good, Bernazard.
You know what also stuck with me, though? What stuck with me is that somehow, in New York, at least in the Queens side of town, it might be more important to be "cool," or "street," than it is to be intelligent and well spoken. I wish I had a quarter for everytime Omar said "aksed" instead of "asked," or took the circuitous non-erudite route in insisting that these decisions were his, and his alone. I'm thinking, here we are, in the most sophisticated metropolis in the world, with probably the most brains in the world concentrated here, and this is the best we can do for a GM? Ahhhh...... no wonder things are the way they are in Metsland. These are the types of people they put in charge?
Good thing Omar doesn't have the "full autonomy" he so stubbornly and adamantly tells us he does. Or maybe, considering present ownership, it doesn't even matter.
Face it, folks, the organization's a bottom to top, top to bottom mess. No point burying our heads in the sand any longer. A clean sweep is needed, and needed quickly.
In all of this, too, I also wonder whether in New York, the atmosphere is really conducive to longterm success, for many reasons, only some of which involve the media and the expectations of the fans. Others are, of course, the many distractions available to the players, and the somewhat urban hip attitude that it might be better to be "cool," or "street," than contemplative, resilient, motivated and dependable.
What about the Yankees, you ask? Fair question. In reflecting, maybe what happened to them and the success they achieved in the mid 1990s occurred more as a result of them having been able to fly under the radar and do what needed to be done and develop what needed to be developed without any unreasonable expectations and interference than anything else. Once the Yankee Circus went into full-tilt swing, and the Yankees started acquiring rather than developing and showing patience, the team began to go downhill, with predictable results.
So I wonder, with the way things are in New York now, whether it's even possible to achieve longterm success. All I know is, if it is, it will require the hard work and nose-to-the-grindstone mentality of people who are a hellofalot more standup, honest, intelligent and savvy than those that are in place now.