“Time to give Jerry Manuel an extension. He has fostered a positive vibe around the Mets.” -From Sports Illustrated writer Jon Heyman’s twitter earlier today.
Keep in mind readers, this is the opinion of a sports journalist who believes Andy Pettitte is Hall of Fame worthy. I really had to see this on Jon Heyman’s Twitter with my own eyes when I heard Evan Roberts talking about this on WFAN on Tuesday. So far with the Mets, Jerry Manuel’s tenure has been highlighted by an agonizing collapse in 2008, and a completely lost season in 2009. For 2009, we could of course look at the injuries as an excuse, but the way the product that was on the field performed at times was certainly inexcusable.
To be frank, firing Jerry Manuel would have been a move the team ultimately would have been disaffected by. It wouldn’t have addressed the main problems the team was facing. I can’t say I dislike Jerry Manuel. Sure, he seems to talk in circles during some post-game interviews and some of his in-game strategy is questionable at times. However, I do genuinely believe that he is a players manager, and this season so far, the team is performing at a competitive level. Manuel’s head has been raised from the chopping block, and the fascination with Bob Melvin among Mets faithful is no longer visible in the rear-view mirror.
At this point, I’m not calling for Manuel’s head (how could you?), nor am I ready to agree that he has earned a contract extension. I’m simply in the middle, sitting back, and giving the Mets a light applause with how they have been playing as of late, while saying “nice job, Jerry.” I expect more of the same solid play throughout the summer and beyond from the players, but I also expect (and hope) for the organization to make moves to enhance the roster.
I don’t think there are that many great managers in the league. With that said, I don’t think Jerry Manuel could light a candle to the Mike Scioscia’s, Ron Gardenhire’s, and Bobby Cox’ of the baseball world.
Jerry Manuel is the manager of the New York Mets. He might not appear in the dugout with a disguise after being tossed, he may not always handle the bullpen the exact right way, and he may not always say the things we as fans would like to hear. With all of this being said, I will refrain from dragging Jerry’s name through the mud. The team has enough talent, and is realistically one starting pitcher away from being a team to be reckoned with and a serious contender. Lets see if our manager can earn an extension come October…