When Jerry Manuel took over the managers office form Willie Randolph, the one statement he made that resonated with Mets fans was that his team would be tough and fight through whatever adversity was in front of it. His quote was “Gangsta’s on the field, Ladies on the bus”. I thought it was a great motto and felt maybe Manuel would be a speak softly carry a big stick kind of guy but I was wrong. If anything Manuel let the rash of injuries suffered by his team, become a crutch for losing and all around stupid baseball. Gangsta’ my ass. but, so far this spring, Manuel looks to be getting his Gangsta’ on.
I’ve been critical of Manuel for not coming to the Jason Bay coronation and not being around for that weak ass Winter Caravan the Mets rolled out this off season, but now I know what Manuel was up to, he was planning his going out in a blazing glory strategy for the season.
Manuel knows that his contract is chump change and the only reason he’s back is a combination of the injuries and Omar Minaya’s contract. Minaya got to stay because the Skill Sets are tired of paying guys not to work for them. Omar does not have the juice he once had the organization and if and when a managerial change is made he will have little input in the new hire, hell if the wheels fall off early, the outcry from Mets fans will so loud, even the tone deaf Skill Sets will hear it. So in a long winded way, I’m saying Jerry Manuel has nothing to lose here if he puts pressure on management to take the best twenty five players he feels give him and the team the best chance to win.
We are already hearing him push for Jenry Mejia to make the team as the 8th inning set up man and you can bank on Manuel pushing either Hisanori Takahasi or Fernando Nieve to make the starting rotation over a struggling Ollie Perez, and dumping OP in the bullpen, while making it known that he was not responsible for his awful contract, and with Ike Davis at first base over Daniel Murphy. If Manuel thinks Davis would be better than Murphy at first he will make it public knowledge.
It’s a win/win situation for Manuel. If he gets his way and gets to take the players he wants North, it’s possible he could not just make it through the season but get an extension as well. If he doesn’t, and the team tanks, he gets to spend the summer at home in Cali waiting for the Mets checks to clear. We all should have such problems.
When I can not only go online and buy tickets to opening day and do so two hours into the exclusive pre-sale time frame, you know this organization has its work cut out for them to not have a repeat of last season. If Jerry Manuel can convince Jeffey Skill Sets that bringing Mejia and Davis up North to not only help the team win but also sell tickets, then J-Man will not just be a Gangsta’ he’ll be The Godfather.
tip of the Mets cap to Metstradamus for the picture