SCHOOL IS IN SESSION

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been consumed by all the Rangers news this morning that I haven’t scratched the surface on the news out of St Lonesome but I am starting to think that Warlord Jerry spent the off season studying psychology  books as early in this camp of ’09 it seems it’s all about the mental prep work as much as the physical.

 

Just from the early dispatches, it looks as though J-Man feels since I have the same cast of characters that ended the season save for the two studs at the back end of the pen, there has to be a different way to motivate this group by going after their weak points (in case you haven’t heard, the Mets choked the last two years, just ask Cole Hamels he’ll tell you)

 

With the bullpen fortified with Putz and Rodriguez, the other big reason for the two season collapse has been the lack of situational hitting and not scoring runs late in the game. The Mets biggest scoring inning last year was the first and the lowest was the ninth, so Manuel has put an emphasis on hitting behind the runner and giving oneself up for the team. It’s clear that J-Man felt the team he took over was a selfish bunch and he wants that mind set erased and he came right out a pointed the finger at the guys he felt fit that category.

 

The player Manuel went after first was Jose Reyes, who it seems was more worried about stealing bases just to pad his stats and was the least grown up of the Big Three of Wright-Beltran-Reyes so saying it was time for Jose to take a little more responsibility around the team really meant time to grow up . So to see what Reyes was made of J-Man declares the Reyes could be the #3 hitter and we all waited for the fallout. Well, we’re still waiting as Reyes came in and said all the right things just like a grown up.

 

Manuel then went on to Gimp Castillo but took a different tact, as everyone associated with the team from the fans, front office, ushers, $iti Field construction workers all felt Castillo needed to shipped out. So Manuel went the opposite praising the second baseman for coming into camp 10 lbs lighter and with a better attitude that moved Manuel to say that Castillo looked like his old Marlins self and would be used in the top spot of the order and so far everyday Manuel finds a way to get a positive quote about Castillo into the Mets news of the day. That makes Gimp a happy camper

 

I guess after watching the baseball version of a gym rat in Daniel Murphy, Manuel knew that even with ordaining Murph as the left fielder the kid would still continue to work his ass off and Murphy’ response of I have to keep working like my job is on the line, proved that Manuel made the right read.

 

Now it’s on to Ryan Church who has the carrot out in front of him by J-Man who stated that Murph was a better hitter than Church and of course that pissed off Church big time. Exactly what Manuel wanted to do, Sometime guys get a bit complacent and need a little nudge but instead of a nudge Manuel gave Church a shove.

 

What coaching comes down to his knowing the personalities of your players as fans we get a bit to wrapped up in the in game strategy when in reality when the game starts there is only so much a coach or manager can do as you can’t hit, pitch or field for your guys. I like what Manuel is trying to do here as he is looking to motivate each player individually to get them to come together collectively as a total team. This game plan might just work.

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