Jerry Manuel gave a very candid interview with Mike Francesa yesterday and the thing that stuck out most to me was the emphasis Manuel put on the number 5.
Manuel said that the key for him is stay floating around 5 games over .500 until he can start getting some injured players back, specifically Delgado & Reyes. He felt that 5 games over .500 would put the Mets within striking distance of a Wild Card.
Not striking distance of the Phillies. Not battling for a division title. Just the Wild Card.
Wow. That's candid and I like it. Manuel is not fooled into thinking this team is a division leader or World Series contender. He wants to tread water until he has his team back from the infirmary and then get ready to make a run.
If the Mets were to fall below .500, then that is when Manuel thought a move would be made. That might be too late if you ask me, and I think at least one move should be made in the mean time but the need for an all out fire sale isn't the right option.
Manuel seemed to think that if the Mets had Delgado & Reyes in the lineup every day that they would be in much better shape, and it's hard to argue that point. Couple that with the loss of Maine & Perez for extended periods of time and you basically have half a starting rotation and two major holes in your lineup. And yet the Mets are still hanging around.
Treading water until the injury plague is gone is not a bad move in my opinion, but the only caveat is that no more major injuries happen in the mean time. That could very well bury this team if a Wright, Beltran or heaven forbid, Johan Santana.
In the meantime for Manuel and the Mets, the goal is 5 games over .500. Right now they're 3 games over. There's work to be done.