Injuries were the biggest issue with the Mets this year. Without a doubt, they were the major contributor to the demise of the 2009 season. No one is arguing that, but I think we're letting the coaching staff off too easy because of the injuries.
There needs to be some changes made. I've already expressed my desire to have Dave Duncan as the pitching coach and say our final farewell to Dan Warthen. But I also believe it's time for Jerry Manuel, the training staff, Razor Shines and Howard Johnson to go.
The training staff should have a major overhaul with all the injuries that we've experienced over the last two seasons. I can't blame them if one or two guys get hurt every two months, but when injuries start approaching the 20's you know there's a bigger problem. I'm not sure what workout regiment or stretching exercises these guys employ, but whatever it is, it stinks. Clean house.
Jerry Manuel is a guy that I like. I love his personality and the way he handles the media, but I don't think he's cut out to be a championship manager. The players played well for him last year mainly because they were pleased to be rid of Willie Randolph, but this year he's not getting the most from his players.
Let's put injuries aside for the moment, Manuel needs to have these guys motivated to play regardless of their position in the standings. Over the last two months, Manuel hasn't had any impact on the performance of this team, and I scratch my head to think about what influence Manuel has ever had on this ball club.
I think the Mets need to bring a guy who is known for getting players to be sound in the fundamentals and is able to help the maturity of younger players. I'm a fan of Bobby Valentine, but at this point I'd take Tony LaRussa as an upgrade to Manuel.
The amount of errors and ineptitude that this Mets team has displayed this year rests solely on the shoulders of the manager and his coaching staff. He's ultimately responsible for the overall quality of play, and the product is pretty low quality if you ask me. These problems were going on in April, but were masked because the team was winning games at that time. Now with the injuries, the errors and not-so-smart play are just amplified.
And last but not least is HoJo. I loved this guy growing up and I know he's had an influence on the development of David Wright, but is he really helping. A lot of people argue that what impact does a hitting coach have on established ballplayers? Good question, but it's obvious he's not helping with the highs and lows that David Wright has had this year at the plate. Murphy's sophomore campaign was less than stellar. Strikeouts are up across the board.
Is HoJo really helping or does he have a job just because he coached David Wright in the minors? I don't have an answer as to who should replace him, but if we want a very different product on the field for the 2010 season I truly believe you need a new management team at the rudder steering us in the right direction.
It's time to clean house.