A Rough Start For Jerry Manuel
Remembering Jackie Robinson

Truth About the Mets Clubhouse

It has been a fast and furious few days for the Mets as this road trip has had a little of everything from a rough start to a brilliant Mike Pelfrey performance to a 20-inning marathon. And yes, of course, questions about how the Met clubhouse feels about Jerry Manuel amidst reports of players questioning his decisions.

We all need a reality check here because players routinely debate managerial decisions but that does not mean they do not have his back. In fact, creating an environment where players can voice their opinions is not a negative especially if they feel safe voicing those opinions. In many ways, baseball teams are like families and if we think along those lines, we can understand what is happening here. We all have disagreements with our family and some them even might spill over outside the house but that does not mean the family relationship is fractured.

Jeff Francoeur has always struck me an honest person and if he is asked a question he is going to answer it in a truthful and forthright way. When he commented he would rather see Jose Reyes bat lead off he was responding to a series of questions but never did it in a disrespectful tone and has always referred to Jerry Manuel as a man who helped him turn the corner after being traded here last season.

The Jose Reyes and Johan Santana references really baffle me because both of those players LOVE Jerry and I mean love playing for him. Reyes recently said, "Jerry is a great communicator and checks in with me every day and I like that about him." Now, Jose may not love the idea of hitting third but make no mistake about it, he likes Manuel and appreciates his candor and honesty. As far as Santana is concerned all he said about 5 days of rest was that he would rather have four but fully understood why the manager was doing it.

The John Maine case is a bit different as I did observe that the pitcher was upset about the possibility of being moved out of the rotation and had a 45 minute meeting with Manuel after being told that could be the case. What would be a worse sign is if Maine felt he could not go in and talk to the manager about the situation and let it fester.

Players voice their opinions about managerial moves all the time. Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was very vocal about the way he thought Joba should be utilized and voiced it in a public forum. When push comes to shove, all that matters is how hard you play for your manager. And fighting through a 20-inning marathon with Mike Pelfrey demanding the ball proves what the Mets' players think about their skipper.


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