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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

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Seconded

Lying in the dark after the Mets got the bejesus beat out of them by the Pirates, I came — reluctantly — to a conclusion. Even started working up the post in my head. And then wavered. Memorial Day seemed like a better time to make the point. Even though I doubted anything would change by then. Which means I shouldn't have wavered.

Tim Marchman's not wavering. And I agree with every point he makes.

It's time.

20 comments to Seconded

  • Anonymous

    A manger's job is to organize an effective lineup, make critical in-game decisions, and inspire his team to succeed.
    I would say Willie has failed in all three aspects, but what I am most concerned about is his lack of inspirational tactics with his Latin ballplayers. They simply don't seem to want to play for him.
    I question who is ultimately to blame for this. Players or coach? Did he do something to disrespect them?
    All I know is that it just isn't working and is probably easier to get rid of one guy then 15.

  • Anonymous

    Keep Willie only if you want a .500 ball club

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jason,
    The one point that Marchman is right on target with is the lack of discipline and concentration by so many players and I've always felt that other than benching Reyes last year and knocking Perez when he's pitching a shutout Randolph has not demonstrated an ability to be stern. Assuming these issues were addressed within the private confines of the clubhouse, they still continue so benching and public ridicule of the guilty parties has to be the next step (it is true things might not change even after the manager exhausts all efforts to kick-start his players but at least Willie could then not be held responsible for it occurng).
    For my part, this is the reason we hear unrelentless booing from the Flushing Faithful. Losing when trying hard is one thing, but losing because one doesn't try hard is another. We saw it all too often with Delgado admiring fly balls at the plate, Reyes wearing sunglasses over the bill of his cap, Heilman not hustling to cover first, fielders not covering the bases, etc. Even during last year's final game trailing 7-1, Castro hits a long fly with the bases loaded that's caught at the wall – but did the “fleet foot” backup catcher bust out of the box? No, he trotted while admiring his shot and had it it fallen in, this would have cost us an extra base.
    Those who do not put out deserve to get it stuck in their ears. Those who do not take steps to curtail (and therefore encourage) it deserve to be let go, whether it be the GM upstairs or the manager downstairs. They're insulting the integrity of the orange and blue and it's fans.

  • Anonymous

    What he said.

  • Anonymous

    I was just saying to co-worker five minutes ago that I never want to say that a manager should be fired, but I couldn't come up with any other solution. and then I came here, and realized that sane people are thinking it as well. Kind of made me feel better.

  • Anonymous

    I have mixed feelings right now: to say that hard times are ahead for the Mets only tells me the author may be a Yankee fan. Yes, the team has played .500 ball for about a year now. However, this team is STILL over .500, STILL just a 1/2 game out, and STILL just a winning streak away to probably getting in and staying in first place for some time. Yes, Willie seems too laid back – maybe we need Bobby V back as our manager. But from someone who has seen how bad this team can play for years (1977-1983; early to mid 90s; early 2000s), I will take 2008 (so far) any day as a Met fan.

  • Anonymous

    But measuring the manager of such talent as is on this roster against teams like the '77-'83 squads is quite a low bar to set.

  • Anonymous

    Tim Marchman is very much a Met fan.

  • Anonymous

    For the first time I am thinking we would be better off without Willie. I never had a problem with him being a Yankee. I thought he did well his first 2 seasons here. But with every coach/manager, there comes a time when he is tuned out by the players. They clearly are not playing for him now and a change may be in orfer. My only 2 questions are, who would replace him and what about The Jacket? Is his teflon wearing thin???

  • Anonymous

    Don't know who is out there who could replace Willie and not have the same problems he's facing. If the players won't play for WIllie, doubt they will for anyone else. It's unfortunate their refusal to hussle might get their manager fired which is in sharp contrast to the way the 2005 squad played hard on the final weekend because they wanted WIllie to finish above .500.

  • Anonymous

    Bobby Valentine. Larry Bowa. Attila the Hun. Oh wait, the anger's talking now. It needs to be someone who benches certain people, publicly calls out other people and turns over a few buffets.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure about Bowa. Not like they played for him in Philly. They will never bring Bobby V back. Although he never got the credit he deserved.

  • Anonymous

    This season has a very very similar feel of 2002. If you remember, the Mets were huddled in or around first place well into June by just playing a shade better than .500 baseball. The reason we stayed high in the division was because, like 2008, nobody wanted to run away with it. The only question was, who was going to break out? I knew it wasn't going to be the Mets. Of course it was the Braves.
    Then came 0-for-August.
    Please, let's not wait to fire the manager this time. The way I feel right now is exactly how I felt 6 years ago. This team is not good. It only looks good because of our current surroundings, but those surroundings are going to change. We won't be changing them.
    I just don't get what happened to Willie between 2006 and 2007. It's really upsetting. In 05 & 06 he was a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kinda guy. In 07 he became Art Howe: taking out our starters too early, HORRIBLY mismanaging the bullpen, detrimentally managing “by-the-book” 24/7, and making lame excuses after each loss. Thankfully, though, after the 13-1 loss I didn't hear Willie say, “those boys battled out there. They were battling.”
    What happened to the Willie who would get in the face of his young players to challenge them? What happened to the Willie who said “fuck the book” and sent up all-or-nothing Cliff Floyd in Game 7? What happened to the Willie who said, “I won't talk about the playoffs until we clinch. We're not there yet”? I really liked that Willie, where'd he go?
    Did that Willie get sent out with the “no music in the clubhouse” rule? Or with the “no beard” rule? I thought Willie was supposed to be the guy that stopped letting the inmates run the asylum. Does anybody else feel like we're back at that juncture again?
    Beats me who could replace him. I personally hoped Detroit would keep stinking it up so Leyland would get fired, making him available to us. If the White Sox start falling apart, maybe Ozzie Guillen could come our way (funny how both these managers stopped a September collapse). I'd love to see Bobby V back, of course, but he wouldn't mesh with the high priced talent. And although such a scenario is nothing but a dream, Keith wouldn't stand for all the babying the players get and he'd quit in a week.
    My closing statement, to paraphrase from the Flight of the Conchords HBO special: “As a manager…. he manages. He just manages.”

  • Anonymous

    I know. I'm just mad and want someone to yell at them, since I can't get close enough. If anybody like that still exists in the game, seeing how Piniella's under contract.

  • Anonymous

    I feel your pain….Remember this…at halftime of the first Redskins game….I wanted Coughlin fired. So what do I know!!!

  • Anonymous

    This season has a very very similar feel of 2002.

    Brilliant post, Kevin.
    And for the record, I've been feeling that feeling since about June 3, 2007…

  • Anonymous

    I'm the last person to deny this team's been in the dumps — it's really been this way since September of 2006 — but I'm still going to advocate Willie, along the rest of them, get to Memorial Day. Marchman know that ANYTHING can happen over a guy's first 75 at-bats, or a team's first 25 games. Double it and let's see what we've got.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. I've felt that way since June '07 as well. The Phillies series hurt, but I was willing to put it behind me. It really hit me in the Tigers series that followed. I remember quite vividly watching the Saturday game at a bar and saying to myself, “wow, this team really isn't that good.” Something clearly changed between '06 and '07, and it affected both Willie and the team.

  • Anonymous

    I'm watching the game tonight and listening to Ron Darling's comments regarding Billy Wagner's public lashing of Oliver Perez. Ron applauded Billy's passion and was puzzled that Willy Randolph did not appreciate the comment by Wagner. Darling thought that not only was the comment called for, it showed a fire and spirit that might be missing on this team.
    That just nailed it for me. Winners like Wagner rock the boat. Appeasers like Willy will finish second. I think this is the beginning of the end for Willy Randolph. When I picture winners I picture guys like Davey Johnson paying for a trashed airplane or crazy ol' Valentine in his mustache and glasses after going jaw to jaw with an umpire. I don't picture nice guy, quiet Willy Randolph. Not for this team.
    The team needs a “kick over the buffet table” kind of guy. This team NEEDS for a manager to get in the face of Perez, Reyes, and Delgado.

  • Anonymous

    The fact is that Willie should never have been allowed to manage this season at all. If he could not instill enough passion and pride in this bunch to hold a seven game lead with 17 to go, he really isn't the right manager for this team.
    This is a team with few vocal leaders that often plays without passion and without sound fundamentals. Part of that is the roster, but the manager plays a role by setting the expectations and tone of the team. Willie is just as dispassionate as the players and the on-field results show it.
    The Red Sox learned their lesson in 2003 and didn't let Grady Little ruin another season after he blew game 7 (and see how well he did with the Dodgers). When will the Mets learn theirs? Hopefully before this completes its trip back to the ineptitude and irrelevance of the Art Howe 'era'.