Josh here one last time tonight:
One part of today/tonight that I couldn’t quite cover enough in tomorrow’s stories was Jerry Manuel’s take on the offense.
Manuel, in his comments before and after the 5-2 loss to Seattle, said the Mets must change their approach. He wants them to run more, both the guys who run sometimes and the guys who don’t run at all.
He said someone like Carlos Delgado may try to surprise an opponent with a stolen base. But mostly (surprise, surprise) he wants to see guys like Carlos Beltran run more. He believes Beltran is too concerned with his stolen base percentage, which is, as you know, historically good.
â€œI would hope Carlos will run into a couple outs just to get that percentage thing out of his mind,” Manuel said. “Thatâ€™s going to be addressed because thatâ€™s an important part in what weâ€™re going to do going forward.”
Manuel praised Beltran in person after the game for his fifth-inning steal of third. HOWEVER, by the time we spoke to Beltran, he didn’t appear on the verge of a new freewheeling era on the basepaths.
â€œWhen I get opportunities to steal bases I will do it,â€ said Beltran, who has 11 steals this year. â€œBut it has to be the right time, the right opportunity.â€
The new skipper also agrees with many of you. (Hey, maybe he’s a fellow blogger.) He chided the club for its pitch selection tonight â€” particularly against Mo, Larry and Curly of the Seattle ‘pen that shut down the Mets until Arthur Rhodes came on for the final two outs â€” and said he, HoJo and their crew will have to work toward better strike recognition by the hitters.
â€œWe just have to find a way to have a better attack,â€ said Manuel. â€œOur offense is just not what we left with from spring training, not what we thought it would be by this time.”
Manuel joked that it’d take him three or four years to implement his style of offense. Actually, he thinks there’s plenty of time despite his interim tag.
â€œWhat I have to do is keep in mind what itâ€™s going to take this year to get to the postseason and I have to plan accordingly,” Manuel said. “The other stuff it wonâ€™t take that period of time. Iâ€™m just messing around with you. But in all honesty I feel like we have enough time to get what I need to get done done.â€