Mandel’s Musings: Mets Season Filled With Mistakes While Giants Are Far From Ready to Begin

Published on: 29th August, 2009


Mandel's Musings: Mets Season Filled With Mistakes While Giants Are Far From Ready to Begin  | read this item

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New York – – This hasn’t been the best of seasons for the New York Mets franchise, has it?

Their home ballpark continues to look like an overpriced municipal stadium with it’s Brooklyn homage to Jackie Robinson. It’s team roster was ill-conceived and ill-designed by a general manager who seemed more interested in using Fred Wilpon’s money to build a top-heavy team of stars instead of a team comprised of 25 solid contributors. On one level, it seemed pretty exciting back in March at spring training to consider a lineup which included Reyes, Delgado, Wright, Beltran, and Santana. All potential Hall of Fame players or certainly, players who would be in the discussion of baseball immortality some day.

Except, Omar Minaya didn’t have a plan in case any of them became injured or worse, if all of them were knocked out by injury as was the case this year. Minaya’s choice to build a minor league system through the administrative “talents’ of one Tony Bernazard effectively exposed the utter uselessness of the Mets’ minor league system. There was not one player from a Mets minor league roster that was ready to help out the big club this year. Not a one. One scout from another major league team told me privately, “that organization’s minor league system is the most pathetic I have ever seen. Given the money they spend on scouting and development, it’s inconceivable how little they have developed those players.” Harsh words from a scout who’s been in the business for over 30 years. ___________________________________________________________________

Watching Giants backup quarterback, David Carr tonight at Giants Stadium in the second half, I’ve finally figured out why such a talented passer and the league’s first pick (by the Houston Texans) in the 2002 draft got sacked all the time in his years with the Texans. The thought was always that he played behind a swiss-cheese offensive line and with receivers who couldn’t get separation from defenders, forcing Carr to eat the football more often than almost any quarterback in NFL history.

But, that’s not it at all. Carr may have a wonderful arm and good presence in the huddle, according to all reports I’ve received from Giants players, but he holds onto the football far too long in the pocket and has done so for most of his career. He has trouble picking out receivers down the field and reading defensive rotations so rather than throw it into an area where he thinks it might get picked off, he holds onto it and gets hit.

Why do we care and spend this much agate type talking about a backup quarterback? Because he is one solid hit on Eli Manning away from being the leader of a team favored to go very far in the playoffs, this coming season.

Speaking of the Giants, coach Tom Coughlin was not a happy camper after tonight’s game. His team doesn’t look the least bit ready for the start of the season on either side of the ball and the talent level on the offensive side may indeed, be offensive. In this era of season tickets being sold at approximately the same cost as the Gross National Product of New Jersey, fans of this team have a right to expect top-of-the-line play from the offensive and defensive lines and wide receivers who can hold onto the football better than Plaxico Burress held on to the revolver in his sweatpants waist band.   

So far, the Giants are not performing like a team that can contend for a winning record, let alone a divison championship. The prediction here is that this will not be a season in which Eli Manning distinguishes himself as a premier quarterback, deserving of his huge, new contract. He proved last season that he’s a player who needs superb receivers with outstanding ball-skills, especially up in the air where many of his overthrows occur, to win games against good teams. The Giants running game, barring injury to Brandon Jacobs will win its share of games. When defenses put extra guys in the box to stop Jacobs is when we will see the continuum of Manning’s development in this, his sixth year. The guess here is, Manning will not win games with his passing skills nor will his current crop of receivers be good enough to beat the elite teams of the NFL this season.

Your thoughts?


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