Thursday, December 22, 2011
Mets ornament of the day: Jerry Manuel giving Santa the bunt sign
Jose Reyes got a lot of gruff for bunting in his last Mets at-bat, believing he wanted to snag one more base hit then scamper off to greener pastures with a batting title added to his resume.
Not true. I think Jose was paying tribute to former manager Jerry Manuel.
Manuel was known for his devotion to bunting. This made his managing pretty predictable.
Man on first with no outs? Jerry was in the dugout frantically giving the bunt sign. Actually, it seemed to get to the point that of there were men on any base, and an out total of less than two, Jerry would call for the bunt.
The toughest part for fans was not no Mets played seemed to be all that good at bunting. You'd think with all that practice, the players could practically lay one down the third base line with their eyes closed.
Actually, I'm almost convinced that Mike Pelfrey really did go up there with his eyes closed. It would explain a lot.
Oh well. Despite managing on autopilot, Jerry seemed like a nice guy and he had cool glasses. Plus, he'll go down in history as the guy who managed the first game at Citi Field.
So this ornament, showing Santa attempting to lay down a bunt, is my reminder of the Manuel era.