Nice work by the ‘Ropolitans on the above piece of merchandise, but while I admire the sentiment (if not the frames), the timing leaves a bit to be desired. Though the Mets’ recent penchant for running themselves out of innings would drive even the most patient of skippers to distraction, Jerry Manuel’s public burial of Ryan Church Monday night (probably more than last night’s 5-3 defeat at Chavez Ravine) seems to be what provoked the following observations by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman :

Why do the Mets seem to have only two modes: Winning and death spiral? It feels as if this team never just losses. It feels that each defeat comes with a backstory of dread and so many of the losses lead to outright losing streaks. What does this say about the Mets and their culture that a loss is never just a loss, but a reason to start breaking down the value of multiple players on the team? Why is the leadership – from ownership down to the GM and manager to the players and coaches – unable to limit their world to one-alarm fires? Around the Mets crisis is too normal a position. Can the past two Septembers be explained at all by the Mets’ inability to better control their atmosphere and, thus, when things start going downhill the plunge is longer and deeper than necessary?

Yes, the Mets play in New York and the media coverage and fan intensity is pretty darn stark. But that just means the Mets have to be ready for the intensity and be better at limiting the stress around the organization. Sometimes a loss is just a loss, though it hardly ever feels that way around the Mets.

On a more constructive tip, Sherman advocates that Manuel “should now let Daniel Murphy get 100 straight plate appearances (think 25 games) without being yanked as soon as he commits a defensive blunder or endures an 0-for-10 at the plate.” It’s a worthy suggestion, not least because you really can’t make a habit of replacing your left fielder as early as the first inning.